Whatever happened to …

… Google Reader?

The idea for this post came from @mauilbrarian2 who claims in the padlet

I was a huge Google Reader fan!

Now I get by with Feedly. And bookmarked Twitter searches. And paper.li for must-see-daily topics. And to a lesser degree, Google+ notifications.  

I’d almost forgotten about Google Reader.  It was a terrific product at the time and I used it on a daily basis as well.  It was a news curator; you just feed it the feed (in the beginning RSS) and it brought the latest and greatest news to you.  Then, one day, Google announced that it was going to discontinue the service.  I suppose that the closest thing that Google provides now is Google News which does collect news stories.  And, often, there are stories that interest me.  It’s just that I’m not in complete control of what I read.
Like @mauilbrarian2, I followed the advice given at the time of the announcement that the Reader service was going to go away and moved my collection to Feedly.  In a strange case of doing things right, by accident, I had told my instance of Flipboard to include Google Reader when I originally set it up.  Flipboard appears to have done what the move to Feedly did, it ignored the Google part and imported all the news feeds into its format.  So, in reality, I have everything that I always had with Google Reader tucked away into Flipboard.  Win for me.
Feedly is a terrific service and I had my bookmarks good to go and would add new ones as they came along.  Then, on day, Stephen Downes shared his entire list via an OPML file.  This was the holy grail of collections from my perspective.  If you follow Stephen or subscribe to his OLDaily, you know that he’s one of the most read researchers you’ll come across.  Some of the topics that he writes and offers commentary about are over my head but that’s OK.  There’s plenty of other things to read and learn from.
Similarly, I had a collection of bookmarked Twitter searches.  I think it only makes sense.  It’s here that you get news on interesting topics – as they happen.  It’s nothing for me to watch the news and do a search for a term while watching the news.  At times, I get more current results than what is being currently read to me by the news anchor.  I think it’s also important to the connected citizen that you search and monitor yourself on social media.  As a result, I have a standing search for “dougpete” and “dougpete.wordpress.com” in my Hootsuite browser.  I don’t want to miss anything.
I’m a big fan of Ontario Education bloggers and have them curated in a couple of places – a Livebinder and a Scoopit feed.  They have essentially the same content but are displayed in different ways.
I also like to think that I’m connected to the best of the web.  I use Paper.li to pull together the latest from them.  At one time, I used to keep it to myself but I was showing it to someone once and they said “It’s too bad that I can’t read that”.  Well, Paper.li has a publish to Twitter feature and so you’ll see Twitter messages from me periodically showing what Paper.li has found.

The only limitation is that I have no control over the content that’s generated.  Paper.li does the heavy lifting from the people who are on the lists (they’re generated from Twitter lists).  So, if someone goes off the deep end, it might end up as a curated story here <gasp>.  It’s called living on the wild side.  Since the bulk of who I follow are educators and technology people/things, they’re pretty much focused on those topics.  A neat feature is that Paper.li shuffles “how” the message is formed and will often tag people who contribute.

Who doesn’t like to follow a good contributor or hashtag?  For me, it was a “set it and forget it” operation.  It’s all automated and I (and anyone else who cares) gets the benefits from reading the stories that are curated.

Now it’s time for your thoughts.

  • Were you a user of Google Reader?  How did its demise affect you?
  • Do you have a favourite news reading service or technique?  How about sharing it here?
  • How do you monitor your social media profile?
  • Do you share or retweet stories that you read and find interesting so that others can enjoy it as well?

As always on a Sunday, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Please share them via comment below.

Do you have an idea or thought that would be appropriate for my “Whatever happened to … ” series of blog posts like @mauilbrarian2 did?  They can all, by the way, be revisited here.

Please visit this Padlet and add your idea.  I’d love for it to be an inspiration for a post!

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

3 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …”

  1. I loved Google Reader, and was never quite happy with any of the replacements I found. Feedly was OK, but I had lingering concerns that – as with any of the free Web services – it could go away at any time. Finding self-hosted alternatives to my favorite services has been the best way I’ve found to combat that.

    I use Shaarli and TinyTinyRSS as my primary Twitter/RSS-driven reading/sharing mechanisms. I’ve managed to tweak the look of TinyTinyRSS so that it looks and feels similar to GReader (not 100% but close enough for me), and when I come across share-worthy stories that I might want to have archived (like GReader’s Shared Items used to do), I save them to Shaarli, a bookmarking service a la Delicious that also generates an RSS feed so when I save the link, not only do I have them all saved somewhere central, but it automates a share out to Twitter (via IFTTT) when the RSS feed updates. I also have that Shaarli feed appearing in a sidebar of my portfolio website.

    My TinyTinyRSS is password protected, but if you’d like to see Shaarli in action, you can see mine at http://news.drdamian.org.


  2. Like you I migrated my Google Reader list to Feedly. For the most part. I actually used the move to pair down my list. G Reader when away at close to the same time my day job and hence the priorities on my time were changing.

    I’m not as organized as you are (I wish I were) so what isn’t on Feedly is more haphazard. I follow a few Twitter hashtags and have several Twitter lists I use to look at Twitter. I get a lot of good stuff from your Twitter feed for example.

    Sharing good things on Twitter and via my blog is something I feel it is important to do. I view my Monday interesting links for as a service for the people I link to as much as if not more than to my readers. While a couple of people may visit those links from the blog having the link there makes it more likely that others will find the articles via internet search engines over time. I think that helps everyone.


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