The day Google Reader died.

Today, Google Reader was officially turned off. While not a fundamentally game-changing action on its own, when coupled with several other trends in the online content landscape such as the rise of curated media (Upworthy, etc) and the development of new curation and reading tools (Flipboard and our own, we can infer that a major shift is coming our way, and coming fast.

Google Reader’s death sends a very strong message: that a very well-respected company thinks that aggregation on its own isn’t enough — that there is something fundamental missing from the content discovery and consumption process online today. The logical conclusion is that if the best robots in the world (courtesy of Google) couldn’t figure out how to give the best content day-by-day to its users.. then humans (and the beauty of the human mind) must be employed to select, judge the quality of, and share the most relevant and high-quality content available.

The loss of a heavily-used and user-loyal product is always unfortunate. Here at, we’ve been quietly waiting for something like this to happen — be it Google Reader or another popular aggregation tool. We’ve believed since we started in 2011 that the robots were not enough. But, we understand the utility of something like Google Reader. So, here are a few solutions through to help fill the Google Reader-sized hole that may appearing in your online landscape today:

1. Add-an-RSS Feature

We recently rolled out a new feature to our bookmarklet, which auto-searches web pages which you are scooping to your topic for available RSS feeds. If it finds one, it will prompt you to add the RSS feed to your topic’s sources, which control the suggested content for each of your topics. If you’d like more information about managing your sources to get the best possible content streams, you can check out this article in our Knowledge Base.

This feature makes it incredibly easy to pull in additional content that matches your specifications from sources you already trust (you’re already scooping their content), allowing you to get more relevant, awesome content in one place.

2. Import OPML Files

You can also import a custom OPML file to your topic sources. An OPML file allows you to transfer your RSS feeds and other aggregations to other sources easily. This is great news for Google Reader users — you can simply download your OPML file and add it to your sources for your topics.

To add your OPML file to your topic, simply navigate to the topic you’d like to edit, open your suggested content, click “manage sources,” then click “advanced options.” There is an upload field for your OPML file. Simply upload and the sources from your current RSS tool or your Google Reader account with automatically be reflected in your suggested content.

If you’d like more information about how you can maximize your content sources, check out this resource.

  • Laura Brown

    I still think dumping Google Reader was a stupid mistake. Yes, content curation is evolving, BUT all those content curators are human based (those which actually evaluate the content they curate and care about how it is displayed and shared).

    Human content curators NEED multiple (bottomless) sources to pull information from. Without a service like Google Reader the content curator is missing a way to gather sources in one place and then choose what to share, where to share it and how to post it. There is no way one person can curate content based on the entire WWW without narrowing and focusing it down via a collection of feeds.

    I’m using Blog Lovin’ but it lacks an export/ import for batches of feeds. They did add one for Google Reader but it’s not enough. I have collections of feeds from bookmarks, other sites and other file extensions. I have yet to find something that really does work for me. I don’t think anyone is really thinking about how the service is used as a whole online. Instead the focus is on their own site/ service as an exclusive being. That is not what the WWW is about and that will never work for content curation.

  • mrwhitmore

    Went with Blog Lovin in the end :D

  • Atila is awesome, but as for a Google Reader substitute I chose FEEDLY – and I’m in love with it.

    • Justine Detienne

      Same for me! ;)

      • JLM

        Good solution but i prefer netvibes.

  • Chonilla

    The only thing coming to mind right now is this…

  • Marjolein Hoekstra

    Wonderful improvements. I have another suggestion for you to consider:

    Do you agree it would be even more fabulous if would be able to regularly synchronize with a remotely hosted, dynamic OPML file, instead of only importing a locally stored, static file?

    Would that be feasible for your developers, you think?

  • cserafin

    I’ve actually thought about this topic for some reason and at first I was bummed, because Feedly still wasn’t great, Digg hadn’t come out and I already Knew I wanted something different than Yahoo, or Free Dictionary cool as they may be. But Feedly has steadily made improvements to the point where I actually prefer it as my default after writing about how awful it was in Quora….I need to amend that post, then Diggs reader is the perfect backup for me. But the best part of it all was re-discovering Netvibes, it’s so dynamic ALMOST to a fault but not quite, as they have auto pilot mode. Long story short, Google Readers’ demise had a beneficial influence on the way I obtain and read my news, 1) I got to learn about a bunch of new products I may not have branched out to before including, &2) it showed me that people will get what they want one way or another, it seems to be the nature of the market – and if it simply doesn’t exist, they’ll make one as in the case of Feedly, AOL, and Digg.

  • onapthanh

    Digg hadn’t come out and I already Knew I wanted something different
    than Yahoo, or Free Dictionary cool as they may be. But Feedly has
    steadily made improvements to the point where I actually prefer it as my
    default after writing about how awful it was in Quora@

  • Transinn