Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Goodbye Google Reader

2013 seems to be the year of goodbyes. First there was Loquax, at least in its original form (although the forums are now going from strength to strength), then there was Twit Cleaner, and now we are to wave goodbye to Google reader. As from June 1st, it will no longer exist - and that means if you follow any blogs with Google Friends Connect you will no longer be able to read them through Google Reader. I don't know about you, but my morning treat has always been to sit down with a cup of tea and read through the blogs I follow. As there are almost 400 of them, related to my various hobbies and friends, visiting each one separately to see if anything new had been posted would take all day so it was great to have all the new posts collected in one place for me.

Even if you don't read blogs that way, you may be a blogger who has lots of followers through Google Friends Connect and be worried by the news. Do those followers read your blog through Google Reader? Will Google's next step be to discontinue GFC? Will we bloggers lose all our followers and friends?

Not to worry, there ARE alternatives out there. Until quite recently the best known was Networked Blogs. I've always offered the option of following that way, but to be honest I've never personally found following blogs myself with it to be all that satisfactory, I can't find my way around and I seem to see old posts from some blogs and none at all from others. If you are better at handling it than I am, it might be the best alternative for you as it is popular and well established, but I was looking for something I'd be happy to use every day, and Networked Blogs didn't tick my boxes.

Next I looked at Yahoo's RSS feed. To allow people to follow this way, you need to add Blogger's "Subscription Links" gadget (which offers a couple of other options I've never heard of.... maybe I'll research them one day) and then people can read your posts on their Yahoo home page. As a blogger, it's easy to get people to follow you that way, but as a reader it can be quite cumbersome. I follow half a dozen blogs this way and any more would squeeze out all the photos of cute kittens clutter the page up too much.

Finally I took a look at Bloglovin'. I wasn't optimistic - for some reason I thought it was the exclusive territory of beauty bloggers. But I couldn't have been more wrong and oh my goodness it is SOOOOOO easy to use!

First of all you need to register with them, using the link above, then you are given the option of importing all the blogs you follow with Google reader. Just sit back and wait for a few minutes and there they are. What's more, you get the option of having a daily email with all the new posts from the blogs you follow, so you can have your morning browse without ever straying from the comfort of your inbox. How good is that? And they even have an app for iPhone or IPad so you can read them on your way to work.

As a blogger, you can register your blog with them to get people to follow you that way. Register as above, go to the profile button at the top right and choose "My Blog" then click on the blue "Claim Blog" button and paste in the URL of your blog. You will be given a small piece of HTML code to add to your blog and then the job is done, And once you've claimed your blog, you will get a helpful email with tips and ideas.

I moved all the blogs I follow over to Bloglovin' and registered both the blogs I write with it. The whole thing, from starting registration to completing the work on both blogs, took less than 15 minutes.


If you are a blogger I hope my research above has helped you to decide how you are going to let your followers keep on reading your posts.

If you are one of my followers I strongly suggest following me with one of the above methods - or of course by email, so that all my blog posts land in your inbox where you can choose to save the ones that you think you may want to refer back to.

I'm going to post this on both Grape Vine and Onions and Paper in the hope that it may be of help to my friends and followers in both places.

One reader is going to miss Google reader so much he's written a song about it....

A Goodbye Song for Google Reader by Hit Reach

1 comment:

  1. I think the change in Google Reader has unsettled a lot of people's routines. I'm one of the lucky ones, I only ever read blogs when they arrive in my email inbox so it shouldn't affect me too much. I'm too much of a techno-idiot to know how to use anything else. A lot of people will find this post very helpful though. :O)


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