Google has been in the news a lot recently, and much of it has been for all of the wrong reasons. The vast majority of that news has swirled around the decision the company made to kill its Reader program. Ghacks has discussed this in detail, providing a list of alternative apps and commentary on the backlash the Google decision has caused.
In my quest to find a replacement before the Google clock clicks down to zero I have tried both Feedly and The Old Reader. Both had their upsides and downsides. My latest attempt involves a service called Feedspot.
Unlike some of the ones out there, Feedspot is free. It is web-based and it can also import your Google Reader OPML file. To get started, you just need to sign up for an account., using your email address. The service prompts you to follow at least one of the feeds listed, which I suppose are partners and the revenue source for this model. These are not junk feeds though, so there is no need to panic on this. For instance, I chose to add National Geographic to my science section. I suppose you can unfollow later, but I will not because I actually like my choice.
After this, click the down arrow to the right of your name at the top of the screen and select "Import" to grab that XML file you took from Google Takeout. The import is almost instantaneous and you will be up and running in no time. However, it does not sync with Reader as services like Feedly do, so you will be face potentially thousands of "unread" stories.
There is an "Edit" button that allows you to arrange your feeds into categories, as I like to do. You can also follow people to see what they are sharing. There is a "Friend Activity" button at the top of the page -- it all looks very Facebok-like.
As far as the interface goes, Feedspot is by far my favorite service so far. It looks nice, works quickly and just appears slick overall. However, updates of new stories seem a bit slow. Overall, it is still the front runner to be my landing spot come July 1 when Google says goodbye to Reader.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.