Giving up Google Reader

Roxy put it best the other day, “Using Google Reader is like visiting a friend who’s dying, but doesn’t know it yet.”

Google Reader has received a death sentence, it will no longer be available after June 30th.  I’ve been looking at alternatives, free alternatives, and came up with Feedly and The Old Reader as potential replacements.  After some time with both, I’m recommending The Old Reader to people who really liked the way Google Reader worked.  TOR is very much like GR, easy to use and navigate.  Getting your GR subscriptions into TOR is easy too.  You’ll need to

  1. click the down arrow next to the gear looking thing in the upper right section of GR
  2. click Reader Settings from the drop down menu
  3. Click Import/Export
  4. Click the link to Download Your Data Through Takeout
  5. Takeout will run through your reader data and tell you how many files you have and how much space they take.
  6. There are a few options for what to do next, but the simplest is to click Create an Archive
    1. this will take a variable amount of time depending on the size of your archive
  7. When the archive process is complete, you can click the Download button
    1. this will download a file with a name like
  8. Once you have downloaded this zip file, you’ll need to extract the files
  9. Once you have the extracted folders and files, you’re ready to import into The Old Reader
  10. Create an account with The Old Reader using the same email address you used for your Google Reader (not sure this is required, but it’s what I did)
  11. Click the Import button on the menu bar, right hand side
  12. Click the Choose File button and select the subscriptions.xml from your takeout archive.
  13. Wait for the import to complete
  14. Start using The Old Reader and stop worrying about Google Reader being shut off on July 1st.

I hope those of you who used Google Reader will choose a replacement and keep reading and enjoying blogs, especially mine ;-), in the future.  TOR is a small shop, so please consider making a contribution by clicking on the Donate link on the lower right hand side of your TOR page.  They also have a blog, and a server status page.  According to the blog, they have enough money to keep the servers going for a few months.  This is going to be a very community based service and maybe it won’t last years and years.  The good thing is you have your original Google Reader subscriptions.xml file, hang on to that. I haven’t found an export feature on TOR yet, but hopefully that’ll be something they would offer if they have to close up shop.

Besides monetary support, here’s some help TOR needs from geek type people:

3. We could really use some help on the Ruby on Rails front. If you have experience engineering medium-size websites, and you’d like to become a part of our small team, please, drop us a line to If you have any other suggestions about how you can help us, feel free to email us as well. Or just spread the word, that’d be much appreciated.

Feedly is also a reasonable alternative, and maybe more stable, but it is a very different interface and learning to navigate it will take you some time.


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