Getting Real About Google Reader

So, I’ve had some time to digest the news that Google Reader is going away, and I’ve had time to think about my blog reading habits. I’m going to be honest with myself: I don’t use it the way that I used to.

someecards.com - I've been overthinking about otherthinking again.

For example, right now I have 476 unread posts in my Google Reader. That’s a lot. I’m not reading anywhere near the blogs I used to read. I’ll sometimes let posts from a few blogs stay unread for weeks. Yes, I am busy, but I do use Twitter a lot for reading blogs, to be honest. If I’m looking through my Twitter stream and see a link to an interesting post, I’m going to click on it. I’ve found a lot of new blogs this way, but I haven’t subscribed to any new blogs in GR in a long time.

The question is: do I need a new Feed reader? Or will I just let unread posts accumulate like I did with Google Reader? I do not want to lose touch will the people I’ve come to know over the years and while most of them are on Twitter, some are not. I have lots of time to think about this and come up with a solution. I can wait to see what others will do, but what is going to work best for me and my habits.

Google Reader Solution Thoughts
*New Feed Reader *Same old habits
*Blog List *An old solution
*Blog Rings *Are they still available?
*Twitter *Sure to miss a lot

I’m sure I’ve missed something obvious. Do you have any new ideas?

There were blogs and Feed readers before there was Google Reader, but I think this is going to change things for bloggers. For better or worse. If RSS goes too*, it will really change things. Will small blogs like mine with a single author just fade into oblivion? Without readership numbers, will the review blogs be the hot commodity for publishers that they are now? Will email subscribers become even more important? Goodreads? Amazon?

I also think that perhaps collaborative blogs with several authors with similar tastes and a history together might be a way to go. At least friends are sharing ideas together that way and combining their readership.

Anyway, it’s a lot to think about and so much can happen between then and now. As a blogger or a blog reader, what are your thoughts?

(I’ve heard a lot about Feedly and Bloglovin but has anyone heard of Spundge.)

*Feedburner is supposed to be eliminated too- or so goes the rumour- but will that be the end of RSS?

27 comments:

  1. I've been using a feed on my igoogle page, which has warned me for over a year that it's going away next November. I like it because titles like yours come up and I can click over if it sounds interesting. It does seem like changing our habits about reading blogs could be a good thing, but I haven't come up with any solutions, and hate the thought that individual blogs might go away.

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  2. I think the lack of Google Reader will change blogging. I'm trying Bloglovin' and Feedly and, so far, don't love either one of them. There are other RSS services so I don't think it will disappear.

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    1. That's good to know that you tried both.

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  3. I'm a bit worried that blogs like ours are just going to go away. Those are the ones I enjoy the most. I'm facing a similar dilemma and really examining which blogs I read. If anything the announcement is causing us to look at our habits.

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    1. Yeah, I tend to get into habits and it takes a lot to get out of them.

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  4. I'm using Feedly and I don't love it but it's okay. When I transferred all my blogs over, I did take the chance to go through them and unfollow a few.

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  5. I think, in a way, it's good that Google Reader is going away, because like Teresa said, it's making us look at our habits. Any time we can question why we're doing something in the blogging world can only be good, no matter the answer. For myself, I'm finding Feedly the best, but do miss Google Reader.

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  6. I think you bring up some good points that I had not thought of before, really looking at the bigger picture. I don't have an answer and I think only time will tell, but I will definitely be pondering your thoughts!!

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  7. I'm trying out bloglovin', but I really don't the like Iphone app version. I can live with the web based version. I'll try feedly out in a few weeks and see how it goes.

    I haven't added new blogs in ages, and I leave lots unread, but then I'll go back and catch up, but I do find I mark all as read. I've been good recently (before the GR decision) of deleting blogs I never comment on or never actually read.

    My problem is my little circle of blogs I read with bloggers I feel I know is getting smaller all the time. I like the GR so that if they update, however rarely, I want to know.

    sigh. I hate change.

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    1. I use Flipboard for the phone which imports blogs from Google Reader. I like that one, when I remember to check it.

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  8. I'm courting Bloglovin and Feedly but so far I have issues with both--perhaps that's just because I've been using Google Reader for the better part of 5 years and have grown so used to it. I've thought about just going back to the old blog roll (because like you I have hundreds of unread blogs in GR that just stress me out) but I don't check blogs every day and sometimes I don't check blogs for a week or two and so for some bloggers who post every day I'd be missing a big chunk of their posts.

    But even beyond the book blogging circle, blogs are HUGE. I just can't wrap my head around RSS going away with the wealth of information being posted daily all across the world. You know?

    And for what it's worth? I just checked and I have six unread posts for your blog in Google Reader but I saw your tweet and emailed myself the link to check out. Ha! ;)

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    1. So Twitter does work!

      It's hard to get used to new ways when we're so used to something.

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  9. Yeah it made me think about this a lot, too. I culled my google reader way down so that when I settle on a new reader it's mostly a means to keep up with that which I CANNOT MISS, instead of catching everything I might be interested in. I'm working on cleaning up my Twitter stream, too.

    I do wonder about the future of blogs like ours as a result.

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    1. Yes, will we make the cut when everyone else is culling. Scary! But everyone is in the same boat.

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  10. I'm finding I'm reading my blogs more now with feedly. Can't really work out why, maybe because the effort that went into finds a new reader makes me feel I should make the use of it.

    E-mail is an option but I get so many e-mails, and I tend to read them on my phone over logging in on a computer which isn't ideal. I think I'd miss more posts that way

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    1. I've never used the email subscription myself but I have a few readers who do.

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  11. This really made me wonder.. is my blog relevant? Do people actually come back and read it? If RSS goes away how will people find my little blog. I feel like I have a lot of followers.. but after two years of blogging I actually really don't have that many in the big scheme. SIGH... I guess I just keep doing what I am doing and hope that by doing that people will enjoy it.

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    1. Well, I've been doing this for 6 years and feel like my subscriber numbers are fairly small. I've never managed to make it "Big".

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  12. I tested a bunch of feed readers out and decided to go with Feedly for Chrome. Nothing installs on your machine, just the browser and the import was seamless. I don't expect any problems when Reader shuts down.

    I am worried that my readers won't try other options and then will just stop coming by. I would hate that.

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  13. This is very similar to my thoughts. When Google Reader announced that it was dying, I quit using it and I'm not sure I miss it that much. Sure, I'm missing things, but I'm enjoying the extra time I have. So maybe I don't need a feed reader. Maybe what I catch on Twitter and Facebook and through memes is enough.

    That's one of the reasons I'm thinking about Spundge. It seems like it might be a different way of getting information -- it would help me find things that I didn't know I was looking for.

    I'm not that worried about blogs going away, but I think getting the word out may be something other than RSS. It may be links on Facebook and Google+.

    Joy's Book Blog

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  14. I thought it might change blogging, but with so many other options out there I think that possibility has been lessened. It's a loss, but there are alternatives. Though of course the real result will only come in July. I think it all depends on whether people want to switch or not, whether they evaluate their usage and decide not to keep reading, etc.

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  15. I've been hearing about the "death" of RSS for years. But I don't think it's going away. The only way to keep track of blogs that you really want to read is bookmarking, and who uses that anymore? Twitter is a great tool for finding good posts, but not when you definitely want to read every post in a blog's feed. I honestly don't thing RSS is going to disappear just because Google says so.

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  16. I gave up Google Reader a while back and went back to using the links in my sidebar because GR was too overwhelming. It was truly making me crazy. BUT, I intended to move some of those links to my sidebar and now that GR is going away . . . guess what? Blogger isn't letting me add to my list. What the heck? I can add a URL, but it just won't save. I'm a tiny bit panicked about that. I also need to delete some links to blogs that have died (or ended, or whatever) and can't do that, either. Otherwise, I'm not concerned. My habits have changed. I'm trying desperately not to spend too much time on the computer and, unfortunately, one of the things that has fallen by the wayside is visiting other bloggers. But, I'm planning to go back to school in the fall and at that point . . . who knows. I may have to just stay in touch with a few close blogging friends and give up the rest, anyway.

    Bottom line, though: I think change kinda sucks. You know about the Goodreads buyout, by now. I hate that, but who in their right mind could pass up $150 cool millions to play with? It was inevitable.

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