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Keeping RSS Alive: Searching for a Google Reader Alternative

The announcement of Google Reader’s impending death early in March shook the World Wide Web and elicited violent reactions from its loyal users. From social networking sites to blogs and online journals, people were protesting against Google’s recent decision and expressing dismay over the killing of their beloved RSS platform. Citing the declining number of users as its primary reason for shuttering Reader, Google is turning a deaf ear to the barrage of protests and standing firm in its decision. Come July 1st of this year, Google will permanently shut down Reader. At least the search-engine giant was kind enough to set the shutdown date a few months away, as this will give users plenty of time to search for alternatives.

RSS platforms in a whole new light

With Reader’s demise, the spotlight is now shining on other existing RSS platforms. During its heyday, Google Reader overshadowed competition. No other RSS platform was good enough to replace multi-platform, sync-capable, and web-accessible Reader. It’s no surprise, then, that users became too lazy to look for an alternative. While some may say that Reader’s death marks the start of RSS platforms’ extinction, this is actually a great opportunity for other news and content aggregators to take center stage. Instead of being considered only as second-rate versions of Reader, people will now see other RSS platforms in a whole new light. Reader may have left a void in the daily lives of its loyal users, but that doesn’t mean there are no other RSS platforms that could satiate their hunger for news and information.

The next best thing

In order to keep up with this fast-paced, technologically-advanced era, you need to have the best tools with you so that you’re connected to the outside world 24/7. Several tools, such as Google Talk, RingCentral VoIP service, and BlackBerry Messenger, make it possible for people to enjoy uninterruptedconnection. Like these communication tools, popular RSS platform Feedly, second-in-line to Google Reader, also enables you to stay connected to the real world in this case, by providing you with a steady stream of news and information. This platform is Google Reader’s biggest competitor, so it should be a good enough alternative to users. It offers a nice, magazine-like interface with features like tags and keyboard shortcuts for the user’s convenience. Aside from these, Feedly also has free companion mobile apps, folders to let you organize your feeds easily, color schemes and layout choices, and sharing options. All these features make it easier for users to view their feeds and send or share their favorite articles to social networking sites and other tools like Evernote, Pocket, and Instapaper. Feedly is also available as a mobile app for Android and iOS, allowing users to read their feeds while on the go. Although Feedly is not equipped with the excellent Google Reader API, rumor has it that the news aggregator will soon be using its very own Normandy API to provide users with a better RSS experience.

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