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Today I Killed RSS

Today I killed RSS, well for me at least.

Death of Google Reader

I've always been a fan of the RSS reader, Google reader was my reader of choice, I've used it for years. It was always the first thing I went to in the morning to read up on the news that happened the day before, star the article that I want to read and remove the ones I don't. Then I would go through all the articles and spend an hour or two reading everything. I would do this everyday, I would spend a couple of hours each day reading articles from some of my favourite blogs.

But some of the articles I wouldn't even want to read but would read them just because they were from a blog which I liked. This would waste hours of my week reading articles that I didn't need to read.

Twitter

Then Twitter came along, which streamlined my news reading, I would sit on Twitter whenever a post came in which I thought I would want to read I'll favourite that tweet so I can come back at another time when I'm ready to read it. I much preferred this method of getting news and found that I spent less time on my RSS reader.

Google Plus

There was a lot of people who has said that Google shut down reader to try and get more people to move over the read articles on Google plus. In theory this would be great as it keeps everything in one place and I can just use Google plus. But I've noticed that some of my favourite blogs are still not posting regularly to Google plus, but they will always tweet their latest post. So if I just used Google plus I would miss a lot of posts. I have to admit Google plus is my favourite social network I prefer it over Twitter but I always find the content on Twitter much better.

The thing I don't like about Twitter is the thing that makes it awesome, the 140 character limit. It's great when your sharing posts you found but to have a discussion on there is very annoying. If it goes over the limit I end up just sharing it on Google plus and have a discussion on there. Or I would do what I'm doing now and blog about there subject.

Another reason why I continue to use Twitter over Google plus is the favourite tweets feature, it's an easy way of saving tweets so that I can come back to the later and read the article.

If my favourite blogs started to post on Google plus and there was an easy way of saving posts so I can read them later then I would of replaced Google reader with Google plus but it's just not there yet.

Google Reader Replacement

I'm guessing that other people went through the same process as me which is why Google announced the closure of Google reader. Google said that they noticed a drop of users of Google reader and have decided to shut down the service so they can work on other products and services. This has caused massive panic in the blogging world as everyone seemed to use Google reader, what are we going to use now?

Now with Google reader gone everyone was looking for a replacement, I choose to give feedly a go. It was really good, did everyone that Google reader did for me I was happy using that service. Lots of other people said they would move over to use email instead of another reader and it got me thinking about the difference in subscribing via email and subscribing via RSS.

Subscribe Via Email

The only blog I subscribed to via email at this time was Smashing Magazine, they are one of the best web development blogs around and their articles are always excellent, for this reason I never wanted to miss a post and subscribed via email. I never really noticed the benefits of subscribing via email before until I actually thought about the process of reading articles via RSS.

Google closing down reader has finally made me think about the process and how much time I was using up reading 100s of articles a week even if I don't need to read them. Have you ever missed a day of opening up your RSS reader and come back and there are 100s/1000s of unread articles in the list, how often do you go through and read all the unread articles? Most of the time I would skip a large percentage of articles and just read ones from certain blogs. What was the point of subscribing to these blogs if I'm not going to read every single post? I'm better off following them on Twitter and reading the posts that I need to about.

The difference with the blogs that I subscribed to via email is that most of the blogs that offer you to subscribe via email offer a weekly digest. So instead of getting all the posts sent to you by RSS you get a list of posts in that week straight to your email. This is a much better way to manage the posts I want to read, at the end of week I can go through these emails and take an hour reading these post. This cuts down my reading time of articles massively over the week and means I can still keep up with the changing world of the web.

Now to read the articles I want I wait for them to come straight to me email and follow the blogs on twitter to catch the rest.

So as of today I too have killed RSS and moved to email to manage all my subscriptions.

What do you think about Google reader closing? How are you going to manage following your favourite blogs? Google Plus? Twitter? Email? Or another RSS reader?

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