Google Reader won’t be available after July 1st, 2013. What does that mean to you? Well, for starters, for those of you who may be unclear what an RSS Feed is, RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Basically, it’s a method of delivering your latest blog posts to readers who choose to subscribe. Now, there are two ways to sign up for this delivery. You can either sign up to have an RSS feed delivered by email or you can subscribe to have it delivered to an RSS reader. If you currently use Google Reader to access RSS feeds, you need to find an alternative.
If You Subscribe to RSS Feeds:
You’ve probably already read one of the numerous blog posts that have been recommending RSS readers. If you’re interested in reading one more, LifeHacker.com conducted a poll to find out what people considered to be the best alternative to Google Reader. The Five Best Google Reader Alternatives (according to their reader nominations) include: The Old Reader, NewsBlur, Feedly, NetVibes and Pulse. Of course, there are many more than five alternatives and some people are passionate about this topic. When I last checked, this article had 100 discussions going on in the comment section for that post.
Perhaps one of the more surprising efforts to replace Google Reader is by Digg who is promising to build a functionally complete replacement including an API (Application Programming Interface) which would enable developers to build Android and IOS apps to interface with it. (You may want to consider waiting for this one.) Digg has asked anyone who is interested to “pitch in your thoughts”. So, feel free to join in that conversation or simply read the thread for more insight.
If You Burn an RSS Feed for Your Blog:
Although Google has not officially announced that they’re discontinuing FeedBurner (Google’s service that generates an RSS Feed for your blog), the writing is pretty much on the wall. Most bloggers believe that at some point, it will be gone. Once again, there have been numerous blog articles recommending alternatives.
Honestly, I am still using FeedBurner. So, I can’t personally make any recommendations (yet) but after a little research, I came upon this article, 15 Great FeedBurner Alternatives that (in my opinion) does a good job of covering some of the alternatives. (As always, please let us know in the comment section what you’re using, considering or think we should avoid.)
Don’t Delete Your Google FeedBurner Feed:
Okay. You’re probably wondering why I’ve told you all this and haven’t yet explained why I’m recommending that you don’t delete your FeedBurner feed when/if you replace FeedBurner with another service. Well, today, I received an email from FeedBlitz (one of the services that I am seriously considering) and they go into lengthy detail of why deleting your FeedBurner Feed is a bad idea.
Personally, I recommend reading their article but bottom line; their points are that (if you delete your FeedBurner feed):
- Your existing RSS feed will be deleted after 15 days.
- RSS subscribers (who don’t update their RSS reader) will stop getting your latest posts.
- You will lose your old FeedBurner links.
- You will lose your old FeedBurner analytics.
- After 30 days, you will lose your Feedburner URL. (Yikes! Someone else could claim it.)
Now, honestly, I have not committed to using FeedBlitz (Note: this is my affiliate link) yet but so far, they’re my front runner. One of the things that impresses me about them is that they seem committed to looking out for our best interests. Their pricing structure is set up so that you do not pay for subscribers who have your RSS feed delivered via a reader. Your monthly fee is based on the number of email subscribers that you have. Even if you’re not interested in using their service, you can download “The FeedBurner Migration Guide” for free. (It’s over 60-pages and I’ve already downloaded mine.)
Over to you: What are your thoughts? Do you use an RSS reader? What do you use to burn your RSS feed? Did you realize that by deleting your FeedBurner feed, you’re releasing your FeedBurner URL and someone else could start publishing to it (and readers who didn’t update their subscriptions would receive it)?