I was shocked when the news broke some time ago that Google Reader is due to shut down on 1st July (possibly it’s already shut by the time you read this).

The argument that many people – and presumably Google – advance is RSS is dead, too, being old and geeky alongside reading news and updates on social media.

What is RSS?

If you don’t know what RSS is, it’s a standard way of making website content available, a kind of web page, but formatted differently. It can be fed into a piece of software, so you can read all your stuff in one place.

If you do know what RSS is, please cut me some slack on my definition!

I use RSS a lot, and have used apps on my Macs, iPhone and iPad to provide a more attractive and useful user interface to the Google Reader backend. Google Reader has been the constant for me for years, chugging away in the background. But now I’ve had to look for another solution.

It looks as if I’ll be using two.


I subscribed to Feedly as soon as I heard about Google Reader and haven’t looked back. The service gives me at least as good a user interface as any of the apps I’ve used and has built a cloud-based server to take over from Google Reader.

I have to say, I really love Feedly. It has something of the feel of Flipboard on iOS, so there’s no hairshirt geekiness at all, although there’s a view that’s very much like Google Reader for those who miss it.

Feedly is going to be my choice for reading all kinds of blogs, probably on my iPad, slouched on the couch.

Hootsuite Syndicator

Like a lot of people, I use Hootsuite as a kind of social media swiss army knife. The great thing is the guys there just keep making it sharper and adding more stuff you can hinge out and use.

They’ve just announced a brilliant way of sharing content by extending their Hootlet for the Google Chrome browser. They call it Hootsuite Syndicator. Now, if you find a site with the kind of content that you think you may want to share on your social networks, you can just click on the RSS symbol or link and you’re given the option of adding the feed to a tab on your Hootsuite dashboard. Then you can build a screenful of content that you can easily share with your social networks.

Now, if Feedly and Hootsuite Syndicator could play together, I’d be a very happy chappy! Are you listening?

How are you going to cope without Google Reader?

Thanks to Fran Simó for making this great image available.