Sunday, June 16, 2013

Feeds worth reading - saying goodbye to Google Reader

New to programming in the wild, and starving for hints on how to do it better, I would often stumble upon programmers documenting their journey on a personal blog. A big orange icon would incite readers to subscribe to their content using RSS. Taking the bait, I started using Google Reader, and found myself frantically hoarding feeds a bit later.

After a while I got fed up with going through an abundance of subscriptions daily though; it was turning into a chore. Instead of forsaking RSS, I set myself to aggressively cut down the number of feeds I subscribe to - RSS is too powerful to just dismiss. A feed I subscribe to should be fairly consistent at making what I read worthwhile. I even adapted the practice of putting a feed in quarantine before it makes it into my permanent reading list.

Being a loyal Reader user for five years, I was startled when Google announced the end of Reader. Although I somewhat understand Google feels the need to focus on a limited set of products, condemning Reader to the graveyard must hurt the trust of an influential customer segment; tech-savvy people. I for one feel less and less confident hosting my writings on Blogger, and I will definitely think twice before I take a dependency on another Google service in the future. I take comfort in the thought that Google is less likely to kill a service where they have been trusted with content that lies very close to a customer's heart, and that when they do close the books, they have a reputation of making your way out as smooth as possible.

Now that July is creeping up on us, I have to get off the fence, and elect a Google Reader successor. When I asked the Twitter crowd where they migrated to, Feedly seemed to be the consensus. I had a look at its homepage, but not offering a browser based version is a showstopper for me. I then read this Lifehacker article, and decided on trying The Old Reader, which doesn't seem to move my Google Reader cheese too much.

Preparing the migration, I took five minutes to push my OPML file, and a more readable markdown representation to Github. Find my curated list of feeds I consider worth reading here.

I'm still looking for resources on life in general and functional programming that can positively influence me. If you have any recommendations please let me know!

5 comments:

  1. Feedly does have a browser based version, i'm using it happily since april.

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    1. Isn't that Chrome only? See https://twitter.com/feedly/statuses/345085020299472896

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    2. Feedly has a Chrome-based app that mimics a webpage. Not the same thing as a browser-based version. I agree with Jef. Until Feedly creates a RSS reader that works as a webpage for all browsers, I will be looking elsewhere for my RSS needs.

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  2. The "real" browser version of feedly is now there: http://cloud.feedly.com/

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