Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Google Reader is Dead. Long Live...?

Following up on my posts last Thursday here and at SlawTips, Google Reader has now officially expired.

For those who have yet to migrate to another service, note that Google will continue to store your subscription data until July 15th only. After July 15, you will not be able to transfer your RSS information and will have to start from scratch elsewhere.

In the wake of Reader's demise, some, including the Washington Post's Ezra Klein have vowed to do away with RSS readers altogether:
So I’m taking the death of Google Reader as an opportunity to make some changes. I won’t be leaving another RSS reader open in my browser, and I’ve already been working to check Twitter less frequently.
Instead, I’m going back to bookmarks — and other people’s curation. I’m bookmarking a few of my favorite blogs, and then bookmarking a few news outlets and magazines, and a few socially curated sites (like Digg and Reddit), and a few more idiosyncratically curated sites (like LongReads.com and Byliner). My hope is to combine enough different forms of curation that I break out of my habits and regularly see content I wouldn’t have known to look for.
While we`d certainly welcome new readers who appreciate the curation of others, I frankly don't see much efficiency in jumping from bookmark to bookmark thrice daily to catch up on the world. That's just a bit too 2005 - and time-munching - for my taste. Beyond that, it's certainly no solution to the filter-bubble problem Mr. Klein addresses.

I have settled on Feedly as my new RSS reader of choice, after continuing my experimentation over recent days with various Google Reader alternatives.  Feedly's main advantages are:
  • clean layout, easy readability;
  • settings can be adjusted so that items are marked "read" after scrolling by them;
  • standardized #hashtags (e.g. #law #legal, in our case) can be added to your post template, and are then added automatically to every item you share;
  • resident in the Cloud, with login via Google ID, so that your read and unread items will synch across all your computers and browsers, including mobile;
  • good iPhone and iPad apps; 
  • easy and seamless import of Google Reader subscription information. 
It would be nice to see an added option that would permit the user to display only unread items.  Currently, all your "read items"`are marked by a grey font colour, but remain visible in your feed.  This is a nuisance and confusing, particularly if you are moving between computers frequently.

But on balance, it`s a fairly good place to have landed, and with further updates and improvements coming on a near-daily basis, it looks like Feedly`s the one.

Happy reading to all...
- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
Visit our Toronto Law Office website: www.wiselaw.net

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