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RSS Feeds: Switching to Google Reader

Confession: I’m a bit of a RSS feed junky as I currently have over 400 feeds in my reader.

My reasons for so many feeds is I have many varying interests. I’m an Apple Mac fan, I love photography, I like new gadget news, I like to keep up with technical events on the web, I have friends with their own web sites/blogs, and I want to keep up with the technical/business/US/world news on the web. So I have a lot of feeds and the mix and number of feeds are constantly changing.

Google Reader.pngFor years I’ve used the newsgator NetNewsWire client application for Mac OS X to manage, view and read the multitude of updates from these RSS feeds. I used it when it was a paid application and I continued to use it as a free application up until earlier this week when I decided to make the switch to Google Reader.

My reasons for switching are simple–I switched to keep things simple. I wanted to be able to have a consistent experience with my feed reading when moving from desktop to laptop and back. I know there are syncing capabilities within NetNewsWire, but I wanted to avoid another layer of complexity.

200907251036.jpgThe technical part of the switch was easy, only taking a few minutes. I exported the feed subscriptions from NetNewsWire to an “OPML with groups” file and then imported that file into Google Reader. This gave me an identical setup of my feeds with the same groupings/folders–very simple!

After four days of using Google Reader I can now say I do like it and don’t feel the urge to switch back. There are differences from NetNewsWire but nothing that has been a deal breaker.

The biggest thing I miss in Google Reader is the ability to navigate through groups and unread items using the keyboard arrow keys. I haven’t found a way to do that with Google Reader.

7 Comments on RSS Feeds: Switching to Google Reader

  1. Earl,
    I also made the switch to Google Reader. I had been using Bloglines. I find the user interface on Reader to be worse, but at least it works, and consistently.

  2. Over 400 feeds! Dang! I thought that the 30 or so that I had was too many. :-) I’m glad that you have all of those feeds, though, because I count on you for gadget notifications, even though I don’t rush out and buy them, it’s nice to know about. LOL! Go, Earl!

  3. @Eric: I don’t find the Google Reader user interface as good as NetNewsWire either but I’m learning to adapt to it.

    @Paul: I don’t read all the articles every day, of course, but I do usually scan most of the titles/headlines and then selectively read those I’m interested in. About every six months I’ll go through and get rid of a quarter to a third of the subscriptions and then they’ll slowly build back up until the next cleaning. It’s about as large as it’s every been just now–time to clean them out!!

  4. I used to use Google reader, but then I found I was always missing the formatting of the blogs that people put their personalities into. I also found it was too easy to continue to add feeds and eventually ended up with more than I could ever keep up with. I don’t know how you manage. You must not sleep. :-)

  5. @Mark: Oh I don’t profess to read them all and I do sleep once in a while. :-)

    I have the feeds segmented and grouped by general subject and priority so I can quickly monitor those feeds most important to me and then skim the rest as I have time.

    When I was using “NetNewsWire” I also set up smart folders to automatically collect items based upon keywords–that’s another feature I miss with Google Reader

  6. @Earl: I’m sure that if you suggest those features to the guys at Google that they would probably implement them one day soon.

  7. @Paul: Yeah, I’ll drop Google a line and I’m “sure” they’ll get right on that for me! ;-)

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