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RSS is dead… long live RSS! How to replace your Google Reader shared feed

If you don’t use or like or know what RSS is, maybe this post is not for you, sorry. I don’t know many people who uses RSS and it’s importance in some situations is not clear, for example in the last sites I designed I feel was tasked with setting an RSS just for the sake of it; and very few of the students I have taught in my “social media” lectures actually use RSS. However, I use RSS very actively as my primary channel of receiving information, instead of having to remember every site I have to visit every day to get news. The way to do this is to subscribe to the RSS feed of a site and then I get all the new in my Google Reader. RSS with Google Reader is also a good option to use if you do content curation or dissemination of information to a determined audience.

The problem is, some weeks ago Google changed radically its RSS reader “Google Reader”, in order to support “better” its Google+. The main consequence in the changes they made is that you cannot keep following what the friends whom you follow share, as users’ “shared” feed was killed. We still have Google Buzz for this kind of sharing of our RSS, but Google will be killing it soon as well. The main problem with this change of Reader for me involves the feed (Cool Stuff) I have right here in the blog (upper/right side). This feed was a Google Reader shared feed, the same my friends could use to input on their RSS readers to follow the items I share.

That’s for the rant, now I will tell you how I fixed it. I use many social networks where I post diverse/personal things depending on how open/close I have their privacy settings. So, I had to seek for an option to get the items I want to share out of Reader and into an RSS feed. Currently, Reader has moved all your shared items into “starred” items. It is possible to send every individual item in your feed to Google+, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. The problem with Google+ is that it doesn’t have the possibility to express updates as RSS feeds, the same goes to Facebook. Then, the solution comes from Twitter or Tumblr.

The twitter address for your feeds ishttp://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/[user].rss The problem is that when you paste this anywhere, every item’s title starts with your username.

So, Tumblr it is, the address for your feed is http://[user].tumblr.com/rss

What you need to do is to go to Google Reader, Options, Reader Settings, then click the “send to” tab and check Tumblr. This activates the option to send an item you read to Tumblr and then it gets into that RSS feed and into wherever you want to paste that, being your blog, site, or back again into your Google Reader. BTW you need a Tumblr account also.

Then, every time you read something in your Google Reader you want to share, click the “send to” option of the post, and select Tumblr, then a new window opens where you can arrange how it is published (for example you can paste an embed code if you want to share a video), then it’s done, it’s published immediately in that feed I just told you how to set up.

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