After withering in the dry heat for the last four months, Google Reader will quietly disappear into the horizon later today. It’s a sad day, but the sun will rise tomorrow, and the Internet will keep on spinning. Thankfully there are a lot of fine Google Reader alternatives to keep feeding your RSS addiction.
For the past month, a daily popup has reminded Google Reader users to back up their data. Google is essentially zero’n the drive tomorrow, ridding itself of millions of OMPL files. Stop procrastinating and take 5 minutes to export your data.
There are several options.
Google Takeout is by far the easiest way to export your Google Reader data. The Google service is designed to export not only Google Reader data, but also data from Buzz, Hangouts, Contacts, Drive, Goggles, and YouTube. If you just choose Reader, the export file should be less than a megabyte and only take a minute or so to process and download. Once downloaded, this OMPL file can be used in most RSS readers.
If you choose all of the services, the process will take a lot longer, but Google Takeout will email you when the exported data is ready to be downloaded.
However, Google Takeout doesn’t export all of your Reader information. As Mihai Parparita explains through his persistent.info site, it leaves behind tagged items, comments, and read items. He created this tool to export everything through Reader’s API.
- All your read items
- All your starred items
- All your tagged items
- All your shared items
- All the shared items from the people you were following.
- All the comments on shared items
- All your liked items
- All items you’ve kept unread, emailed, read on your phone, clicked on or otherwise interacted with.
- All items that have appeared in one of your subscriptions
- All items that were recommended to you
- All items in the (English) “Explore” section
- All the profiles of the people you were following before the sharepocalypse.
- All your preferences.
The tool takes a bit of command line work, but if your Reader data is precious, it’s worth the time and effort. The step-by-step instructions are here.
Alternatively you could just move on from RSS and embrace Twitter.