Write It Sideways

Google Reader Dead! Stay Connected in 2013

If you’ve been using the Google Reader RSS system for years as a means of reading all your favourite blogs, you’ll probably already know that as of July 1, 2013, Google is shutting it down.

I was seriously shocked and irrationally afraid when I heard the news many months ago. What would I do? Where would I go?

Turns out there are several options that are just as good, if not better, than Google Reader.

You have three main options. Any combination of the following will help keep you connected to your faves this year and in the future.

1. Subscribe to your favourite blogs by email.

If you value what we do here at Write It Sideways, and you know we’re constantly evolving and trying new things (such as Compose: A Journal of Simply Good Writing), then you’ll never want to miss out on our articles or important changes we might make to this blog.

In that case, it’s in your best interest to subscribe by email (sign-up form in sidebar).

Yes, you’ll receive a few notes each month when new posts are available, and a resource-filled newsletter which comes no more than monthly or bimonthly. But, you’ll also ensure that when things happen around here (and things will happen, my friends) that the announcements will not be lost amongst the hoards of other blog posts in your RSS reader.

Pros: You’ll never miss out on announcements or special offers. You may receive personal notes from the blogger if you reply to their emails.

Cons: Too many email subscriptions can junk up your inbox, so you wouldn’t want to use email for everything.

2. Subscribe to as many blogs as you want in an alternative RSS system.

Google Reader may be dead, but there are plenty of excellent alternatives. I switched to Feedly months ago and love it. It’s prettier than Google Reader, and migrating all my feeds was very simple.

But, there are plenty of other Google Reader alternatives, so do check them out.

Pros: Great for those who read a lot of blogs. Easy to scan headlines. Easy to mass-delete posts you don’t want to read.

Cons: Too much of a good thing means you often miss out on the best articles because you’re overwhelmed for choices. You may miss out on important updates or special offers because they get lost in the crowd.

3. Find must-read articles via social media.

For the social-media-savvy amongst us, finding links to great articles can be as simple as checking on your Twitter and Facebook accounts throughout the day. Certainly, this a good clutter-free system for finding great reads, but there are also some drawbacks if it’s your only method of communication.

Pros: Great for filtering out unworthy articles—usually only the best rise to the top. Ability to retweet or share these articles quickly.

Cons: You’ll certainly miss out on important announcements and special offers from your favourite blogs because you won’t be part of their email list. You won’t necessarily see the links to every post from your favourite blogs, so you could miss out on some great reads.

How Will You Stay Connected?

Personally, I use all three of these options together to get the best result. I subscribe to only my favourite blogs by email, have at least 50 other feeds in RSS, and often find links to must-read articles on Facebook and Twitter.

Google Reader will be officially dead in just a few days. Don’t forget to subscribe to Write It Sideways and Compose Journal by email or RSS, and follow us on social media to be sure you keep up with our news.

How are you planning to stay connected to blogs this year? Do you tend to rely on email, RSS or social media exclusively, or do you use a combination of these three approaches? Can you think of other pros/cons for each method?