Google last night announced it is to axe Google Reader on 1 July as part of a "spring clean", saying that "while the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined".
Journalists who use the RSS reader to follow news sources have reacted by suggesting alternatives. Journalism lecturer Paul Bradshaw is crowdsourcing a list of alternatives on an open Google Doc, Sarah Hartley from the Guardian's n0tice project has created a possible solution, and Feedly and Flipboard have been quick to offer new options and are promising easy migration.
Google Reader, which launched in 2005, has become a firm favourite of many journalists, who use it to follow RSS feeds from news sources. Many use other third-party apps such as Reeder, which takes feeds from a Google Reader account or users can subscribe to feeds directly.
Bradshaw's crowdsourced Google Doc suggests a number of options, including Bloglines, Fever and Newsblur.
Meanwhile Hartley's fix (which she has written about here) is one using online noticeboard n0tice. She has set up feeds to a dedicated board and is letting it run "checking in via mobile or desktop every now and then".
"It’s not the same as Google Reader", explains Hartley, and directs people to the example at northerner.n0tice.com. She points people to a 'how to' here. For hyperlocals this n0tice option has "the added advantage of geo-tagging", Hartley explains.
A blog post by Flipboard explains that users of the social newsreader app who have already added their Google Reader account to Flipboard do not need to do anything and feeds will be saved.
A blog post from Feedly explains how to import feeds from Google Reader.
And as UX expert Martin Belam points out in a blog post on the demise of Google Reader, the Reddit community is also "on it" and suggesting alternatives.
Lifehacker has published a list of alternatives: Feedly, Reeder, Netvibes, Flipboard, Newsbar-app, Taptu, NewsBlur and HiveMined (which is "coming soon").
Mashable suggests: Feedly, Fever, NetVibes, NewsBlur, The Old Reader, Managing News and Twitter lists.
If you have an RSS reader alternative to share, please add it to Bradshaw's Google Doc or leave a comment below.