The world Internet giant, Google, has recently announced the closing down of Google Reader, its Web-based aggregator, on July 1st, due to a decreasing number of users. Google Reader allows you to aggregate in one single place content you have subscribed to, thus saving you multiple visits to your favourite websites. Higher Education professionals who have long integrated this tool in their content strategy and have built a list of great resources over the years are looking for easy, user-friendly alternatives that would spare them the trouble of building their lists again. Here are 3 of our favourite Google Reader alternatives.
Feedly shares many of the functionalities of Google Reader, such as keyboard shortcuts and tags, but offers a much more attractive interface, turning your feeds into a magazine-like reader.
It is available for Chrome, Firefox, Safari as well as on iPhone, iPad, and Android. The application allows you to share content on Twitter and Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest as well as via email. It is also free, just like Google Reader.
- Simple steps to subscribe to Feedly:
- Go to Feedly’s website
- Get Feedly for Chrome/Safari or Firefox
- Connect via Google Reader
- Allow the access
Newsblur’s interface is very similar to Google Reader’s. It allows you to import all your subscriptions from Google Reader without creating a new account. It also allows you to hide or highlight specific content pieces. Just like Feedly, Newsblur lets you to share content on social media. However, a main difference is that Newsblur enables you to follow friends and to add comments to what you are sharing. For that, just connect your Newsblur account to your social media profiles. When you find an interesting story, click on the share button. A small comment section will appear.
Newsblur offers a free subscription for to up to 64 feeds, with a premium account option starting at $ 24/year. With the traffic generated recently by the closing down of Google Reader, Newsblur has been overwhelmed with requests. That is why it is not accepting any new free subscriptions at the moment.
Simple steps to subscribe to Newsblur:
- Go to the Newsblur website
- Sign up or Login in
- Enter a username, password and your Gmail address
- Create account
- You will be asked for a payment. You can ignore this request and on the same page re-enter website address
- A Welcome from Newsblur appears. Click on Let’s get started
- Then click on Import from Google Reader
- Accept access to your Google Reader
- Install the bookmarklet to share on Newsblur
- Connect with friends (via Twitter or Facebook) (you can skip this step too)
The Old Reader
Really popular among users who are switching to a new RSS feed, Old Reader is a web-based beta feed reader modeled after the old Google Reader. So for those of you who loathe change and are not interesting in testing other alternatives, this clone of Google Reader may be the right choice. A major downside is its sluggishness to import subscriptions from Google Reader. Note that the Old Reader has no social features.
Simple steps to subscribe to Old Reader
- Go to the Website
- Click on Connect with Google
- Accept access to Google
- Import subscriptions: Choose an OPML file (You can grab it From Google Reader settings page) and import
We have been experimenting with the 3 platforms and here is what we have found:
- Old Reader and Feedly are both free. Newsblur’s free option is currently not available to new users.
- Importing subscribers from Google Reader is easiest with Feedly and Newsblur, made by a simple click.
- We found Feedly was the easiest for sharing the news that you like with your community and friends.
- Also, because of its magazine-like interface, Feedly is the most modern and user-friendly.
We enjoy using Feedly and recommend it for your higher education marketing activities.
What about you? What Google Reader alternatives have you been using? Which ones would you recommend? Share your experiences!