Hello NewsBlur!

So, how did I spend my Friday night? I migrated my RSS feed reading life over from Google Reader to NewsBlur :)

The whole process took about five hours because I first culled my RSS subscriptions in Google Reader from 470 down to 302 – not an easy task! – and then I skimmed through all of my unread posts, saving the ones I wanted to read to Pocket.

Making the actual switch to NewsBlur was really easy: I signed up for a paid account, automatically imported all my Google Reader feeds, and then tweaked a few feed URLs that didn’t get copied over properly (a couple of them got truncated).

And now I’m a NewsBlur person – complete with NewsBlur Andorid apps on my phone and tablet plus my own BlurBlog (not that I’ve shared anything there yet).

Why NewsBlur?

Why did I choose NewsBlur over Feedly as my Google Reader replacement? A few reasons.

For starters, when reading RSS feeds I prefer efficiency in reading over a more magazine style reading flow and layout – the latter being Feedly’s key differentiator and, therefore, what they’ll probably be focussing more on in the future. I like to get through my feeds as quickly as possible (I do subscribe to 305 of them, after all) and NewsBlur works better for that.

I also like the NewsBlur’s approach to feed reading – everything from its layout options to its Intelligence Trainer that helps bubble up relevant stories from your subscriptions. In a way, I’m glad Google Reader is shutting down because it’s given me the opportunity to explore better and more effective ways of reading news feeds.

I like paying for good quality software and supporting the people who build this kind of software. So even when I use freeware that I really like – applications like Metapad, Notepad++, Freemake Video Converter, Paint.NET, Calibre, Launchy, and so on – I make it a point to donate to these people. By supporting smaller developers like this you help maintain a market for innovators and their innovations.

Finally, I really like having my own BlurBlog. I hated losing the public, RSS-subscribe-able list of shared items that used to be part of Google Reader (they turned that off because they wanted all of the sharing from Google Reader to go into Google+, instead). But with NewsBlur’s BlurBlogs my friends and I can go back to sharing our favourite posts with each other quickly and easily (assuming, of course, they all sign up to NewsBlur, too).

So, yay! And let the NewsBlur-powered fun times begin :)