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Getting Around The Demise Of Google Reader

A blog post on Google Reader

If you need help saving your list of RSS feeds from Google Reader to your harddrive, you’ll find instructions at the bottom of this post.

Last Friday saw the announcement that Google Reader is to be withdrawn as a service for users on 1st July this year. Whilst I don’t use it myself (ironically I don’t use it because I worry about companies switching off products) many, many people do and it has to be said that it is a brilliant service. I’ve read that Google isn’t a fan of RSS and hopes that Google+ will become more popular, which seems rather silly, because social media just isn’t the same. Unless you are on Twitter 24/7 you are going to miss a lot of blog posts.

But it’s happening and unless Google act on the feedback, blog readers will have to find alternatives. There is always email subscription, but considering RSS itself isn’t going anywhere, it would be useful to have a list of RSS readers for those who prefer it. Tanya wrote a very good post on the day of the Google announcement, and so rather than repeat what she’s said I’m linking to her post and using this, my own post, to list ones I’ve used personally or have a good knowledge of.

I will say, in reference to Tanya’s post, that her suggestion of Bloglovin’ is great. Bloglovin’ isn’t quite Google Reader but it keeps your list of feeds on the Internet. Don’t let the bias towards fashion and food blogs put you off – with GR‘s demise that bias likely won’t remain much longer.

So, here are my suggestions for alternatives to Google Reader. Click on the name to go to the website.

Feed Demon

If you’re looking for something stylish, Pulse is the way to go. They have mobile and web applications and present news as thumbnails so you can scroll through. You can’t mark news items as read but then you don’t really need to as they will disappear after a while.

Exporting Your List From Google

Considering all existing services will be doing their utmost in the aftermath of Google, instructions for switching will likely be everywhere. However if you do need a break down, here is how you export your lists of feeds from Google Reader to your harddrive. Services like Bloglovin’ and Hello Cotton will do things differently – the following is for those who wish to use a desktop application:

To export your list of feeds in order to keep them once Google Reader has gone:

  1. Click on the bold heading labelled “Subscriptions”
  2. Click “Manage subscriptions” from the drop-down menu
  3. Click “Import/Export” from the list of tabs that appear
  4. Click “Download your data through Takeout” under Export you information
  5. Click “Create Archive”
  6. Click “Download” in the “Reader” section and save the file wherever you wish on your harddrive.
  7. You will be able to import your list once you’ve chosen and signed up for/downloaded your new RSS reader. Importing from the file you downloaded from Google will require you to extract the zip folder, and then, when you’re in the new RSS reader, choosing the “Subscriptions.xml” file to import.

This news is surely a huge wake up call to remember that products can be recalled at any time.

Do you think this change will affect blogging and blog reading in the longterm?


Rebecca @ Love at First Book

March 18, 2013, 2:03 am

I love Bloglovin, and I think it’s a fabulous alternative, one that works well for me! But everyone has individual preferences.

Laurie C

March 18, 2013, 10:42 am

Thanks for the tips! I signed on to GR reluctantly when BlogLines went away, but have found that when I really want to keep up with a blog, an email in my inbox is the only way that works for me. I think that it may affect my blog-reading habits, because occasionally I’ll dip into GR to see what’s new on other blogs that I don’t get email notifications for. I’ll probably switch to one of the substitutes you mention just as a convenient way of bookmarking interesting blogs. There are so many of them!


March 18, 2013, 2:23 pm

I’m with Laurie, I follow blogs by email. It does clog up my email inbox now and then but it works for me :) I always meant to start using some sort of reader. GR seemed over my head, lol.

Audra (Unabridged Chick)

March 18, 2013, 3:19 pm

I’m devastated by this — Google Reader was the only way I could keep up with anything — email notifications make me crazy! (I love an empty inbox). I’ve just switched to Feedly which is pretty good — I almost don’t miss google reader. Will check out your other recs!


March 18, 2013, 3:35 pm

Thanks for the post, Charlie. I’m going to spend some time during Bloggiesta weekend (next weekend) to see which alternative suits me best.


March 19, 2013, 12:47 pm

I’ve heard quite a bit about this, such a shame that they’re just pulling something so popular. I too don’t use it I always sign to receive notifications via email.

Literary Feline

March 19, 2013, 3:48 pm

I rely on Google Reader heavily, so was disappointed to hear it’s going away. I subscribe to way too many blogs to want them coming in by e-mail. Since I don’t get around to reading blog posts right away, it’d create a lot more clutter than it’s worth. And a cluttered e-mail box makes me cranky. Haha

I tasked my husband with finding us a new feed reader since he’s much more into experimenting with that sort of thing than I am. I have tried Feedly before and am not a fan. I think my husband is currently trying The Old Reader. I’m not interested in paying for a service, so if I can avoid that, all the better.


March 19, 2013, 8:31 pm

I just want to tell Google to stop trying to make Google+ happen.

Kim (Sophisticated Dorkiness)

March 20, 2013, 12:56 am

Thanks for the recommendations! I have been leaning towards Feedly, but I don’t like the interface much. I’m exploring as many alternatives as possible to see what sticks.

The Pros and Cons of Popular Feed Readers | Picky Girl: I read. I teach. I blog. (pickily)

March 21, 2013, 2:18 pm

[…] instructions on how to save your Google Reader feed, check out Charlie’s post and scroll to the […]


March 21, 2013, 11:24 pm

I don’t think this will have any long-term impact, but in the short term I’m full of sadness. I know something new and awesome will come along soon — removing a monolith makes room for innovation! (she said optimistically)


March 24, 2013, 7:43 pm

I’m scrambling to find an alternative but it’s put a serious damper on my blogging the past two weeks. I popped over here from Feedly which seems like it might work best for me. I do hop to blogs a lot from twitter but relying on that entirely would mean missing a lot. And Google +. Give it up Google… ;)



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