Choosing a Replacement for Google Reader

Most of you Book Scan readers aren’t just scanning books. You’re consuming written material on all kinds of devices, and you need a way to organize the steady stream of content. Unfortunately for the Google fans out there, there’s one fewer tool in that multicolored universe of G-services: Google Reader is sunsetting at the end of this month.

It’s no fun to learn that a product you use is being discontinued, but the announcement earlier this spring that Google would be shuttering its news aggregation and RSS service prompted tech bloggers and readers at Lifehacker to chime in with worthy, free alternatives. Now that the deadline of July 1 is approaching, I took a look back at Lifehacker’s top picks.

The bottom line is that you don’t have to sever your connection to your handy news feeds (especially the REALTOR® Magazine feeds: Daily Real Estate News, The Weekly Book Scan, YPN Lounge, Speaking of Real Estate, and Styled, Staged & Sold). Also, if you use RSS feeds to keep in touch with your blog readers, you may want to alert your sphere of influence to this change, as well as their replacement options. It would be a pity to lose readership just because they didn’t think to move over to a new system.

Each of these alternatives have strengths and weaknesses, and are somewhat tailored to different types of users. Find your new favorite:

  • The Old Reader might be the best alternative for Google devotees who don’t like change. Users can sign in via Google, but the similarities don’t end there. The app even “looks a lot like Google Reader… You get many of the same keyboard shortcuts, and even get the same ability to follow other Old Reader users and share interesting stories with them—the way you used to be able to with Google Reader,” writes LifeHacker’s Alan Henry.
  • NewsBlur is described as the alternative reader that is “more fun” and “easy on the eyes” than its counterparts. Be aware that free accounts are capped at 64 blogs, 10 stories at a time, and by specific public sharing options. The pro version is relatively inexpensive though, at just $24 a year.
  • Feedly is a reader favorite at LifeHacker for its layout options, rich social experience, and clever news suggestion algorithm. But if you’re looking for a web app, you may want to look elsewhere; Feedly is really more of a browser add-on, unless you’re reading on a mobile device.
  • Netvibes is for the Google Reader user who catches up on their computer. While they have mobile sites, the full, editable dashboard does not come in a truly mobile version. But if you’re looking for a new homepage to greet you each morning, this might be the one. The dashboard includes neat widgets for weather, finance, and news.
  • Pulse will satisfy your inner designer. Praised by the late Steve Jobs and winner of the coveted Apple Design prize, this reader and news aggregator will help you track your current feeds within an appealing user experience. Pulse’s algorithm is also praised by Lifehacker for being “great at lifting the interesting stories to the top” and finding other news you might be interested in.

These products include the option to import your existing Google Reader feeds. But Lifehacker also put together a handy guide to exporting your Google Reader data, if you should run into any problems doing so.

Do you use one of these products, or an RSS/news aggregator that is not on this list? Share your experience with others in the comment section below.

Meg White

Meg White is the managing editor for REALTOR® Magazine and administrator of the magazine's Weekly Book Scan blog. Contact her at mwhite[at]

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