Oh nos! Google announced on March 13, 2013, that Google Reader would be shut down on July 1, 2013. When Bloglines shut down (and then was resurrected in a slightly different form in 2010), Google Reader was the last truly functional web-based feed reader left. I use it daily, as I’m sure others do. Not enough of us, it seems, for Google.
It seems I need to find another decent client for my RSS feeds. I may be in the minority, but I find a feed reader the best way to keep up.
After sticking with Movable Type for far too long, I took the plunge and migrated RSS4Lib to WordPress last night. I think most of the wonkiness is resolved now… But if you can’t find something, please let me know through the comments.
One of the reasons I’ve been so absent on RSS4Lib over the past eighteen months or so is a larger project I was working on: a book, Drupal in Libraries, Volume 14 of the Tech Set ® series edited by Ellyssa Kroski.
The book is written as a primer for technically proficient librarians who want to learn more about Drupal and manage a web site using it, but who are not themselves coders. The only time you’ll need to be typing commands directly into a terminal emulator (and even that is optional) is to install and decompress the Drupal software. The rest of the book is focused on what you can do with Drupal from the administrative interface. The book has 10 chapters, as follows:
- Types of Solutions Available (how and where you can get Drupal, seek development and/or technical support)
- Planning (this chapter is available as a free sample)
- Social Mechanics (working with your organization to build a successful project)
- Implementation (this is the bulk of the text and walks you through the basics of adding and configuring modules, creating content types, and working with various features such as views and panels)
- Marketing (how to sell Drupal to your staff and to your IT organization, and how to sell the site to your patrons once it’s launched)
- Best Practices (tips and tricks for building a secure and stable Drupal site)
- Metrics (measuring the success of your new site)
- Developing Trends (up-and-coming tools and modules to be aware of)
- Recommended Reading (an annotated bibliography of books, articles, and learning resources
The book also has a companion web site, with additional information and discussion forums. If you have questions about the book, or Drupal in a library setting, stop on by.
Google recently announced that they are soon to relaunch Google Reader with a new design and are “going to bring Reader and Google+ closer together, so you can share the best of your feeds with just the right circles.” Although I am not a huge fan of Google+ (Aside from the coolness of Hangouts, I haven’t seen a reason to convert from Twitter and Facebook; my social circles don’t see to be active in Google+), one of the things that has griped me about Reader is that there has been no way to share RSS items with my Plus circles. If nothing else, that will soon change.
Something else that will change is that the Google Reader API (an unofficial, undocumented, and formally unsupported API) will at some point be phased out. This doesn’t make a difference to users of the Google Reader web site, but does matter for anyone who has been using Google Reader to track what has been read in applications like FeedDemon and others.
If you want to get your data from Google, they will continue to offer an OPML download of your feeds, but will be augmenting the list of subscribed feeds with your other personal data, including your shared items, friends, likes, and starred items. What you do with them then is your business.