Advice for Nonprofits on the Google Reader Shutdown

Google Reader is being shutdown in less than a month. Here are some possible alternatives.Earlier in 2013 Google announced that as of July 1st, 2013, it will be shutting down Google Reader. Then came the public outcry, as millions of loyal feed readers became desperate at the thought of losing their favorite feed reader.

Now the impending deadline is less than one month away, and while many people are still very sad/angry/confused, most have realized that the end of Google Reader is not the end of the blog reading world. There are other options.

Google Reader is shutting down. Here's some advice for and possible alternatives.

Unless you are one of those people described above, you may think that this issue isn’t relevant for you – but that’s not true. If your organization has a blog, whether it’s for volunteers, donors, clients or staff, then you need to guide your readers during this transition time. Make sure they know how to easily follow your blog after Google Reader goes away, otherwise these readers could very likely disappear, as well.

Below are some Google Reader alternatives for you to explore, so your readers won’t miss any great posts from your blog (and, of course, so you won’t miss any great Engaging Volunteers content.) Check them out and share your favorites with your community:


As the most recommended Google Reader alternative, Feedly has been getting a lot of buzz lately. It provides an easy way to migrate your feeds over from Google Reader, and its interface is simple and elegant.

Drawback: As far as I can tell, it does not support multiple users/accounts within the same deployment. (So if you had different sets of feeds for different Google accounts, you’re out of luck.)


One cool feature of Newsblur is a Pandora-type element that lets you “train” the reader based on the stories you like and dislike, creating a truly personalized experience.

Drawback: Limited to 64 feeds and 10 stories at a time unless you pay for the premium account. If your feed list is anything like mine, this won’t be nearly enough.

Pulse is touted as the most beautiful of the Google Reader alternatives. Its interface is overwhelmingly visual, with a focus on mobile usability.

Drawback: You can only import your Google Reader feeds via mobile, not on the web. Also, Pulse is probably the most different from the text-based Google Reader, so it could take some more adjustment than these other tools.


Describing itself as a “personal magazine,” Flipboard makes it easy to organize your feeds (and those you discover) into different types and topics according to your interests.

Drawback: Flipboard is for mobile and tablet users only at this point.

The Old Reader

This tool is probably the most like Google Reader – in fact it was built to be a replacement. The site is fast and free, with a very simple interface.

Drawback: The tool is still in beta, and there is no mobile app.

Are you preparing your blog readers for the Google Reader shutdown? Share your alternative recommendations below!

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