As you may or may not be aware, the popular RSS feed reader, Google Reader shut down on July 1st amidst the company’s house cleaning that seems to be becoming a trend over the last couple of years. Users of the popular service were urged for months to export their feeds and find an alternative reader before time ran out. It may sound like a simple process, but this little switch over process caused a chain reaction of headaches and the cursing Sergey and Larry for dropping the service in the first place. Read on to hear my woes.
In my typical procrastination fashion (it’s done last minute, but done) I exported my Google Reader data on June 28th and imported it into Feedly on July 1st, the proposed best alternative to Google Reader. The import process was painless and everything looked good. The task was checked off my list in glee.
The next day however, something seemed off. Definitely off. I opened my feed which normally has hundreds of stories to be reviewed, only to find one. This was where my curse words for Sergey and Larry began. I thought perhape it was a glitch with Feedly so I tried some of the alternatives mentioned in posts: one’s servers were down and could not accept new clients and another put me a in a queue to import my reader feed with 1,200+ ahead of me.
Still frustrated, I noted that the one story that had been caught by Feedly was for a Blogger blog I had subscribed to, not the 190 Google Alerts I had set up to go straight to my reader.
Oh no, did they…
Yup. As I feared, someone else had posted that Google Reader had closed its doors on Google Alerts via RSS in addition to Google Reader. I check relevant news for the company I work for and Google Alert had been my go to place for keyword searches, etc.. I quickly searched for a decent Google Alerts alternative that supported RSS feeds. I came up with exactly one option: TalkWalker. Although the service was very similar to Google Alerts and their support was very helpful, the service is limited to 100 alerts (I currently have 190) with no option to upgrade. Plus, I cannot find any effective way to put all of these feeds into Feedly without importing them one…at…a…time.
This experience has taught me two things:
1. You can’t put all of your eggs in the Google basket. Some day, they may just take it away on a whim and you are left scrambling. That’s okay, it is their right, but it can make it hard if you don’t plan ahead.
2. You never realize how great Google options are until they are gone. These simple free services blow everything else away in their category, further showing what seemingly unlimited money and manpower can produce.
Did anyone else have issues migrating over from Google Reader? Google Alerts? Positive or negative? Sound off in the comments.