Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

Recommended Photo Store
 
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
 
 
 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Google Reader: The End

    Posted by L. C. Rees on March 14th, 2013 (All posts by )

    Google will discontinue Reader, their online newsfeed reader for RSS and Atom, on July 1, 2013. Reader users must find a replacement.

    Google is killing Reader as part of a spring cleaning ritual where products with little following are sacrificed:

    We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined.

    Finding a Reader replacement is complicated by why Reader’s usage declined: those who used newsfeed readers to follow blogs and other web syndicated content now use “social media” like Facebook, Twitter, or even iTunes. A small minority even use Google Plus, Google’s most recent try at “social media”.

    I’ve preferred to triangulate between open web formats like RSS and Atom (and HTML!) and proprietary software. Reader allowed that. You could use open web formats and use Google’s “free” service to consume them from anywhere. But as product development whims of 2005 gives way to the fashions of 2013, that option is gone. Reader’s loyal following must retrieve their data and go elsewhere.

    Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

    Google Takeout lets you download “personal” data, either the data you gave Google or the data that Google took. The zipped Reader data you can download comes in two flavors: OPML and JSON. While JSON is of little use to anyone but developers, the OPML can be used to move Reader subscriptions to another newsfeed reader. Google unnecessarily complicates the transfer by exporting subscriptions in a subscriptions.xml file with an xml file extension. While OPML is a flavor of XML, it’s more useful to have a file extension  specific to the XML flavor. So I renamed subscriptions.xml to subscriptions.opml. I recommend others do likewise.

    Then I went looking for a replacement. Before I started using Google Reader around 2008, I used NewsFox, an extension to the Firefox web browser. However, as I shifted from Linux and Windows to MacOS X and Linux at that time, moving data from platform to platform and reinstalled browser to reinstalled browser became tedious. An online newsfeed reader was the most obvious solution and Reader was the most obvious online newsfeed reader.

    Since I use MacOS X as my primary desktop application, whatever news reader I chose had to work on MacOS X. I didn’t want to use a Internet sparkly cloud based reader. As Google’s bloody knife demonstrates, what the Internet sparkly cloud gives, the Internet sparkly cloud can take away. With the right Internet sparkly cloud data backup strategy (“scoot and shoot”), one piece of data can be encrypted, compressed, and saved to multiple free Internet sparkly cloud based storage providers like DropBox or Google Drive and shifted as those providers go under the knife in future rites of spring. Following this strategy, using a desktop or mobile newsfeed reader is much more convenient in 2013 than it was in 2008. Since I philosophically prefer FOSS to proprietary software, I went looking for a desktop FOSS newsfeed reader that ran on MacOS X.

    Though Wikipedia has an adequate list of newsfeed readers laid out in helpful tables for comparison, only one of the two final candidates I found, RSSOwl, was listed on it. The other, Vienna RSS, I found as a recommended application while downloading RSSOwl from SourceForge.

    Both RSSOwl and Vienna RSS imported my Reader newsfeed subscriptions from subscriptions.opml without a hitch. Both programs have worked smoothly so far.

    I’ve used RSSOwl more than Vienna RSS. Since RSSOwl is written in Java and much of my daytodaytoolchain is Java software, RSSOwl will be easier to programmatically integrate with my other applications. It has Reader features like “starring” (or, in RSSOwl, “sticking”) selected posts for future reference. It has features Reader lacked like downloading full blog posts even when the post’s provider has truncated it so you have to click through to the website with your browser. But I continue to evaluate Vienna RSS.

    Goodbye Google Reader. It took 30 minutes to replace you and I’m going back to my plow.

     

    3 Responses to “Google Reader: The End”

    1. Robert Schwartz Says:

      I too am bummed about Reader. It suited my habits very well. I really would like a web based solution to replace it. But, I didn’t see anything that attracted me. One of the web based ones I looked at said that I had to agree to let them go through my e-mail address book. Sorry dudes.

      I looked at RSSowl, but it looked like an application that I would down load and install.

      I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my mail program for my POP3 mail account. It has a built in RSS reader module that works like a news reader module from the old days. So I just down loaded my subscriptions from Reader and opened them up in Thunderbird.

      It works, but it will be hard to synch with my laptop. So, I am still looking for a web based solution. If anybody out there finds one. Please share your experience with us.

    2. IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in all 57 States and some Canadian Provinces Says:

      LOL — Warren, over at CoyoteBlog, is similarly bummed…

      http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2013/03/google-reader-to-end.html

      He notes:
      “Update #2: Lots of alternatives out there. “

    3. Robert Schwartz Says:

      Here is what I have collected so far:

      Simple RSS Reader (SRR) :: Add-ons for Firefox

      NewsFox :: Add-ons for Firefox

      Brief :: Add-ons for Firefox

      Smashing Reader – Google Reader alternative

      Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives-Lifehacker

      Netvibes – Social Media Monitoring, Analytics and Alerts Dashboard

      NewsBlur

      The Old Reader

      Announcing Digg Reader

      Transitioning from Google Reader to feedly | Building Feedly

      Save Google Reader

      Google Reader is dead, so we rebuilt it for you in Zite (in six hours) | Zite’s blog

      Don’t buy a Google car: They might stop it while you’re driving • The Register

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.