Moving from Google Reader to WordPress.com

Even though Google Reader showed up prominently in yesterday’s SERPs for “best free RSS reader”, someone at Google has decided to end the product life of Google Reader.

Heh Google Search! Google Reader is closing

It’s time to move on to a new RSS reader.

Several RSS readers managed to survive despite Google Reader’s dominance. And some new ones emerged. These tools are getting frequent mentions:

  • Feedly
  • NewsBlur
  • RSSOwl
  • Zite
  • The old reader

Digg decided to build a new reader the day Google announced the end of its Reader. In some ways, that’s the silver lining. RSS readers are getting more attention than in the past years combined.

WordPress.com

This is how you can import your RSS subscriptions into WordPress.com.

First, go to Google Takeout to download your Google Reader data:

google-takeout

The process is fairly straightforward.

Google Takeout

Click Download and save the zip file on your computer.

Google Takeout

Voilà. Saved the data for future use. Who knew! I’ve got 6.5 MB of shared Google Reader articles.

WordPress.com offers an RSS reader. I don’t know if I’ll make WordPress.com my RSS Reader, but there’s one advantage. I already have a login for WordPress.com. And it’s easy to try out. This is what I did to add my RSS subscriptions (not my past shared articles!) to WordPress.com:

Wordpress Reader

Click Import your subscriptions.

Wordpress Reader

I used the special service: Import your Google Reader sunscriptions directly.

I allowed WordPress.com to access Google Reader.

That’s it. Done.

Wordpress Reader

The challenge: so far WordPress.com isn’t in my regular flow of news sites that I visit. I use it for special photo projects, Akismet and Jetpack.

How to Backup your Twitter World

As many of you probably learnt by experience, Twitter Search only shows results for the last couple of days.

I guess, one of the preliminary assumptions is that you consider your collection of 140-character-long phrases valuable. And would like to search thru them from time to time.

Friendfeed
One easy workaround is to add your Twitter stream into Friendfeed. Friendfeed – currently in a difficult interim situation since the Facebook announcement – still has the best real-time search. It is a great way to archive your tweets and make them searchable.

Import OPML file into Google Reader
These days, bloggers don’t talk much about OPML anymore. OPML files (and the legitimate re-use thereof) were widely discussed in the early days of the Swiss blogosphere.

It seems many apps try to shield us from the underlying technical issues regarding import/export and backups.

Dave Winer shows how to extract the feeds of your Twitter world using an OPML tool.

My Twitter world is accessible at http://tw.opml.org/get?user=nchenga&folder=1.

Next, I can download this file to my desktop.

And upload it into Google Reader:

  • Go to Manage Subscriptions
  • Select Import/Export
  • Select your OPML file and click Upload

It puts all of the newly imported feeds into a separate folder. ReadWriteWeb has a detailed how to.
The only downside is that you don’t want to re-read all of the tweets in your Google Reader. Especially if you’re reading other RSS streams within the same account.

Offline RSS Reader
You can use the OPML file to create an offline backup within your favorite desktop RSS reader. I use the feed reader in Opera 10 to pull a copy of my RSS feeds together. Advantage: doesn’t interfere with my online reading.

Twistory
Another fun tool is Twistory, which adds your Twitter prose to your Google Calendar. It offers an iCal feed. And you can time events by adding t and /t to your posts.

Timetracking tagging: start your tweets with both t or /t and Twistory will keep track of what you’re doing.

Twistory

Adding my Del.icio.us feed to my Google Reader

I guess I’m trying to be too clever:

The Scenario

I added my Del.icio.us feed to my Google Reader account. Then selected a feed item and clicked Share.
Within Google Reader this works ok. I can click on the link and the corresponding URL opens.

So far so good. No problems.

But if I display the Google Reader RSS feed on an external website such as my blog, the feed adds my Del.icio.us URL to the article’s URL. Which in turn leads to a bad address.

404 - Page Not Found

Probably an unintended use…

(update) This is due to the Atom feed. The workaround is to use Feedburner.