Jeremy Johnson — Dallas Area UX & CX Leader
customer experience leader


A world without Reader

google-reader-stats My Reader stats say it all: "Since October 7, 2005 you have read a total of 247,468 items". Or about 30k items a year, or 590 items a week, or 84 items a day. I may have a problem. But I'm not sure if that would be more or less if I read the paper every day. How many "items" are in the Dallas News on a given day? Anyway you look at it, only second maybe to mail and social networks, RSS my go to. Over the past couple of years I've read all these articles mostly between moments. Five minutes here, five minutes there, and I can keep up with the news of the day. And news for me spans technology, design, gaming, travel, fashion, photography, and more.

While I'm sad to see Reader go, there are now many solutions that replicate the experience. As a pro user in this space, I'm picky. I don't want a social aggregated "best of" - I want to drink from the firehose. I think that's why twitter doesn't cut it for me - that and I try only to follow people, not news streams on twitter.

So here's what I ended up doing for now:

I LOVE Byline on iOS. It's an universal app - and has been my go-to for years. Simple, fast, and reliable - probably 90% of my reading is done on my phone or iPad. So this was almost a must. Luckily the developer worked with Feedly's new API, and works seamlessly with a recent update. So that lead me to Feedly, which for me - besides search (which they say they're working on) - matches Reader feature for feature. It's also dead simple to import your reader into feedly, it even keeps your recently starred items.

Feedly also has a good web interface for desktop browsing.

Then I used IFTTT to take my Feedly saved items, and push them to pocket. I could also push them to Evernote, which I may do in the future, but I thought I'd give pocket a go for now.

Pocket has some basic search across titles that helps me find past articles. For me being able to do a full text search against my saved items is two things: A HUGE time saver when I'm preparing for talks, as well as acts as my brain for when I vaguely remember an article, but forget the details.

I've also been pushing my starred twitter items into pocket (via this hack) to get an aggregated catalog of things I find interesting or want to investigate later.

There are other options - Feedbin and Feed Wrangler to name a few, and Feed Wrangler even claims full text search. Also, these sites have a business model which includes paying for their services. I do see the irony in having anger towards a free service shutting down, only to jump into set of free services.

So far so good, with hardly a hiccup moving to Feedly, I don't even really notice Google Reader is gone.

If you want to do some more research:

Third-Party RSS Readers-- Which ones are ready for the Google Reader shutdown?

RSS Reader Roundup: Feedbin, Feed Wrangler and NewsBlur

RSS Reader Roundup: Feedly leads the pack with web, mobile and third-party apps

Google Reader goes away tomorrow. Here’s what you need to do now

You Can Use Digg Reader Now

RSS Reader Roundup: AOL jumps into RSS with web-based reader, no mobile apps yet