The Next Time Feedly Breaks Down, Know Your Alternatives or Suffer Needlessly

By Mary C. Long 

If you recently migrated all your soon-to-be-gone-forever Google Reader feeds to Feedly, you were likely banging your head on your keyboard this past week when it inexplicably stopped working.

There IS an explanation for this catastrophe, of course (which we’ll share with you below) – but more importantly, there are alternatives to keep in mind in case this ever happens again. And you really should have some options ready to go regardless, because complete dependence on any one reader app places you squarely in Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell when disaster strikes.

Feedly is fantastic. It helps you quickly flip through stuff you want to read – and potentially share with your networks – AND it integrates with Buffer (another fantastic app) and IFTTT, so you can queue the stuff you read to post over a period of days and more. Talk about a time-saver!

But last week was terrible for the smart little app, because it stopped working. Why? Seems the Google Monster experienced a serious case of sour grapes (either that or it was just a glitch):

And this comes, of course, after touting itself as a “simple solution” to folks’ Google Reader woes. Yikes.

The fix is out now and everyone is happy . . .

. . . but if this has taught you anything, you should now know to be ready with a backup option in case Feedly ever stops working again. You should do that will ALL apps you find yourself exclusively dependent on, but we’ll write posts on those topics at a later date.

Feedly actually offered some solid options to users during its outage:

But, as you likely notice (because they said it), the list only shares apps that integrate with Feedly.

Here are two others to consider (one is free, one is not):

Newsblur is awesome. Just look at it. Beyond the slick initial appearance, it offers an “intelligence trainer” (not to make YOU smarter, to make Newsblur work smarter based on your actions), sharing via numerous outlets, sharing stats AND the ability to sync with Facebook, Twitter and friends. Oh and it’s obviously borg-created, as once you start poking around in there, you’ll never leave:

There’s a free option and a paid, but you won’t get in for free, so don’t bother. And at only $2 per month, we think shelling out a few bucks is probably worth it.

Feel free to sign up for a free account, just know that:

This next alternative is more of a ‘wait and see’ app: Digg. The interface is clean, the app is free and the best part? As the “Reddit of social readers” Digg offers a daily digest (that you’ll actually want) sharing the “most interesting stories on Digg.” And yes, these stories are SUPER interesting and well worth the extra email in your inbox.

The reader part is in its infancy, but give them time. They’re a good option to keep an eye on and use from time to time, if only for the daily digest and to be ready if/when the next ‘big one’ hits!

What did you do during the Feedly outage? Did you switch to another app permanently or stare at the screen in confusion for a few days?

(Image from Feedly)