05 April 2013

What I Did About Google Reader

Gone Google Gone
Like many of you, I was disappointed that Google will be discontinuing Google Reader. Reader has been my go to service for blog reading. Over the years I have created lots of folders/tags and starred my favorite blog posts and authors. My work will disappear on July 1.

You Are Not Alone
There are many people bummed about the demise of Reader. Dan Lewis of New York started a petition on change.org; Google: Keep Google Reader Running. As of today it has been signed by 147,509 people. Signing a petition may or may not influence Google, but my choice is to let Reader go, to not sign any petitions and to get out while I can. 

What to Do Before the Big Kid Packs Up its Sandbox
I don't claim to understand the inner workings of such a massive company or the reasoning behind this decision, but I do know they have made it pretty clear to me that they don't care if I depend on their product. They are packing up their pail and shovel and leaving the sand box. Actually they are taking the sandbox too and telling me to pick up my sand and bring it somewhere else. 

All. Those. Grains. Of. Sand. All those blogs. My folders. My stars. What to do? 

Gather Your Stars

  • Create a new folder in Reader called Favorites. (I know, still using Google Reader, but I have a plan!)
  • Go to starred items. Add any blog with numerous starred posts to your new Favorites folder. 
  • Save any starred posts you can't live without.

Clean Up Your Folders 
Here is a view of my subscriptions in Google Reader: 

Note that all of the blogs are assigned to a folder. There are no 'loose' blogs at the bottom of my subscription list. 

If you have loose blogs
  • click on Reader Settings (upper right, click drop down arrow next to ). 
  • click on Subscriptions tab. Each subscription will be followed by a change folders box. 
  • click on the folder(s) to which you want to assign each blog. Do this until all of the blogs are assigned. 

Take Your Sand er Blogs Over to the feedly Sandbox
Ok, your blogs are organized 
and you've got your starred blogs in a favorites folder. Head over to feedly. feedly has made it super easy to migrate your Google Reader blog reading to their platform. Click on Connect to Google Reader and enter your Google log-in and you are done. Your folders will appear on the left and you will be good to read. 

Small Print

Right now it is super easy, but after July 1st, you will no longer be able to do it this way. Whether you decide to use feedly or another sandbox, it
is important to act now rather than wait until the sand is flowing through your fingers and your favorite blogs are blowing in the wind.

What have you decided to do about Google Reader?

Scrappy Gen
Let's Remember!


  1. Your post prompted me to follow up on the email I received from Feedly and I have just spent a good amount of time organizing my RSS feeds into more manageable folders. I have tried it out on my iPhone and still have to get used to it, but I really like the plug-in for Safari! The cool thing is that for now, Feedly and Google Reader sync so for the time being, I can read my feeds either place, but on July 1, I will be ready for Feedly.

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      Glad my post motivated you. I too am 'getting used to' feedly. And thank you for mentioning that until July 1, any changes you make in Google Reader will be reflected on feedly and the changes you make in feedly will be reflected on Google Reader.


  2. Thanks for this explanation for moving from Google Reader -- I'm sure a LOT of people will find it useful!

    Thanks especially for the Reader Settings --> Subscriptions --> change folders link. I'm going to use that to re-organize my feedly.

    When Google Reader announced it was packing up its sand, I didn't have any reader at all (blush). I had been RT-ing blogs and reading my Retweets. Then when I tried to start feedly, they said that the procedure was to transfer from Google Reader. So I had to get a new Google Reader account (easy since I have Gmail), "seed" it with a few blogs, transfer to Feedly, and then I had a Feedly account to which I could add blogs.

    I'm still wondering what happens to the blogs that I've already read. I click the X at the end of the line, and they seem to migrate all over the place among the left-hand tabs. I click on Uncategorized, or History, or whatever, and there the are. I guess they'll be there forever.

    I'll click that X now with your blog, which I've much enjoyed! Very good of you to help peeps convert!

    1. Hi Mariann,

      It isn't necessary to use a reader to follow blogs as you know. Your method of retweeting blogs you wanted to follow and then reading from your list of tweets worked for you. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! Hopefully you will like feedly and it will work for you.

      Another option would be to follow the blogs by email. Most blogs offer this option and I believe more will be as we get closer to the demise of Reader.

      It is possible to sign up for feedly without first having a Google Reader account. Just click on the 'Start' circle and 'find and add your favorite sites.' Doing it your way worked though, so again, if it ain't broke don't fix it!

      As for wondering where those blogs are and those blogs that seem to migrate all over the place:

      1. Click on the blog title, ie The Scrappy Genealogist :)
      2. Click on 'Edit' (to the right of the blog title)
      3. Update Source: here you can add the blog to "Must Read", any of the categories you have previously set up or create and add to a new category.

      Another option is to click on 'Organize' (top left, under hello). Here you can edit, add remove and change categories for blogs.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if it does, or doesn't!


  3. If you mainly use just one computer for reading blogs, you can always use a stand alone feed reader on that computer. I run Linux and use liferea, but when I ran Windows I used RSSOwl. They will import your feeds from a .opml file, if Google Reader can export in that format.

    The Firefox browser lets you bookmark a subscription as a Live Bookmark, or you can get the addon called Newsfox. I haven't used Internet Explorer or Chromium lately.

    It is a little more complicated, but you are never at the mercy of a big website storing your subscriptions.

    And while you're at it, switch out of Google Mail and into a mail reader like Thunderbird. You can set it up to read your Google Mail account, but it also keeps a copy of your mail and all your contacts locally. And you can use it to track more than one email account.

    -- Ed Hamilton

  4. Hi Ed,

    Thank you for your suggestions. Two specifically sound interesting to me; RSSOwl and Thunderbird and I plan to look into them.

    I usually use Chrome on my computer, but also read blogs on my Kindle Fire and iPhone 4. I like simple, so probably Newsfox isn't for me, but I plan to look at that as well.

    One of my Twitter friends recommended RebelMouse and Bloglovin. Two more to pursue, although feedly looks like it will work for me. It never hurts to keep your options open.

    Thanks for the info.



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