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Feedly: My Google Reader Alternative

As many of you know now Google Reader has hit the dead pool and will no longer be in service July 1st. I am sad and incredibly upset at this news, even though I had been expecting that the day would come, namely because it’s become an intimate part of my overall workflow.

So much so that when I heard that it was coming I started shaking in anger – the mere thought of having to transition from an application that I’ve used since 2007 and have religiously used every single day is more than I can bear.

I won’t spend anytime discussing my thoughts on Google’s move here because it wouldn’t be worth my time, but I am disappointed. Very disappointed.

Part of my job as an entrepreneur is to stay in the know, as best as I can, with new trends and technology. It’s simply for my amusement as well as a daily source of inspiration – it’s a part of my digital life and it’s like an arm has been cut off.

Much bigger is my responsibility to this growing news and editorial blog here at WP Daily – Google Reader has been an essential part. In fact, I couldn’t do my job without it.




One of the biggest reasons I’m so anxious about the change is because the application works so well with the other uncompromisable application that I use daily – email. I just yesterday wrote about my simple workflow.

It works so well from one simple functional reason: Shortcut keys. I’m so fast when it comes to my email via shortcuts that it’s awesome. I can work through emails without every touching my touchpad or a mouse. It’s almost blinding. I love the challenge and finesse it takes to make shortcuts work – most programmers do this instinctively as well.

Google Reader shared these shortcuts – the same keys for very similar or exactly the same function. This way I didn’t have to switch my brain or calibrate my motor functions to “just work” because it just did.

Now, I have to find another application that not only has the fluidity of Google Reader and my long-standing workflow but also has robust shortcuts. The order was tall, but I think I found a decent solution to tide me over.


Feedly might be my temporary savior. It not only has Google Reader synchronization (and import) but it has shortcut keys that mirror Google Reader.


Signing up was easy and they have multiple options for use:


You can use it with a number of different browsers built right-in.


As you can see, I’m using Google Chrome and adding it was simple – a few clicks.

Add it!

Add it!

And then I could connect it quickly to Google Reader:


Choosing the right account and then moving forward toward syncing:


Syncing took some time and the service is slow as many people are moving over I’m sure:




And then we’re in.

Then you go about as you normally would. The shortcuts, this is where it’s at:


Thank God.

The # of shortcuts aren’t as great and so I’ll have to cut a few things out in my existing workflow, which I’m sad about, but that’s fine for now. I just need to move on emotionally and I’ll get over it in time.

For now Feedly, you have my undying thanks for tiding me over. Please, don’t be stupid and sunset your project, at least while I’m trying it out.

Stupid Google.

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  • http://blog.jennimullinix.com Jenni Mullinix

    Thanks for sharing this! Thankfully we have a few months to make the switch. Although, I’m still sad we have to…

  • Matthew Snider

    My biggest question. What about Reeder? To this day, still the best made and best looking iOS app period. Fever and Readability are supported but nothing else at this point.

    • http://MoeNYC.com Moe

      @Matt. Reeder from the very beginning has supported Fever feeds. Also, it’s important to note that feedly will open an API for their feeds, so when Google breathes its last, other apps can use the API to use their feeds.

      • http://www.twitter.com/matthewfsnider Matthew Snider

        I agree Moe – just hoping it’s sooner rather than later.

        • http://moenyc.com Moe

          I think we’ll see it just before the July 1st cut off date. I’m pretty certain that by then, we’ll see a few options available. I’m trying to not go the RSS feed way. I’m working on streamlining a different workflow with some apps and see how this works. I’ll keep you updated on my experiment.

          • http://www.twitter.com/matthewfsnider Matthew Snider

            Looking forward to it!

    • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

      Are you moving to Reeder then Matthew?

      Do you have direct experience of it?

      • http://www.twitter.com/matthewfsnider Matthew Snider

        Ian, Reeder is an App that utilizes Google Reader right now – check out reederapp.com

    • http://beyondthetodolist.com Erik Fisher (@ErikJFisher)

      I assume Feedly and Reeder will decide to work together.

    • http://fauxzen.com Shelby DeNike

      Dont forget Reeder for the Desktop, its the best RRS Reader as well.

  • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

    Thanks John,

    I will spend a while digesting this during the evening. The sooner we move over the better I suppose.

  • http://beyondthetodolist.com Erik Fisher (@ErikJFisher)

    Good call. I love that they were already anticipating the shut down, and planned accordingly.

  • http://soulliberty.com Robert

    I’m liking what I see so far of Feedly, though it has been tough getting it going due to the traffic volume hitting them and other top-rated Reader alternatives right now. I have loved using Reader inside of Flipboard, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the transition as well.

  • http://moenyc.com Moe

    Have any of you considered Fever? http://feedafever.com/ I really like their approach. Yes, I know how it’s $30 and all, but if you ever wanted to support indi developers, this is the way to go.

    Let this be a lesson to us all that letting one player dominate any industry is never good for users.

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      I’ll take a look!

    • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

      $30 is nothing if the software does the business!

      Thanks Moe.

      • http://www.twitter.com/matthewfsnider Matthew Snider

        So the problem from the beginning as I used to use Mint to track my site visitors, is that you have to host this on YOUR server.

        My buddy owns a license and loves it, not against paying the 30 bucks but I move around servers and hosts too much to play with it.

        Let me know if you guys go for it. Feedly seems to be the way to go. I will wait for Reeder to update to something on the web that is more accessible.

    • http://fauxzen.com Shelby DeNike

      Just grabbed a copy of this today. I am all for a self hosted RSS service as long as my Apps can talk to it eg Reeder for Desktop/iOS. I think the big winner will be someone who creates a simple PHP script and builds Apps around it so people can host it themselves. Then you never have to worry about the reader service being bought out or closing its doors…. especially if it is an open source project.

  • Brendan

    So is Feedly just pulling from (as in dependent upon) Google Reader when it syncs my Google account? When Google Reader is slaughtered, will my subscriptions that Feedly pulled from it still work?

    • http://john.do/ John Saddington

      it will be fine.

      • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

        So, the overall recommendation is to use Feedly?

        • http://john.do/ John Saddington

          that’s what i’m doing.

  • http://oxvodesign.com Joseph

    I don’t see why Google just doesn’t make a desktop web version of Currents (android) for chrome (chrome os) to replace reader.

    I understand that getting rid of Reader to push people towards Google+ is the goal but Currents is slowly becoming a favorite app for rss reading or at least in my opinion.

  • http://about.me/dillieo Sean Patterson

    I’ve been a long time Feedly user and love it. It’s very robust and very adaptable to each platform.

    The best news is that Feedly announced shortly after Google’s announcement is that they’ve been working on their own “Reader like” server to house subscriptions and will have your data synchronized.

    Bottom line: Sign up for Feedly now, let it import your Google Reader accounts, and when July 1 hits, there’s nothing to worry about!

  • http://www.levisaunders.com Levi

    I’ve switched to Feedly as well. The service is pretty, functional but isn’t G. Reader. I would gladly pay to continue using Google Reader as is. I’m especially disappointed that it throws a wrench in my Mr. Reader for iPad.

    • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

      So your view is that Feedly is definitely a step-down from Google Reader.

    • http://about.me/dillieo Sean Patterson

      Levi, what part did you not like? I find the various views available through Feedly to provide a much better reading experience, especially when I’m just going through recent/newest posts. Then I have a few “list” type feeds (such as Hacker News) that help for those massive feeds.

  • http://bradblackman.com Brad Blackman

    If I read things with Feedly on one machine/device, will it appear the same elsewhere the way Google Reader does?

    • http://about.me/dillieo Sean Patterson

      Yes. That’s what attracted me so much to Feedly in the first place. I have a lot of blogs I follow. When i’m not at my computer, I’ll read a few on my Nexus 7, I’ll read a few more on my phone. When I get back to my desktop, those feeds have already been marked as read, so I don’t have them trying to get my attention again.

  • http://circlecube.com Evan Mullins

    oh the rage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A25VgNZDQ08 even hitler is upset

    Not that it will do any good, but it might: sign the petition:


  • http://odai.me Odai

    I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one who was angry when I heard about this. I mean, I’m getting sick of Google destroying all their good apps just to try and get Google+ off the ground.

    • http://www.consultancymarketing.co.uk Ian Smith

      Google+ is a dead duck as a social tool.

      We must all get it into our heads that Google only cares about shareholders these days.

  • http://asif.im M Asif Rahman

    Shame on Google. In this way they really made us thinking how much we should rely on them for Mail, Drive and others. Very bad move. If they have problem showing traction for this division to the investor, they could have make a paid version or limit of some kind. Entirely shutting down of that bigger project is insane. Or they could have sold or donate the right to other willing and capable organization.

  • http://lancemorgan.net Lance Morgan

    I am loving me some Feedly.

    So far…

  • http://www.twitter.com/matthewfsnider Matthew Snider

    Very interesting if you ask me – http://www.macgasm.net/2013/03/15/digg-were-building-a-reader/

    DIGG to build their own Reader?