I use Google Reader though, truth be told, losing it won’t be a big deal for me. RSS aggregators are still a major component of the blogging world, though, even in this age of social media, and my Feedburner stats tell me quite a few of my readers use them. And that Google Reader is the most popular, by far.
I don’t want to get into the politics and economics of why Google did this – I have my views, but there are plenty of places for that discussion. I’m more interested in the practical – if you use Google Reader to follow Lost in America, you’ll need to choose another method. I won’t claim to have done any real research myself because, as I mentioned, I don’t use aggregators all that much. But you can (ironically) Google “Google Reader replacement” and find thousands of articles on the topic. Here’s a link to one I found pretty helpful.
A few things stand out for me: Feedly seems to be the flavor-of-the-week among soon to be GR refugees. Digg has a new reader coming out this week, as does – wait for it – AOL. Noticing a trend? The market is getting very busy. There are a lot of options out there, many of them are free, and some of them are quite good by the looks of it. I know the pain of losing an application one finds vital and irreplaceable – the lack of an alternative to Windows Live Writer was the roughest part of my transition to OSX. But there do seem to be some very good alternatives to Google Reader.
Lastly, if you have a large list of sites you follow using GR, you’ll want to make sure and back up your data before 7/1. As well, some and not all of the alternatives offer seamless transitions from Reader – you might want to factor that in when you make your choice.