Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The end of Google Reader has me confused

And details of my exit strategy

In case you hadn't heard, Google is closing down Reader July 1st. I just spent the a half-hour exporting my blogs out of Google Reader and into The Old Reader, Reader's "retro-clone," if you will. I tried Feedly first but found it trying to intuit my needs and failing embarrassingly. Anyhow, I'm puzzled by Google's move and wondering, what are you doing about it, if anything?

The source of my confusion is Google's "Follow" blogger feature. I follow a ton of blogs publicly and you can likewise find a sizable majority of my subscribers—perhaps you among them?—in the Follow widget to the right. Whenever I "Follow" the blog automatically gets added to Reader. Having the blogs there made the choice of what reader to use easy; it worked just fine so why go to the trouble of leaving? But now we're being ushered out. Well, when I exported my list of blogs out of Reader and into Old Reader I have all the blogs I'm following there too now, but for any new blogs I start to follow I take it I will have to take the extra step of logging into Old Reader and subscribing there too.

There's the confusion. Did you catch that? I said I'll have to subscribe twice. Won't that create a mess? Won't it mean I'll essentially be counted twice in your subscriber numbers?

Also, if people aren't using reader for reading won't they be less inclined to go ahead and Follow through Google? Will that mean that we'll see the ration of hidden subscribers to public followers slide in the direction of hidden followers? Won't that be bad for both us bloggers and Google?

I take it the "Reading List" feature that appears on the Blogger dashboard will still be there, but obviously it only has blogs I'm "Following" and not those non-Blogger blogs that don't have the "Follow feature." Obviously the value of the "Reading List" is zero (0) if it can't show me 100% of the blogs I subscribe to. I mean, right?!?

Am I the only one stressing out about this or can anyone offer a link to good info about the issue or a good discussion of it? I seem to be missing something.


  1. Same frustration here. Google had a super handy tool, that I used daily. After the news I researched quite a bit. Even looking into setting up my own RSS reader server. I fell back to Feedly. After some getting used to, and some updated they have done, I find it a useable alternative. Not sure why Google couldn't let it live, but I'm sure they have their business reasons. Using Firefox, Feedly does offer one click subscribe when you open up the RSS/XML feed. Maybe give it another chance. Unfortunately, I'm sure what will happen to the Google "followers" info on so many blogs, that might just disappear too.

    1. Sorry, skipped over your comment. Thanks for your thoughyts. I tried Feedly but prefer the Old Reader, which is pretty easy to set up, you just basically log in with your google login and allow it permission and you're done.

      Haven't learned anything new in the last few weeks btw and am still concerned about the followers issue. My guess is they won't go away but I figure people who use another service like feedly might not bother to follow and those who do follow may wind up following a second time in something else.