I’m going to get a little geekier than I normally do here today, but I’ve been sharing the following information with my clients so it seemed only appropriate to post here. We all know by now Google Reader is being shuttered as of July. From a content consumption standpoint, this is very sad news indeed but it has implications if you create content as well.
If you have a company blog and are still using Feedburner as your RSS subscription service, it’s a good time to think about migrating.
Google closed the Feedburner API, Twitter account, and blog last year. They could presumably never shut down Feedburner, although they certainly won’t be servicing it or making updates to it, or it could disappear overnight without warning. As well, they could give notice. We don’t really know.
When we’re talking about your subscribers; your precious readers, who’s willing to take that risk?
Already many, including I, have migrated over to Feedblitz. I did it when I relaunched this blog in November because I didn’t have a lot of subscribers to lose if it were to happen. So, perhaps, it’s best done sooner rather than later to minimize your risk.
Feedblitz is a paid RSS delivery feed on your own domain. Google is a free RSS feed delivery service on it’s own domain. For the same reason we talk about hosting your own content on a self-hosted site, and not relying on third parties, you should rely on your own domain to deliver your RSS feed.
The email and RSS subscription features are much nicer than the Google’s. That’s because you get what you pay for. Migrating the email list over is super easy, and you won’t lose a thing. Migrating the RSS feed is a bit trickier and I’m still waiting to hear back from Feedblitz on how to create permanent redirects on the old feed and discontinue Feedburner. If you can point me and my readers in the right direction in the comments, we’d be much appreciative. Outside of that, I had no issues and this too shall pass, I know.
What’s neat about Feedblitz is it allows you to segment the feed in a variety of ways – categories out to segmented lists? Cool! You can also create auto-responders which I have yet to do.
I’d block out a few hours one afternoon – might be a fun Friday project if you enjoy things like listening to metal on chalkboards and Justin Bieber – download the migration ebook and have at it. If I can do it, you can.
Back to Google Reader. There have been many articles written about alternatives for the Reader so I’m not going to bother with that here. However, I am currently using Mr. Reader on my iPad and am in love because I can easily buffer posts. (If you don’t use Buffer, this is another app I highly recommend – it allows you to do all your reading whenever you want and you can buffer the posts so they share at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than glutting the newsfeed with eight articles at 11 p.m.)
I checked Mr. Reader’s site to see what he’ll do now, and found this comment on the support page:
They will retire the Google Reader on July 1, 2013. I’m already looking for alternatives to support and I’m sure that there will be some more interesting ones released during the next couple of days/weeks/months. I’ll keep you informed! Please be patient and don’t switch overhasty to a other Google Reader alternative. It will still work for ~3,5 months.
So I’ll be hanging out to see what he comes up with.
What can we say, technology will continually evolve, tools will change. We have to stop getting so attached. ESPECIALLY when the tools are free. Don’t we know better by now?