Why I like my RSS feed

I promise this will be my last post about Google Reader and RSS. But the fact that google decided to kill their reader made me wonder why they did it. It made me wonder if the way people access their information online was changing and if it was, how were people accessing, storing and managing all the sites they check out on a regular basis?  Thus I was happy to come across this article over the weekend as it clarified why Google thought they should kill Reader. But it also expressed why I find RSS feeds so useful:

RSS stands for “rich site summary” or “really simple syndication,” and it’s a web format that allows publishers to create a “feed” of media information such as articles, pictures, sound files, or whatever else you might like. RSS readers like Reader can subscribe to these feeds, and place them all in one, easy-to-access place where you can read or listen to all of them without zooming around on the web and visiting every website you enjoy. The “killer app” part of RSS feeds is that they automatically syndicate content to your reader — so every time you open your reader, it syncs up and receives the latest news.

But most people on the web aren’t using RSS readers anymore. Reader was by far the most popular feed reader out there, and its user base had been in a steep decline for two years before Google decided to shut it down. So why did most people stop caring about RSS?

I think it’s probably a generational thing, but not necessarily based on age. 

This is what I like about it- I can group all the sites I look at, say for this blog, in one place. I don’t have to go opening new tabs to each feed. It gives me a nice list of new articles for more efficient browsing.

But apparently people are getting their information in things like Tumblr which Newetz describes as “silos of infomation”. That is, you can subscribe to different Tumblr sites, but ultimately all you get is content on Tumblr instead of from anywhere on the net:

We are also moving toward a reading style that requires you to visit a specific site in order to read, instead of pulling all the articles you want into one piece of software. You go out into Tumblr and Facebook. You don’t aggregate all your favorite Tumblrs and magazine articles into, one, unified reader. Everything is separate and out there, in the cloud.

Why? Why give up on the RSS feed? It seems like the best, most comprehensive bucket to manage all of the sites you visit. I for one, am sticking with RSS.

 

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rAPPido Review: Preparing for the demise of Google Reader with Feedly

Feedly

Price: free

As I mentioned last week, Google has decided to scrap their RSS feed Google Reader. The decision behind this intrigues me. It makes me wonder if I missed the memo somewhere, if the way I collect websites and blogs to read is now updated. If they are scrapping it, it can only mean one thing, right? The tool is out-dated. Which means I am out-dated.

Oh dear. This will have to be further investigated in the near future, but right now, I want to cling to my lovely collection of feeds, please. In order to do that, I need to find another feed reader. As the article I found on Google Reader alternatives recommended, I thought I would try Feedly, as it has an app for the iPad.

I downloaded it first on my iPad. The first thing it asked me to do was access my google reader, which means that I didn’t have to figure out how to import all my collection to the new platform. Now whether or not my feeds will remain in Feedly once Google Reader is gone remains to be seen. Oh! But I just google this problem and the folks at Feedly anticipated me. They wrote a nice blog post for people like me who are migrating to Feedly from Google Reader! So yes, now all my sites are safely ensconced in Feedly.

The default view took posts from my interesting stuff file and laid them out in magazine format, much like Flipboard:

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For my purposes however, that is not so useful. I quickly tapped the bars in the left hand corner and got my table of contents. I was instantaneously enamoured with the pretty colour-coding of my different categories as well as the clean, easy-to use interface::

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The Saved for Later works much like starring in google reader. In fact, my saved for later tab is already populated by the stuff I starred in Google reader.

I did spend some time looking for where I could add a website to Feedly either through the app itself or an add-on in my web browser. I didn’t find a way to add anything through my iPad, which led me to download Feedly on my desktop.

I downloaded it as an add-on to Firefox, the web browser I use the most frequently. After restarting it, and signing in with my google account, I noticed the icon appear beside the URL field in my browser:

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.48.21 AM

 

If you click on the icon, it brings you to the Feedly site where you can add a website to your collection:

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.27.26 AM

 

On the iPad and through your desktop Feedly , you still haver the options to email, link, share, and save the articles you read:

Screen Shot 2013-03-25 at 9.51.23 AM

 

All in all, Feedly is a an easy-to-use, more elegant tool than Google Reader. No need for lengthy and complicated exporting and importing. It gives me everything Google Reader gave me plus a more elegant interface.

The Impending Demise of Google Reader

So, I got back from vacation and was confronted with the news from Google that they are going to kill their google reader.

anxious-nervous-woman-wringing-handkerchief-in-her-hands1.Pause for the horror to sink in.

2.Commence the hair pulling, hand-wringing and cursing those fickle google gods.

3.Get over myself and look for alternatives.

This is a big deal for me. For many years I have used google reader an RSS  feed to keep all the websites and blogs I follow in one place. I have them neatly divided into folders- one for iPad stuff, one for YA Book stuff, etc. When I need a subject for this blog I go to my ipad collection. If I am wanting to do some collection development, I will go to my YA folder.

Ok. I am making myself want to go back to #2 right now.

Luckily I found this article via The Verge about Google Reader alternatives. I totally relate to the author:

When I heard Google was planning to kill Google Reader as part of a “spring cleaning exercise,” I was appalled. Google had decided to disband the team of paperboys that delivered me the news every morning. While RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is years past its heyday, it had become a wonderful and efficient way to read news untarnished by the social networking age. It was my firehose of headlines, straight from the source.

And Google Reader is a lot more than an RSS client. It syncs news feeds between different apps, and makes sure you can always pick up right where you left off. It’s also simple and free, which means it drove most competitors out of the market long ago. Once Reader dies July 1st, we’ll be left with apps that don’t rely on its backend to sync your feeds — which isn’t very many apps. Various denizens of the internet and companies like Digg have volunteered to create new backends of their own, but for now, picking an RSS client you can trust means you’ll need one that doesn’t rely on Google Reader.

“Hearing that Google Reader is shutting down is like hearing that your favorite old bookstore is closing,” writesThe New Yorker’s Joshua Rothman. So what are all the “absurdly ambitious readers” to do?

He gives many of options and ranks them. He also mentions whether the RSS feed have apps and for what mobile device. Because I use a few different computers (work, home, ipad, phone) it’s important for me that the feed syncs with every device and that I can read it on every device. After reading this article, I am going to try Feedly.

Do you have an RSS feed you love? If so, tell me about it!