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The Old Reader To Close Public Site In Two Weeks (Unless It Doesn't) 93

Posted by timothy
from the old-ways-is-best-ways dept.
An anonymous reader writes "When Google first announced Google Reader would be shut down, the news kick-started a very competitive race to create the best alternative. At least one service, however, did not welcome the change, and is now planning to close up shop next month: The Old Reader. In fact, if you navigate to the service's homepage now, you'll be greeted by this sad message: "Unfortunately we had to disable user registration at The Old Reader." In two weeks, the public site will be shut down and a private one, available to a select few (accounts will be migrated automatically), will take its place." An update on the story says "We have received a number of proposals that we are discussing right now. Chances are high that public The Old Reader will live after all," so a reprieve may be possible.
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The Old Reader To Close Public Site In Two Weeks (Unless It Doesn't)

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  • The what? (Score:1, Troll)

    by TWiTfan (2887093)

    If you're going to attempt such a blatant slashvertisement-disquised-as-a-story, at least tell us what the fuck "The Old Reader" *is*.

    I presume it's yet another RSS-reader similar to Google Reader, like so many others out there??

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by hilather (1079603)

      If you're going to attempt such a blatant slashvertisement-disquised-as-a-story, at least tell us what the fuck "The Old Reader" *is*.

      I presume it's yet another RSS-reader similar to Google Reader, like so many others out there??

      I enjoy using The Old Reader - I also just happened to hear about them closing up shop this morning, however it wasn't communicated well unless you read their blog. I'm happy this was posted up on Slashdot as it draws attention to the issue that they were considering shutting down their servers. This is news that matters to me.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It is "the ultimate social RSS reader", or so they say they are.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If you're going to attempt such a blatant slashvertisement-disquised-as-a-story, at least tell us what the fuck "The Old Reader" *is*.

      I presume it's yet another RSS-reader similar to Google Reader, like so many others out there??

      No, it's a video site of septuagenarians reading novels out loud.

      The summary started off by talking about Google Reader (which you clearly knew what it was) and went on to talk about The Old Reader, so it's pretty clear what it is. There are these newfangled things in writing called 'context' [merriam-webster.com] and 'inference' [merriam-webster.com] which you might want to look into. They're very handy.

      • by TWiTfan (2887093)

        Yeah, and there is this thing called a "Slashvertisement" that you (and Timothy and several other /. editors too, for that matter) might want to look into. Because I certainly DO know one of those when I see them.

        • by neminem (561346)

          This is actually *not* a slashvertisement - it's a thing that tons of people actually do care about, whether or not you're one of them. Until the announcement yesterday, I was under the impression that TOR was the *only* nonsucky replacement for greader. Now I know inoreader is also very similar, so if TOR dies I'll just migrate myself over there, but it's still pretty big news: TOR was one of the biggest names in the immediate-post-greader era, when a lot of people were looking for a greader replacement, a

  • WHOIS:

    Creation date: 21 May 2012 09:08:00
    Expiration date: 21 May 2014 09:08:00

    • The point is that it has all the social features that Google decided to strip out of GReader about a year before they shuttered it all together.
  • Too late for me. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:07AM (#44423599)

    I've been using The Old Reader ever since it was first announced that Google Reader was shutting down. I checked out all the options I knew about and decided to go with The Old Reader as they seemed to support my needs the best. My needs are basic; I follow a few blogs and their comments. That's it. This past weekend, they had major hardware issues and ended up being down for nearly three days. No problem, I thought. Growing pains. I'll stick with them. Yesterday, they had a couple of intermittent problems as well. No problem, I thought. I'll stick with them. Then comes the announcement on their blog. In a nutshell, "We're going private. If you're not one of our buddies, didn't sign up before March, and didn't pay, you're out." They didn't even try to retain their user base.

    I don't know if I signed up before March. There's nowhere I could find my account creation date. The banner at the top of the site tells me my account won't be retained. Like I said, I joined when they first announced that Google Reader was going away. I could've sworn that was before March, but who knows?

    I didn't know they were soliciting donations. You log into an RSS site and you start importing your feeds. I guess that's on me; I didn't really look beyond getting my feeds set up. Unfortunately, they didn't give me the option after the fact either.

    This is a site that prided itself on being a replacement for Google Reader. They catered to the Google Reader crowd. Apparently they got quite a bit of it. Their need to upgrade their hardware is a sign of success. The hardships they outline in their blog post are growing pains. These things happen. You work through them and move on, better than you were before. When your knee-jerk reaction is to announce you're dumping the majority of your user base, I don't really care what you say after the fact nor do I care what you ultimately decide. I've already been tagged as expendable. I don't want to find myself without an RSS site the next time one of their staff has a bad day. The Old Reader is/was a decent site. I liked the interface. I wouldn't have minded contributing if that would help. I have no qualms with being a supportive part of a community that I find value in. Unfortunately, my perceived value to The Old Reader is next to nothing and now I have no interest in supporting a site that clearly doesn't support its users.

    A few of the comments on their blog directed people to inoreader.com. I easily exported my OPML from The Old Reader and was up and running on InoReader in minutes. I don't plan to go back. As near as I can tell, InoReader wants you to spread the word. They want popularity. They want users. I can't find any requests for donations.

    So, yeah, out with the Old and in with the new. Devaluing your user base (or at least making it appear that way to your users) is not decent for business or your reputation.

    • Re:Too late for me. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anubis IV (1279820) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:59AM (#44424431)

      I'm increasingly glad that I didn't stop looking after I landed on The Old Reader. I enjoyed it while I was with them, but there was always a lack of polish, not to mention a lack of speed, that kept me wanting. I eventually ended up going with Feedbin [feedbin.me] and absolutely love it, since it feels like a native client, except it's on the web. Plus, a lot of other native clients on desktop, iOS, and Android are plugging into their API, meaning that you aren't locked in to whatever app they happened to make for your platform of choice.

      At this point I sound like I'm shilling for them, but I really do love it, and the fact that it's for-pay makes it obvious how they're supporting the service, so I'm not as concerned with it suddenly going under sometime soon (not to mention that they recently went through the growing pains that The Old Reader is facing, but they dealt with them by upgrading their servers significantly). I got lucky and got in the day before they raised the prices from $2/mo to $3/mo, but it's easily been worth it already. They also don't make it clear until you go to sign up, but you can import your feeds and trial the service for three days before getting charged, and they really do honor that, so you can get a feel for if it's for you or not.

      Anyway, just one alternative to consider.

    • I've been using The Old Reader ever since it was first announced that Google Reader was shutting down. I checked out all the options I knew about and decided to go with The Old Reader as they seemed to support my needs the best. My needs are basic; I follow a few blogs and their comments.

      I signed up at the same time. While I didn't quite like the interface, it was the best I could find at the time. However I did keep looking and actually settled on inoreader [inoreader.com] just before Google Reader shut off. It's gone from good to exactly what I was looking for. My biggest concern on inoreader is there's no monitization either, so....

    • by jon3k (691256)
      I'm tired of getting bounced around (greader, theoldreader) so I'm just going to run TinyTiny RSS [tt-rss.org] on a dedicated box myself.
      • Smart move. Better to learn from Google Reader of the problems of relying on SaaS. People who switched to Old Reader clearly didn't.

      • I did that after I heard of the doom of Google Reader (I actually had never used it, but used Opera's mail client between 3 different systems). Best decision of my life -- I lead an uneventful life.
    • by Goody (23843)

      Devaluing your user base (or at least making it appear that way to your users) is not decent for business or your reputation.

      I agree. They basically had success and lost their cool. They had a prime start-up opportunity thrown in their laps and they blew it. The various small technical issues every few days and the big outage didn't blow it, their big red message at the top of the screen that your account is going to get nuked blew it.

      Thanks for the tip about Inoreader. I just switched. I was thinking of migrating to Feedly, but Inoreader looks much better. I won't go back to The Old Reader even if they end up making a go o

    • i have the exact same story as you except i cant find any red bar on the website. but i can't find anything that says my account WILL be retained either, so i'm a bit nervous. can you describe exactly where you see the notice? maybe a screenshot? thanks!

    • by aled (228417)

      I'm using both The Old Reader and Commafeed [commafeed.com]. Both are similar. I liked The Old Reader design a little better but Commafeed had less unplanned downtime. Commafeed is also open source so you can run your own instance if you want to.

  • tt-rss (Score:4, Interesting)

    by baenpb (1343241) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:07AM (#44423603)
    Kind of irrelevant, but my solution is to host my own install of tt-rss: http://tt-rss.org/redmine/projects/tt-rss/wiki [tt-rss.org] It's similar to reader, and works great.
    • That's been my solution as well, running it on my file server. One of these days I really need to set up a dyndns so I can access it from away from home.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      I'm using this as well. Although they don't officially support it on shared hosting servers, I've had no problems with it on Dreamhost. Works amazing. I think I actually like it more than the old Google Reader. The Android client works quite well, and that was the only thing I had to pay for, apart from my hosting, which I was already paying for anyway. I've only used the web UI a little as I mostly just use it on my phone, but from what I've seen that works quite good as well.
      • Although they [tt-rss] don't officially support it on shared hosting servers, I've had no problems with it on Dreamhost.

        I tried it on a private server. My biggest problem with TT is they don't officially support much of anything. Over half my feeds were broken when I tried it. When I went to the forums, I kept finding the developer telling people it's not TT it's the RSS feed itself and that he's not going to accommodate broken RSS feeds. Yeah, he's technically correct, many RSS feeds fail miserably at conforming to the standard, but every other RSS reader out there manages to at least work. When your RSS reader doesn't offi

      • by aled (228417)

        Redhat provides a quick start for Tiny Tiny RSS [openshift.com] in its public cloud (Openshift) for free. I didn't try nor use it but some may find it useful so you don't need to run own server.

    • I ended up choosing TT-RSS as well, for one specific reason: you can add the Fever plugin [tt-rss.org] and continue using Reeder on iOS. Sadly, the OS X and iPad versions of Reeder are not functional right now, but it works great on my iPhone.

      A second, less critical but still useful feature, is the Google Starred import [tt-rss.org] plugin. This makes TT-RSS one of the only feed readers that can maintain your list of starred items.

      Plus, while I didn't mind paying someone to manage the server (I really don't need another thing to r

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I rented a cheap VPS just to run tt-rss for myself, and it's been working great. There's a debian package for it in sid, which made the server quick to set up. The android client is surprisingly nice. On the desktop it works well with newsbeuter (an excellent console feed reader). I don't miss Google Reader at all now.

  • Amateur Hobbyists (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wisnoskij (1206448) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:09AM (#44423629) Homepage

    I have been using The Old Reader since before Google Reader went offline.

    I stuck with them through month long wanting queues, ubiquitous downtime and slow servers, and extended offline time. Thinking these guys were not amateur hobbyists doing something neat for as long as it suited them.

    Then one day I am told that I did not sign up early enough, and that they are closing down because it is too much work.

    I don't care if it continues publicly, I will not be using it anymore.

    • by Aguazul2 (2591049)

      It takes two different kinds of people to create something and then to maintain it over a long period. Probably they got bored of the maintenance work -- and who can blame them? I'm using inoreader.com.

    • Re:Amateur Hobbyists (Score:4, Informative)

      by CyberKnet (184349) <slashdot.cyberknet@net> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:21AM (#44423791) Homepage Journal

      I was on The Old Reader around the same time period as you, but didn't stick through it.

      The main reason though was that I wasn't really a fan of the "Old" Google Reader. I liked the "New" Google Reader better, so when I found InoReader http://www.inoreader.com/ [inoreader.com] - I was thrilled.

      InoReader is also kind of a hobby project for someone, but has far fewer downtime issues than TOR, open sign up all the time, has issued a Google Reader-compatible API, and has a very responsive and helpful development/support crew.

      Disclaimer: I am not affiliated at all with InoReader, other than being a happy user. You might like to give it a try and see if it is for you too.

      • by Beorytis (1014777)

        ...I wasn't really a fan of the "Old" Google Reader. I liked the "New" Google Reader better, so when I found InoReader http://www.inoreader.com/ [inoreader.com] - I was thrilled.

        Thanks for the tip. I was in the same boat. It took me about 10 seconds to transfer the OPML file from my account on TheOldReader. (Much smoother than the transition from Google Reader to tOR).

    • by Seumas (6865)

      They should have considered the Pinboard.in method. Charge a couple bucks for the first guy and then increase each additional user's price by one penny (I think pinboard is now over $10). Or even just open registrations a chunk at a time and charge users $6/yr. Fifty cents a month is certainly worth it for an avid RSS user and for as many users as they likely got (and would continue to have acquired), it probably would have given them the incentive and resources to continue maintaining the service.

      • I really do not get people willing to spend money on this.
        Sure, you pretty much need RSS to survive on the internet. But you can get it for free, or do it yourself; On the web their is always a free alternative.

        • by neminem (561346)

          There's always a free alternative, but sometimes all the free alternatives blow royal chunks. I'm happy giving money to a solution that's particularly good when no just-as-good free alternatives exist. Heck, sometimes if a solution is particularly good and I care about it particularly, I'm happy to give some money even if a free solution *does* exist that's just as good, solely to support them so they keep being as awesome as they are, and don't go like TOR might. In the thread about it on their blog, you s

      • Seumass, you made a comment a couple weeks ago about Art Bell and Coast to Coast. I'm the guy who replied to it.

        I just saw this article, and thought I should pass it on to you.

        http://www.mercurynews.com/entertainment/ci_23757348/art-bell-returning-radio-sirius-show-about-paranormal [mercurynews.com]

        -
        For some reason, the right edge of the story is cut off with a few letters hidden. Select the text and copy-n-paste into Notepad if you need.

    • I have been using The Old Reader since before Google Reader went offline.

      I stuck with them through month long wanting queues, ubiquitous downtime and slow servers, and extended offline time. Thinking these guys were not amateur hobbyists doing something neat for as long as it suited them.

      Then one day I am told that I did not sign up early enough, and that they are closing down because it is too much work.

      According to TFA, the limit for signing up "early enough" is March 13, 2013. So, if you signed up after that, you've only been using it for a mere four and a half months... so is it really reasonable to act as if you've been a long-time supporter, sticking with through "month long" queues and downtime?

  • by CyberKnet (184349) <slashdot.cyberknet@net> on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:27AM (#44423881) Homepage Journal

    If you're a user of The Old Reader wondering if you really have to go back to Feedly - the answer is no, you don't. Head on over to http://www.inoreader.com/ [inoreader.com] and feel welcomed by the superb developers/support crew that are more than happy to take your feedback to create a better product.

    Nobody should have to stay through a series of "We're quitting! Wait... Maybe ... No ... If only... Probably... Flip a coin" announcements about whether or not they can continue to use their RSS reader.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with InoReader other than being a happy user.

  • Often unread posts were erroneously marked read. I appreciate that it was free, but I have some free dog poop in my backyard if you want want it.

  • Does anyone really care? I'm more miffed that Igoogle is being axed!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I know this is Slashdot where people don't understand basic economics, but, come on. TANSTAAFL: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Google shut down Google reader because, while it had a lot of loyal users, said users weren't making any revenue for Google. The reason why no one else is stepping up to plate to provide a free easy to use RSS reader thingy is because there just isn't any money in it.

    • TANSTAAFL: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch

      Is it really worth having a terrible acronym for something when you still have to explain what it means anyways?

  • I'm getting a little sick of all the cloud evaporation lately. Anyone have suggestions on reader/igoogle replacements that are open sourced so that, crazy idea, I can run my own damn instance?
    • tt-rss has received frequent mentions as a DIY web-based aggregator.

    • by Hydrian (183536)

      Yes. I would recommend Tiny Tiny RSS ( http://tt-rss.org/ ). I've been using it since Google announced Reader's demise. It is a web-based, PHP application but it does have a good JSON based API for other clients. There are already a couple of good clients for it on Android. There is also an iOS version but I cannot speak on the quality of it. I don't own any iOS devices. If you checked out your Google Reader data, you can import both the feeds via OPML and the starred items via a standard plugin. Peopl

    • by jon3k (691256)
      I switched to tt-rss. highly configurable, run it yourself, open source, mobile apps, etc. I'm tired of jumping ship at this point I'll just do it myself.
    • I'm getting a little sick of all the cloud evaporation lately.

      The best weather joke I've heard in ages ;-)

    • tinytiny rss. I've been using it and it works pretty well.

  • by s7uar7 (746699) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @11:52AM (#44424273) Homepage
    I landed on Feedly after trying the Old Reader but what worries me for all of these Google Reader alternatives is that they appear to have no business model past 'get loads of people to sign up.'
  • Solution (Score:1, Insightful)

    by The Cat (19816) *

    Someone build a good reader site, charge $5 a month for it and use the money to hire people to maintain it.

    If you want a good product, pay for it you fucking cheapskates.

    • by mbourgon (186257)

      There's actually several that already do this (feedspot and newsblur come to mind), though the price seems to be about $2 a month. Feedly is talking about a price for extra features, sort of like Evernote.

    • by thoth (7907)

      I'm on FeedWrangler - $19 a year, minimalist display, and it even has mobile apps available. Charging a small fee for service - that's a sustainable business model.

      I tried out a few sites after Google Reader's announcement, but settled on NetVibes. They are decent but their interface is more than I need, plus that weird text on their login about agency subscribing for $499... I kept searching all the while I used NetVibes. FeedWrangler won out!

    • by jon3k (691256)
      What an interesting post. First you point out that there's no good RSS readers charging $5 a month then you call everyone cheap for not paying for a service that doesn't exist.
  • When Google Reader announced it was closing, I started a new RSS account on every service I could find. Feedly, Netvibes, Newsblur, The Old Reader, etc. I'm using Netvibes because it suits my needs best. But my accounts still exist on all those other services, and they're just one button -- 'Mark all as Read' -- from being up-to-date.

    The future of the net, apparently, is complete lack of brand loyalty. I don't care who gives me the service I desire, and I don't care what they've done in the past. I'll

    • by jon3k (691256)
      Isn't that great for you as a consumer? They have to continually win your business, day by day, month by month. And if they fuck you just ONE time, you can flip them the bird and jump ship. This should create a highly competitive market and we should really benefit as consumers, right? I'd kill for this same economic model in say, broadband providers. Can you imagine?
      • I wouldn't say it's great for consumers, because all the services differ. If they were all exactly the same then yeah, it would be great. But as they are there's a pain for the consumer every time we have to switch. I don't *want* to switch. I exist in this disloyal state only because they've forced me into it.

        • by jon3k (691256)
          I don't use any service that doesn't allow me to export all my RSS feeds without a couple of clicks. It took me literally 2 minutes to move from Google Reader to theoldreader.com.
  • >Your account was successfully confirmed. You are now signed in.

    From the bottom of the page:
    "The Old Reader was unavailable for <3 days because of an outage we had. We seem to be back online, but please keep in mind that posts published during the time we were offline will be fetched during next 24hrs."
    • by libtek (902569)
      From the blog:
      "UPD: We have received a number of proposals that we are discussing right now. Chances are high that public The Old Reader will live after all"
  • What are all these reader businesses and what do they do? It sounds like just an RSS feed, but my browser does that already.

    • by jon3k (691256)
      They're just RSS readers, accessible from any device. So I can login to my account from my phone, tablet, any computer, etc. It's all hosted on the internet so you never lose anything. Settings move with you, some have really nice mobile apps, etc.
  • by Trevelyan (535381) on Tuesday July 30, 2013 @03:53PM (#44427667)
    With the close of google reader I switched to OwnCloud [owncloud.org] News [github.com] running on my own hardware.

    Pro: Not reliant on others, Con: I only have myself to blame if I go offline =)

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