Out With the Old; In With the Old Reader (If They Don’t Kill This Too)

When Google announced last spring that it was killing Google Reader, my response  was the same as others around the Twitterverse: an impassioned NOOOOOOO!  I’m a big believer in RSS readers for a variety of reasons, and Google Reader had definitely been my reader of choice.  I especially loved that I could follow those feeds on my smart phone through a compatible app, Feeddler, which synced my feeds, along with the folders I created in Google Reader to organize those feeds.

Like everything, eventually it all worked out (maybe imperfectly, but still). I am sure I’m not the only one who waited until the Very. Last. Second. to grab my data from Google and transfer it to my reader alternative, Old Reader (which is compatible with Feeddler–yay!). One by-product of waiting so long to make the shift:  I now have almost 2,000 blog posts to catch up on. (See photo.)

What happens when you wait too long to sync your RSS feed to your mobile phone app.

What happens when you wait too long to sync your RSS feed to your mobile phone app!

Because the few months after Google’s announcement had people suggesting so many great alternatives (totally debunking the idea that RSS readers are outmoded), I am also experimenting with Feedly and Flipboard, both of which I love for the non-work related blogs I follow, since those blogs are more visually oriented than the stuff I read for work.

But while I have all this handled, I still have to figure out what reader will be best for my students, as signing up for Google Reader was a regular class assignment.  Along with Feedly and Flipboard, others have suggested Newsvibe, Digg Reader, Pulse, AOL reader (yes, you read that right), and NewsBlur. It’s tempting to jump to something more visually exciting, but I have a feeling I’ll default to Old Reader since it basically replicates Google Reader’s interface.  Why mess with a good thing?

Except that they are.  Or maybe they aren’t. With Old Reader’s future in jeopardy, it may be a crap shoot to hold on.  But hold on, I will.  At least for now.

About Nancy Kaplan-Biegel

I am the journalism program coordinator at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA, as well as the adviser to The Skyline View.

4 thoughts on “Out With the Old; In With the Old Reader (If They Don’t Kill This Too)

  1. I love producing and consuming really excellent journalism. On the other hand, I have a major concern about how much screen time is expected of a journalist these days……..imho it is not healthy. There is too much input……I worry about brain overload. I worry about the way cyber technologies are leading to shallow, uncritical reading and thinking, to attention deficits.
    I have other health concerns, too. How many schools and organizations have good ergonomics policies? I could go on, but I still have a lot more homework to finish.

    • Perhaps RSS readers could help with that, by allowing you to pop in and see all the news your subscribe to at once, thereby limiting the number of times you feel you need to look at your phone to see if anything new was posted.

  2. Pingback: Bye bye, Storify; hello, Wakelet | Newsfangled: Learning to Teach New Media

  3. It was only recently when I began to gain more information about data journalism — including some information related to RSS feeds. RSS are text files that allow subscribers to view recently updated content. I could definitely see why you were worried and one of the last quotes you stated, “Why mess with a good thing?” made me do more research on how much people actually used RSS feeds.

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