So as of this coming Monday, July 1 – a veteran of the internet will die. Google Reader, which allowed users to stockpile RSS feeds and skim for a condensed version, will cease to function. Sure, most people probably didn’t even know about it, or maybe didn’t care, but I used it several times a day.
I had categories like WordPress, PHP and Business and each was filled with news & articles from some popular sites in that niche. Google Reader then aggregated the stories for me and presented a timeline of headlines (the way I configured it) which I could skim quickly, or read leisurely.
It also integrated with the awesome Reeder app on my iPad.
Google gave us a short 3 month window in which to replace Reader with something else. And the race was on. All of the big players promised imports and upgrades, low prices and fast service. More than a few sites found themselves crashing amongst the crush of new users trying to find a solution.
I tried and wanted to find a WordPress based solution and there were some, but none felt right. I’m not a WordPress evangelist who lives in a dark cave – I know when it’s not the right solution (for now). So after trying out a few solutions, and deciding that hosting my own would be preferred, I found Tiny Tiny RSS. It looks and feels a bit like Google Reader, which is nice but wasn’t a requirement. The project has had a considerable boost as Reader shuts down and the developer has done a great job of bringing it up to speed as a replacement.
If you have the resources, I’d recommend giving it a try. It will import your existing Google Reader list and keep them in order as long as you go through the crazy Google export process. I found it a little unforgiving with a few feeds that weren’t properly formatted. I had to re-add a couple using a new URL, but a few just won’t validate. TT-RSS tells you about these problems.
There are many preferences and it will handle multiple users. So technically I could set up my own aggregation service to compete in the void left by Google Reader, but I’m not interested in that. I have my little reader with my 20 feeds. That’ll do. Maybe if you’re a close friend I’ll help you out.