I’ve seen this infographic floating around and wish it provided a bit more information. As it stands, it’s not exactly wrong, but it doesn’t give the full picture. Before, during and after the reign of Google Reader, RSS feeds existed. In fact, Google Reader was simply a Web-based reader that you would use to read those feeds. Now, the setup made it easier to find new feeds, and it did go beyond your basic feed reader, especially when it came to providing stats for blog owners like myself. However, it was using the very same technology.
Now that Google Reader is gone, you still have the same technology, but you have to find another way to access it. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can do this:
- You can use another Web reader like Feedly (I do this)
- You can use a stand-alone reader for your computer
- You can read feeds in your browser
- You can use a program like Thunderbird, which also includes feed abilities
Feedly allows you to log in with your Google account, which is what makes it so nice. Of course, if you have the RSS URL, you can plug it in to any feed reader, but this doesn’t save your current progress, favorites, etc. I previously used Thunderbird to read feeds for many years but found that it lagged quite a bit. Modern browsers, including Opera, Firefox and Chrome allow you to save feeds as “live bookmarks,” so you can see updates to your favorite websites.
One of the downsides to the loss of Google Reader is stats for bloggers. If people subscribe directly to your RSS feed, you don’t get as much information. WordPress does have a plugin that allows you to view information about subscibers, or you can “burn” your feed to FeedBurner, which offers more stats and more ways for your followers to keep up with you. I personally have used FeedBurner for some years, and there’s a lot of options for managing your feeds.
In the end, the demise of Google Reader didn’t affect me as much as I suspected.