Monday, October 7, 2013

iGoogle Reader Shut Down


If you are reading this post it is probably because you used iGoogle for aggregating your news feeds and the various blogs and websites you regularly visited. It is/was quite handy for putting all the new posts and news from those sources onto a single page that was easy to scan and then pick which stories you wanted to read. Today (10.7.2013) iGoogle said 25 days to shutdown. I am assuming that you have exported you current iGoogle settings in a XML file and now are looking for a site to upload them to. Sounds easy, but this has been a few months for me of trying different solutions.

Google stated that usage had declined and that was the reason they were pulling the plug. I really liked the ease of use and how it saved me time gathering updates from multiple sources. So, I looked at many, many blogs and websites that recommended various substitutes.

After trying many of them and getting pretty frustrated by multiple issues like: 1) Google exports your iGoogle page as a XML file and most of the replacement sites want OPML files to import your current settings 2) XML to OPML converters don't work 3) renaming a XML to OPML and trying to use it does not work 4) the replacement site did not update my feeds or 5) Replacement sites did not support uploading a list (XML or OPML) at all, I settled on uStart.org.

uStart was able to easily upload my iGoogle XML file. It was fairly easy to modify columns and look/feel, though not the best. And, well, it just worked.

Ighome had looked like the winner for a while but then stopped updating the feeds even though I had configured to update every 10 minutes. It also seems to be overloaded with slow web page loading problems. It could be a viable alternative down the road but did not accept my XML file either and forced me to load the feeds one at a time - I was part way through that when the performance and reliability issues started.

I tried ighome, netvibes, and myYahoo in earnest. I looked at several others and did not even try because they did not allow for importing your current settings or provided a daily list and did not use containers for segregating feeds which I like visually. I did not want to start all over setting up around 75 different feeds. For me, the simplicity of uStart.org made it the winner so far. The other nice thing about it was I could import my iGoogle XML file with all my feeds without even registering an account - that was nice!!! I could see right away that everything was there and then registered for an account.

If you want to check out various sources for ideas here are some.  Good luck and hope you don't start pulling your hair out and wanting to rip your own face off like I felt a few days working through this Google induced pain.

Edit 10.9.2013 - one of my friends found info that said uStart.org had been involved in some kind of browser home redirect issues back in May 2013. And, there are some virus detection software sites that warn people about uStart. I have been using it several days now and have had no issues. Apparently it is a French-based company and several French software companies have been involved in this kind of thing in the past. Whether this was guilt by association or uStart was actually involved I don't know. I can only vouch that at this time everything is fine. I will post an update if any issues develop. Right now, performance is good, I have not been asked to download any browser extensions or any other files, and everything is fine. I have not experienced any increase in SPAM that might be related to uStart having my email address.
Edit 10.14.2013 - still no issues with uStart.com hijacking my browser, requesting me to download extensions, or causing any computer mayhem.A couple of kind readers made suggestions that I checked out but did not switch to for the same reasons mentioned in this post.
Edit 11.20.2013 - uStart has not done anything to me yet and I consider it a decent alternative to iGoogle. It was certainly the easiest one for transferring my feeds to from iGoogle. I have gotten used to it and don't think about iGoogle anymore except when I see this post.
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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've swithed to www.hinto.co and I really like it.

Jon said...

I'm using http://www.startme.com now and I'm liking it so far. This one's more about bookmarks and RSS feeds, which is really what I'd use iGoogle for anyway.