I’m trying and failing to make sense of the numerous blog posts and articles about the demise of Google Reader. For PR and journalism it was more than just another web service, it is actually a fundamentally important tool that vastly increases your ability to do your job well. Ironically I’ve hardly ever used the Google Reader interface, but just took advantage of its ability to sync with other readers that provide a much better user experience. The demise of Google Reader means that all of the news readers that used its API as a back end to synchronise feeds now won’t work properly.
On the desktop FeedDemon was a powerful tool for managing lots of RSS feeds and the Google Reader sync meant I could still access my feeds on the go using a mobile and/or tablet app. I’ve used several of these and my current favourite is Feedly.
I’ve made these tools an important part of my online PR training as one of the biggest issues for many people is information overload and they were a big part of managing that effectively. As many have already said Twitter is an irrelevance as it performs an entirely different function to RSS readers and the idea that a professional PR person could rely on it for news and knowledge is ridiculous.
What I need from an RSS reader is to:
- Sync across multiple devices so that feeds I’ve read on one are cleared on another
- Sync folders/tags across multiple devices so I can save stuff and find it again
- Search just in the feeds I’m subscribed to
- Store feeds offline so I can use them all the time such as on a plane or the underground
- Use a ‘common standard’ for syncing so I can continue to use different apps/programs on different devices
That’s what a combination of Google Reader, FeedDemon and Feedly used to give me. As far as I can make out none of the alternatives that people are blogging about match my minimum requirements.
Or am I wrong and there is an answer out there? Help me!