Moving from Google Reader to Feedly – A Why and How To

If you use RSS feeds, this likely pertains to you. Due to a focus on other products, Google is shutting down Google Reader. Since this is the primary news aggregator for most people, on July 1, 2013, you might lose access to all of your information.

Why? It might be easier to explain what Google Reader is through a visual:

Screen Shot 2013 04 05 at 2.17.13 PM Moving from Google Reader to Feedly A Why and How To

When clicking on a website’s RSS icon, you generally get two options. One is choosing a reader. By clicking on your preferred reader (in this example, Google Reader), it puts a new subscription within it. The other option is a screen with a feeds’ raw XML code. When that screen appears, you copy the URL of the page and paste it into your desired reader, again in this case Google Reader. In both cases, when refreshed, Google Reader searches the subscribed website and collects the new articles for you to peruse.

Some people use other software like NetNewsWire, Bloglines or Feedly to read RSS feeds because they have a better user-interface than Google Reader. These applications can synchronize with Google Reader through an API (application programming interface) to get the feeds.

In both of these cases, you can see that when Google Reader shuts down, you will lose access to all of your RSS feeds, including archived links.

What should you do?

Astek is suggesting that our clients move to Feedly. While there are a number of other options…

  • News Blur
  • Old Reader
  • Reeder
  • Taptu

…Feedly currently uses Google’s API, so it automatically syncs to your current GR feed and keeps all your information intact. However, when that API is canceled in July, Feedly will seamlessly transfer from Google Reader’s API to its own API. Feedly users are promised to see no effect and require no actions. In fact, 3,000,000 people now use Feedly for these reasons.

 

How do you install it?

Since Feedly still runs on Google Reader, you need a Google account to use it. Setting one up is painless – and you don’t need to use the email address or Google+ account that comes with it.

If you do not use RSS feeds yet and do not have a Google account:

  • Go to Google.com to sign up for an account
  • Go to Feedly.com and use your Google information to log in

If you’re using Google Reader:

  • Go to feedly.com
  • Log into Feedly using your Google login and password. It will seamlessly and instantly pull the information from Google Reader

If you want to switch to Feedly from another reader application:

  • Export an OPML from your existing Netvibes, Bloglines, etc and save it locally
  • Go to http://www.google.com/reader and login (again, you must have Google account)
  • Select Settings > Reader Settings > Import/Export
  • Upload your OPML
  • Restart the browser
  • Go to http://www.feedly.com/home and login
  • You should see all the content of your OPML file imported and integrated into your Feedly

 

Other notes:

Other great things about Feedly:

  • Its interface is much like Google Reader
  • It looks and feels slick
  • I like the viewing options (just links – or with pictures)
  • It is usable in Safari, Chrome, Firefox, iOS, Android
  • It’s free

Downsides:

  • The desktop version doesn’t support Internet Explorer
  • The mobile version doesn’t support Windows and Blackberry – yet

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