feedlyGoogle has announced the end of Google Reader. Okay, I know I’m a little late with this one but some people are seriously bummed and growing anxious about a replacement.

The reason for shutting it down is probably because of cost and maintenance when the company is busy focusing on their Google+ social network platform, which is having a difficult time competing with Facebook.  I’m sure they are hoping that the millions of  former Google Reader users will switch to Google+.

Now is the time to consider your alternatives including deciding if you still need a reader.  For now, I have already switched to Feedly, which I already like better than Google reader. I’ll consider my options again later on.

Feedly is free and has been around for a while. Unfortunately, it only works with Firefox and Chrome so IE users will not be using this one. iOS, Android, Kindle, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are supported. You need to install a plug in, so if you have a locked down computer it won’t work for you. It is however a social media tool and lets you share things with your friends. If you have a Google ID you can seamlessly migrate all your information from Google Reader.  Click on how to get the most out of Feedly on your desktop to see an array of options available.

Listed below are three more alternatives: 

Netvibes: The free premium version has plenty of features and reportedly good social media integration. It’s easy to tweet, facebook,  share a blog post and other feed items. For monitoring, using Tweet Deck or Hootsuite is probably better. There are some drawbacks, click on the link to see if it offers what you need.

The Old Reader: Is a beta version and was built to be a suitable replacement for Google Reader. You can log in via Google or Facebook to import your feeds or any other service via OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language).

NewsBlur:  Premium version costs $24/yr.  They have a free version, but it caps the number of blogs, stories and public sharing optionsIf you like to keep up with news on the go, NewsBlur’s iPhone, iPad, and Android apps will bring you the latest stories anywhere you are. I didn’t find it suitable for my current needs and free accounts are capped at 64 blogs.

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