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.

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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