Google Reader: Emerging from mourning

It’s been a while, Internet, but I think that we’re ready to get back on track with Research Salad.  This year has held many sidetracks and ups/downs.  However, that does not mean has left us devoid of material.  Au contraire!  This year has given we here at Research Salad a wealth of information and experiences to share with you.  From dissertation bumps to new full-time employment, we’ve all had some changes.  But, with change comes growth, and the chance to try new things.

(Excellent image of uncertain origin.  Not my own.)

One of the small, inconvenient “downs” of the year was losing Google Reader.  While it was not utilized enough to make a lasting addition to the Google suite of services, the impact on this team was crushing.  Google had given fair warning before the July 1st deadline, but we still felt we were scrambling to try new things and try them fast.   We spent some hard times finding an alternative, and each of us has found a different way of coping in the feed readers/tools we have adopted.  Here are a few that present the best of what we enjoyed with some differing benefits and styles:

  • The Old Reader – This is my favorite pick probably because of its simplicity and aesthetics.  I could easily import my Google Reader feeds over en masse and maintain the same organizational structure.  And as an added bonus, anytime they embark on web maintenance, you get pages with photos of kittens until the updates are complete.  The only downside was that when I first migrated, everyone and their brother was doing so, too.  I was #47351 in line, and it took 3 days to have everything as it was in Google Reader loaded into The Old Reader.
  • Hive – Thanks to KRED, I have just started to dabble in Hive.  It is also a visually simple, easily navigable solution for your feed reading needs.  It also uses (like The Old Reader) the same navigation keyboard shortcuts that Google Reader did.  A function I enjoy is the public share, which I could see utilizing for sharing with colleagues.  I am toying with the idea of making a Hive account that is professional-only, and cultivating a list of resources and shares based on a unified theme of education, technology, and global issues.  The only catch for Hive, though, is that you have to request a key that will be sent to you via email within a few days (in my experience).
  • Netvibes – Netvibes is an impressive widget solution for visualizing your many feeds of information.  You can create a portal with all of your information in one place in a more dashboard format.  But, the issue I see with Netvibes is that it’s far more than a reader alternative, with the dashboard and visualization capabilities.  I would only be using it a fraction of its capability, but those other capabilities also cost, so be aware as you test it out.

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