When information is set free…

When information is set free…

From Seth Godin’s latest post:

When information is set free, does it help you or hurt you?

If it’s not helping you, this is a good time to change your model.

I’m seeing the ways free access to information is revolutionising education, photography and journalism, and in each of these areas, it seems to me that too many people are doing too little to keep up. Whether they’re oblivious or cynical, the outcome will be the same: they will know less than the people they serve, and thus become irrelevant. Unless, of course, they adapt to this brave new world–probably by offering something that can’t be googled.

What are you doing to “knowledge-proof” yourself?

Feed Wrangler: my new Google Reader

Like so many others, I was mildly outraged (and more than a little anxious) when it was announced that Google Reader would be “discontinued” on 1 July.

Of course I was fully aware that its $0 price tag made me the product, and that relying on ANY Google service was asking for trouble (Google’s “discontinuation” of useful features and products is legendary). But I hadn’t been able to find an equally compelling RSS reader. As of early 2013, nothing else existed.

Thankfully, a vast array of options have emerged since Google’s announcement, and I’m happily settling in with Feed Wrangler.

My selection criteria?

  • Cloud-based, i.e. automatic syncing of feeds and read posts across multiple devices.
  • Supported by Reeder and Mr Reader, to enable comfortable reading on my iPhone and iPad. Planned support in these apps was OK if a decent mobile reading interface was provided in the meantime (Feed Wrangler has its own iOS apps, for example).
  • Respectable browser-based reader, for when I’m able to catch up while on a desktop/laptop.
  • Dead-easy setup, so I can comfortably recommend it to less tech-savvy friends.
  • Not free, not expensive. No ads, minimal risk of discontinuation without notice.
  • Attractive. Nice mobile app icons, clean branding, intuitive UI.

Based on all of these, I settled on Feed Wrangler. Others have reviewed it in detail (props to Federico Viticci for this especially thorough review), so I won’t do that again here. But if you do switch to Feed Wrangler, bear in mind that your Google Reader folders won’t appear. Similar functionality is available under “Smart Streams”, but you’ll have to create these from scratch.

Still, I’ve been using it for about two weeks and am loving it!