4 Alternatives to Google Reader

Looking for a replacement for Google Reader? There are many free RSS readers out there, but not all are created equally. Here’s an overview of five popular feed readers to help you choose the best Google Reader replacement.

If you’ve never used Google Reader, you’re not too upset that on July 1, the service shut down. If you’re one of the many who have, this is sad news but there are services that can take its place.

The Internet is full of information. It contains so much information that you could spend your whole day taking it all in but you don’t have time. You only want to read the content that is important to you and that’s why so many people loved Google Reader.

Users could input their favorite sites and read the newest information from inside the reader. No need to go to each site and find the newest information. It was right there in one central location. The techie description of Google Reader is, RSS feed aggregator, but there’s no need to explain that in-depth.

The obvious question is, why is Google shutting it down? According to the blog entry, its popularity has diminished and Google wants to focus on a smaller number of offerings. Which of those two reasons is the primary one, nobody knows, but many are arguing the latter.

If you’re mourning the loss or Reader or you would like to find another RSS aggregator, here are a few to evaluate.

The Old Reader (www.theoldreader.com)

According to its site, The Old Reader is still in beta mode, which means the interface is still rough around the edges and more functionality will be added soon. This platform tries to integrate the Google Reader with a social media element.

You can search for Facebook and Google friends who might use the service, share posts, and more as the platform develops. The platform is free but has no mobile app. The developers claim that the site looks good on mobile devices and it does. It also allows for easy importing of your Google Reader settings.

Before you fall in love with it, read this blog post. Although many other services are likely hobbies, you have to wonder how much more the platform will evolve if it’s only developed in somebody’s spare time.

Netvibes (www.netvibes.com)

Netvibes allows you to import your Google Reader settings but also includes a blog, video, news, and social media search for keywords that you indicate. Its basic service is free and the site looks great on mobile devices.

The only drawback lies in its complexity. There are so many features that figuring out how to use it takes time. If you’re looking for a reader as easy to use as Google Reader, this may not be right for you. However, if you like the idea of seeing headlines outside of your normal websites, take some time to explore the site.

Curata Reader (www.curata.com)

Its site claims that it’s the cleanest, easiest reader and it may be right. Like the others, it’s free, allows for migration of Google Reader settings, and lacks all of the extra features that some readers will find unnecessary and confusing. It doesn’t have a mobile app but looks great on all mobile devices.

The only negative is that it lacks the one-step Google Reader migration that is present in many other platforms. Users without a little technical knowledge may find it difficult to import their Reader settings.

Feedly (www.feedly.com)

Of all of the offerings, Feedly might be the best. It’s incredibly easy to use, it allows for one click migration of your Google Reader settings, and best of all it’s free. It has apps for both iOS and Android platforms. The reader looks a lot like the Google Reader interface and it has plenty of add-ons for various operating systems.

Bottom Line

Google Reader came to an end July 1 but many other services have stepped up to fill the void. Like Google Reader, each of the listed platforms is free.

As you migrate to a new reader, or use it for the first time, use this as a good time to re-evaluate the content you’re taking in each day. Have you looked for new sites that may present your information in a different way that is more efficient? Did you have so many sites on Google Reader that finding information became difficult?

As a business owner, you only have so much time in your day to grow your business. For that reason, streamline your reader as much as possible.

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