By now everyone who uses Google Reader has seen the news – this tool has been given its crash papers. TechCrunch's headline Good Riddance, Google Reader broke my heart, and judging by the comments, the hearts of others as well. Perhaps I have a secret aversion to change – wait a minute, no, I definitely don't.
Like many others, I moved to Google Reader in 2009 when Newsgator decided to discontinue its online application. Since then, my library team and I have used Reader to select and aggregate information from feeds in a number of areas for our practice groups. I have recommended Reader to others many times.
I prefer online RSS tools, rather than embedding RSS into my Outlook email for a few reasons:
- Volume – I have hundreds of feeds and sharing
- Use – Aggregating feed headlines and first paragraphs for pushing out collections to practice groups
- Mobility functions – I like to look at RSS feeds on multiple devices and it is easier to do that with a browser/app based tool. I use Reader via browser on my desktop at home or the office, and via the Google App on my iPad, and never on my iPhone since I often want to copy and paste and it is a pain in the neck on that device
Despite RSS tool suggestions from SocialTimes, Lifehacker, and Mashable, I am testing out RSS in Outlook. One good reason to use Outlook for monitoring RSS tasks is so that my team can share some feed folders – one subscription rather than each duplicating feeds so that we can cover each others gathering tasks. So far, I disllike RSS in Outlook.
It was easy to import my feeds, but the folders items were sorted into did not transfer over from Reader. Another issue is that once feeds are collected in folders, there is no indication at the folder level that there are unread items – either in the desktop version of Outlook or the iPhone email embedded RSS folders. This is a major flaw.
I have been a fan of Google Reader for quite a few years, and I will miss it.