Goodbye Google Reader, welcome FeedSpot

Google Reader had been a close buddy for quite a while, after Chitresh Jain got me addicted to a bunch of feeds, most importantly FMyLife¬†ūüôā¬†And then comes the sad shut down news ¬†that creates a lot of rant all over the web. After trying a few alternatives immediately, I was hopeful (and sure) that this would tickle opportunists and deliver a much better RSS reader. The threat of data lock-out that Google users were anticipating after the announcement was more than relieved with Google TakeOut and their commitment to Data Liberation¬†(FYI, this was #6 on my list of the top 7 non-functional requirements for web-based products).¬†And I am huge fan of the Google PR team. They made good sound great, and bad sound hopeful. And they’re so unbiased, they even delegated listing out the best alternative to end users itself.

Early July, Google Reader finally went down¬†– RIP Reader – and I was exposed to Feedspot¬†through Anuj Agarwal‘s bio on Quora. I had some troubles importing my subscriptions directly from Reader, but that looked like a problem at the Google ¬†end. It gulped the Reader TakeOut export without a hitch.

Excellent use of real estate
Excellent use of real estate

What I loved:

+ Minimalistic, responsive, consistent UI – Zaaro glitches
+ Excellent user of real estate, very few colors (a.k.a. visual distractions to reading)
+ Slick import of Reader data exported via TakeOut

What I missed:

~ Login via Google – Think users – that’s the refugee’s laissez-passer¬†after all
~ Considering blocking of social media sites at work – yes even the login, a 1-time connection with Twitter/FB/G+/LinkedIn for proxy posting will be a hit!
~ Missed Reader’s integration with Gmail Contacts when it came to sharing via email

Conclusion

Overall, I found it a pleasant replacement for Reader. Works well on most devices. Great UI, minus the jazz you’d like to leave out of a RSS reader. If you have been missing Reader, and haven’t found a good alternative yet, do give it a try. Open for discussion, as always