What I’m doing about RSS

With the demise of Google Reader on July 1st there’s a mad scramble to corral the users who are going to be cast adrift when they no longer have a stable cloud based RSS feed home.

As I said in an earlier post on this, for me, readability is at the top of the list of attributes of the application(s) I use to scan feeds. For many years, the Reeder app on Mac, iPad, and iPhone was my primary way to collect, organize, and read everything from personal blogs to various news services to flickr photo streams and more. RSS as a technology and Reeder as a tool to harness it has made reading, an activity that comes hard to me, much easier.

But, the various Reeder apps are not going to be ready to sync with a cloud service and with each other by Monday. Only the latest Reeder for iPhone is going to work with a few of the various cloud services out there but Reeder for iPad and Mac won’t (yet).

Many will feel differently about this but in my case, my MacBook Pro is my primary device for using Reeder, dealing with this blog, and more. I like a real keyboard and a mouse and the various services that Mac OS provides me (vs iOS). So, for me, the primary tool I’m interested in is an RSS reader on my Mac. My iPhone and iPad, while heavily used, come second.

So Reeder is on hold for the time being because the Macintosh version can’t self-host feeds and it won’t work with any of the ongoing cloud based services. As I said in my earlier posts on this, I don’t really care about Google Reader but I really do care about Reeder because that’s the tool I interact with and it gives me no joy to pull it off my Mac’s dock.

Mr. Reader looks like an excellent app for the iPad and it will work with various cloud hosting services. But, it doesn’t have a Mac or iPhone version.

I made an account with Feedly and imported all of my Google Reader feeds, moved over to Feedly in the cloud and turned off the old Feedly Safari extension. I downloaded Feedly for iPhone and iPad and got everything all hooked up. Feedly is working for me, but, I’m not crazy about it because there is no native Mac app (it’s a web app on the computer) and it’s more magazine like than I prefer, even when customized to get the most list-like views out of it. I’m using Feedly as my backup tool and cloud service, hoping that maybe someday Reeder will sync with it.

My very first RSS Reader was an early version of NetNewsWire and I stuck with it for many years until Brent Simmons sold it and at about the same time, Google Reader came along and I switched to it and then later, Reeder.

I decided to give NetNewsWire another try a few days ago and it’s on sale for the moment for $10 so it’s not an expensive experiment. I must say, I’m enjoying using it. Very similar to Reeder with a simple interface and simple controls and decent (and adjustable) typography. At the moment it doesn’t sync with anything but it does hold onto all of your feeds and you can import your Google Reader account with all folders and feeds intact. If you’re not sure what to do and you’re a serious Mac user, I highly recommend buying NetNewsWire and getting your feeds out of Google Reader. This way you’ve saved all of your feeds and any structure you have for reading them and you can wait out the syncing issue and iOS app issue.

If I find myself in a place where I need to see my feeds and can only do it on my iPhone, I’ve got Feedly running and can always dig through feeds to find what I want. But, for now, my primary way of reading

In the end, I’m hoping that Reeder is brought back to life with various possibilities for syncing via the cloud but until then, after a struggle testing a lot of solutions the past few weeks, I think I’ve found a collection of tools that will make this transition tolerable.

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