Quick! Save your Google Reader data before it’s gone for good
July 6, 2013 3 Comments
By now I’m sure you have heard about Google’s decision to kill Google Reader. If you have a Google Reader account you only have until Monday the 15th to save your feeds! You can download a copy of your Google Reader data via Google Takeout until 12PM PST July 15, 2013.
I have found using RSS feeds is the best way to keep on top of all the news and developments in order to be successful in today’s business and technical world. By using RSS feeds I can subscribe to a wide variety of sources and quickly scan what is going on in the world. I consider this a critical part of my overall continual learning experience.
I treat my incoming RSS Feeds just like my email inbox and try to process all my feeds to zero every day. Now that Google Reader is dead I use Feedly in a browser or on my iPhone or iPad to process my feeds. I do not use any of the “pretty” feed aggregators that try to make a custom magazine because it is just too inefficient for the volume of feeds I process every day.
With Feedly I can quickly scan the headlines to determine which ones I want to click on to get more information. Once I click on a particular item I get a short synopsis of the article or post and then if I want to actually read it I click on the link and it takes me to the web site where I can read the original article. If I want to keep the article to read later or for some kind of follow up, I just select the email option and send it to my Evernote email address to process later. If the article is something I want to share with others I use the “Send to Twitter” option to tweet it.
I currently subscribe to 70 RSS feeds which result in hundreds posts per day and I am able to process them in about 15 minutes. This allows me to keep up on all the news and events from sources I consider relevant to my interests, career and life. I treat my feeds very darwinian in that if a particular feed is not providing relevant information I delete it so my RSS feeds are constantly changing. Frequently, I subscribe to a feed to try it out only to decide it does not make the cut and is delete in a week or so. I also remove feeds that have dedicated iOS apps like CNet News, Boy Genius Report, Engadget, Tech Crunch, The Verge etc. because I prefer to view that content in the native app due to its optimized formatting.
Every morning I spend about 30 minutes scanning the new headlines. If I see something I want to follow-up on I use the “send to Evernote” feature to see it to my “unprocessed” notebook in Evernote. This allows me to review it later in the course of my normal processing to determine what, if anything, I want to do with that specific piece of information.
I pride myself on knowing information before others and daily processing of RSS feeds in the morning at the gym is the key to this. It gives me a competitive advantage in work and life. Only subscribe to sites that inform you directly or entertain you. Try to get a cross section of opinion and analysis. Don’t just consume information that is an echo chamber for your point of view!
Information “overload” is here to stay. There is no stopping it. So, rather than be a luddite and unplug completely, use RSS to keep up with what is important to you and the things that you need to get done in a more efficient way.
How do you process your feeds now that Google Reader is gone?