RSS in a Post-Google Reader World

Oh-so-conveniently for me, just as I’m starting a blog, one of the biggest RSS reader sites has closed up. Good timing, Katie!

But hey, let us not mourn Google Reader too long. There are other options out there for you, and even though Google Reader has closed down, if you were slow on the uptake or even downright lazy, there is a way to rescue your feeds to import into your chosen new reader.

Katie’s RSS Reader Suggestions
I’m certainly not the expert here, but I did do some research before the Google Reader ship went down, trying a couple out before deciding on one.

In second place, I recommend The Old Reader. Pros: It has an interface very similar to Google Reader, which is nice for those who avoid change whenever possible. It’s simple to use. Cons: I seem to get logged out of it every couple of days, though that could be because I use my readers mostly at work, and there I’m forced to use (*shudder*) Internet Explorer. Currently only a desktop reader, which may be a dealbreaker for some (though a lot of other options I saw were everything but desktop readers, which made this a pro initially for me).

My main recommendation, though, is Feedly. Pros: Easily allowed me to import my Google Reader, though that was before the old product shut down, and I don’t think it can do that anymore. It’s also slick and gives you suggestions for other feeds you may want based on what you’re reading. It has a nice app for phones/tablets, for those who don’t just read on the desktop, but they do have a really nice desktop version as well. Cons: Changing category names is cumbersome (I found I had to create a new one and move feeds into that category and out of the old one to do that). There’s no native “like” option. There’s a “saved for later”, and there’s a tagging option that I could probably utilize for it, but I miss just hitting a star and being able to revisit those old posts.

There are other options out there, of course. Gizmodo has a nice article that lists both of the above and more, if you want to check ’em out. No matter what you choose, I hope you’ll hit my little RSS link below to follow me!

Rescuing Your Google Reader Feeds
As promised, if you were late to the party, you still have a chance! Per the current Google Reader page, you have until July 15 to visit Google Takeout to download your data. That will give you a ZIP file, in which there is a file called “subscriptions.xml”. Both Feedly and The Old Reader (along with any others worthy of your time) have an option to Import, and that’s the file you’d upload.

Remember, you can only do this until JULY 15, 2013. After that the data is gone FOREVER. (Your archived data in Takeout will be available for a week, so if you download it on July 14, you can get it out of Takeout until July 21.)

Good luck to you all in this time of turbulence and experimentation! Let me know if you have good experience with any other RSS readers in the comments!

Hi, I’m Katie, and I’ll be your Blogger.

Probably the hardest thing for me to do in a blog is figure out how to start it. Should I just dive in with some post I’ve been thinking of? Should I make an introduction?

I decided on the introduction for a couple reasons. First, I’ve been blogging in various forms for a while, and I guess I want to brag about my online pedigree. Second, and arguably more important, for the first time I’m doing this for a far broader audience, and I want to help everyone know what to expect—and to help me figure out my voice, as well.

When I was setting up this WordPress blog and getting some things customized, I noticed a link back to the main WP blog stating that it was 10 years old. What’s so interesting about that is that I’ve been blogging—in one form or another—longer than WP has been alive!

In the early 2000s I had approximately 11 million domain names, and at least one of them had something sort bloggish on it at any point in time. I started with total hand-coding for my blog, just writing it in the bare HTML with really basic CSS to make my layout (my layout which changed really frequently whenever some new obsession started). I remember Blogger starting, and a few little small similar projects (I think I used one called b2? Does that ring a bell for anyone else?), and then just as I was migrating away from domain-based blogging for Livejournal, WP came out.

My LJ has about 10 years of my life on it, and I loved the community there. So many of my closest friends were made on it (in particular Alli and Lara). But that community is drifting, and I’m finding that I want to talk about things that the people who follow me there are less interested in reading about. And I have a Tumblr or two, but there’s a different sort of audience there, too, and I don’t love Tumblr as a true blogging platform.

Which, quite neatly, brings me to what to expect from this blog. This isn’t going to be a blog about anything in particular. It’s not necessarily going to be a blog about my life’s details (LJ has the locking option that is good for when I need to get more personal), though I’ll happily talk about myself here. It’s not going to be a blog about fandom (again, LJ and Tumblr to some extent have those covered), but I’m a fangirl and I’ll never hide that entirely.

I may talk some politics (though never too much because politics make me ill), I hope to talk about writing, I’m sure I’ll talk about sports, and…really I just don’t want to feel restricted anymore. I think this blog is a nice, fresh start for me, a good place to draw in a number of different audiences, and I hope you’ll all enjoy what you find here.

If you write a blog, leave a comment so I can check you out! :D