Like many people, I feared that the end of the world was coming when Google announced that they would be retiring the use of their Google Reader. After all, it had been the source of news for me for years now. Some of the notable RSS feed that I read regularly appear right here on this blog over to the right and down a bit in the Blogroll.
I’ve highlighted these excellent resources but certainly have more that are pulled into my RSS reads. They’re blogs, news services, Diigos, Delicious, and more. When I’m reading something and like the quality of it or find that it’s contributed to my immediate learning, I immediately go hunting for the RSS or Atom feed and track it. I even have included the feed from this blog in my reader just as a double check that everything is working as it should. dougpete has paranoia, don’t you know?
Between Google Reader and NewsSquares in Google Chrome, I’ve always had a tonne of things to read and ponder on a regular basis. These were my personal calls to action in terms of awareness, new learning, and consolidation of old learning. So, I was concerned when the thought was that this service would go away. I’ve downloaded my subscriptions from Google Takeout a few times just so that I don’t lose track of all of the resources that have been so helpful to me.
Somehow, it was comforting knowing that Stephen Downes was going through much of the same process. He had a nice summary of what he thinks about the top replacement players here.
And like so many, I’ve been looking for alternative solutions. As I blogged a couple of days ago, incorporating RSS into Hootsuite has been a great solution for me so far – on the computer. I do do so much of my reading on my portables – it’s a great way to pass the time while waiting in line for appointments or lying in bed or on the couch or so many other places. I’ve been playing around with Feedly and the new Digg as well. However, even Feedly which seems to be everyone’s choice of reader is having problems. You’ve heard of “failed whale”; how about a “failed cloud?”. To their defense, everyone is looking for a solution.
Every analytic, I’ve come to recognize that I really do most of my portable reading on Zite and Rockmelt. Both have allowed for the importing of RSS but more importantly you can set your reading to a concept and not just a pre-defined feed. This allows the services to discover content wherever there is a feed to scrape. I’ve run into some very unique and interesting resources. Zite doesn’t have a desktop version but Rockmelt does so that gives me a shot of serendipity when I need it.
But, recently, I was invited to play around with a pre-Beta version of Noowit. Somehow, the best way I can describe it as combining the best of everything into a web application. So far, it’s been very impressive.
Like so many readers on the market, it imported my Google feed and let me “Discover” related content. So, as a reader (and sharer), it performs very nicely. There is another feature that I haven’t got to yet and that’s the ability to create my own Nootwit Magazine. I’ve started but haven’t stuck to it long enough to generate something worth sharing yet. For right now, it’s all about the discovery, reading, and sharing.
Like many programs of this type, you add categories and ideas. Noowit claims to learn what you’re reading. I’m hoping that once I get a chance to start my own “Mag” that helps discover more related and interesting content. Plus, sharing is nice. It has the feel of a paper.li to me.
Right now, I’m kind of fascinated by its navigation. If there ever was a web app that works like a tablet app, this is it. Navigation by mousepad feels and reacts just like I’d reached out and swiped the screen. I wonder if the developers are programming with Windows 8 in mind. The whole layout and preparation is interesting. You can pick by author or category or sources. There’s also a “cut the noise” setting that’s definitely going to take some playing with. There is so much in this project and I know that I’m not taking the best advantage of it.
The whole experience, combined with what I’ve done in the past has convinced me that I’m in search of more than an RSS Reader. In that regard, perhaps Google’s move has been good for the entire reading industry. Perhaps we’ll become better and more diverse readers because of it.
Check out Noowit’s description:
and the best news….
What about you? Are you looking for just a Google Reader replacement or do you want more?