In March of this year, Google announced that on July 1, 2013 they would retire Google Reader. Since retirement day has passed, I thought I would remind the MyeEMBA followers of two things, as well as to suggest Feedly as a replacement reader for those who have not selected one already.
- After July 1, Google Reader will no longer be available for users to access updated content and saved articles.
- You can save Google Reader content and subscriptions by selecting a replacement reader that allows for importing content and subscription information or by exporting Google Reader data into an OPML file, which allows access later on.
My solution for the Google Reader retirement was to choose Feedly, a reader that imported my Google Reader content and subscriptions. The result is uninterrupted access to my content and subscriptions and I did not need to create an OPML data file for later access.
My decision did not come easily, as I reviewed and experimented with almost a dozen readers, all identified in Hrishi Mittal’s list of 68 Google Reader alternatives. With these experiences in mind, let me share some of my observations and thoughts.
MBAs & RSS Readers
Google Reader launched in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and monitor their favorite websites. Google Reader is an RSS-feed reader. RSS feeds enable web sites and blogs to tell subscribers something new – usually that an article, is available.
In a previous MyeEMBA article, “RSS Feeds – Is There a Benefit for MBA Students,” I described RSS feeds and the benefits MBA students could derive from their use. Today, even with advances in technology, MBA students can still receive significant benefits by using some type of RSS Reader to monitor websites and blogs that are of interest to them. MBA students can subscribe to feeds and have discipline/topical information delivered to their desktops, laptops, tablets or smart phones almost instantaneously when there are updates to the feed file. More specifically, using RSS feeds and a feed reader, you can:
- Automate web surfing for your MBA course assignments.
- Create custom MBA news sources on your laptop, desktop, tablet or other mobile device.
- Deliver targeted and timely MBA program, course and assignment information you select.
The MyeEMBA article referenced above provides specific examples of how to use RSS feeds and feed readers during an MBA program.
Why I Selected Feedly
My primary requirement for a replacement reader was for it to provide the same functionality as Google Reader. In addition, I wanted access to my content from any device – smartphone, laptop, tablet, etc., –no matter which device I use. Also, I wanted my content synchronized across all devices. I found that Feedly met all of these requirements and it also provided a simple and easy-to-use import utility for all Google Reader feeds and content. The transition was seamless.
After using Feedly for only a short while, I found other benefits that made my selection seem even better. For example:
- Themes – Multiple themes are available for user selection. This means that you can change the color of the borders or sidebars that appear when viewing an article or list of articles. Therefore, you have some control over the viewing window.
- Multiple Views – You can select from any of four views for viewing articles from a given feed – Title Only, Magazine, Card and Full Article. Moreover, you can select any of the views as a default view for any individual site.
- Sharing – While in any view, clicking on the title link opens a window that provides a list of sharing links – Google +, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Buffer and email. This ability makes sharing an article very easy.
- Preview – While previewing the full article, an additional preview function is available. By clicking on the preview link at the top of the previewed article, a window opens displaying the article as it appears on the source website – without opening the actual website. This feature eliminates the need for the browser to open the website in another window or tab.
I am sure that, as I become more familiar with Feedly, I will find additional functionality that is useful to me.
Perhaps you have found your own Google Reader replacement. If so, let me know by adding a comment identifying the replacement and maybe one or two things that caused you to make your selection.
About the Author: Dr. Rodney Alsup is the creator of the MyeEMBA blog. His goal is to help MBA students live and work smarter while they earn their MBA.
The image is courtesy of tekArticles.