I know lots of folks are upset about losing Google Reader as a resource for managing their RSS feeds. If you’re looking for a replacement, you might want to consider using Netvibes. This free service has been described as a personalized start page, and it helps you organize all your web content in one place.
I’ve been using it for about four years, mainly to manage my blog feeds, but it can do so much more. Because Netvibes allows you to add widgets and html coding to your pages, you can embed text, photos, videos, live websites and/or thumbnail links, Flickr streams, etc. I can check the weather, check things off my To-Do list, and check my blog stats using a Google Analytics module. I can even read and send Tweets via my Twitter widget at school, where Twitter is blocked. (Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!)
I also use Netvibes to archive the websites I’ve shared as part of my WWW program, which I wrote about in a previous blog post. WWW stands for Weekly Wednesday Website, and I used it in the past to share a new site each week with my faculty. (Now that I have a flexible schedule, I can work more closely with teachers to recommend sites and tools one on one, so I no longer send out those blanket weekly emails. I do still add sites to the Netvibes archive, though, for the convenience of my teachers.)
If you think you’d like to make the switch from Google Reader to Netvibes, they’re making it easy for you. From the Netvibes blog:
As you may have heard, Google has decided to shut down its Reader service on July the 1st. Good news: you don’t need to look for an alternative, Netvibes is the perfect home for all your RSS feeds, and more. Judging by the increase in traffic since the announcement, it’s safe to say that most of you have already make the move, and we’re grateful for that. And if you haven’t done it yet, here’s how you can easily join our community.
It goes on to provide step-by-step instructions for importing your feeds from other services so that you won’t have to start over from scratch. Apparently a lot of people are making the switch, because there’s a banner across the top of the site today that reads: If you’re experiencing slowdowns or feed latency, please bear with us as we work hard to handle a huge amount of new users. Thank you for your patience.
Whether you choose to use Netvibes or another service, I wish you all good luck on finding a new RSS manager!