Goodbye Google Reader

So I finally decided that Google had more than enough information about what I liked and disliked, that the laggy Google Reader interface was much more trouble than it’s worth, and Google Reader meant a separate and completely unnecessary inbox, which was playing havoc with my workflow.

So instead of going for a specialized RSS feed reader, I decided to integrate my RSS subscriptions into an inbox that I already know how to manage: my email.

I’ve done this before, and it worked really well. New items show up as emails, which I already know how to manage online and offline. They’re easy to forward, easy to search for, and so on. I’ll give up the Buzz and “sharing” option, but that’s what Twitter’s for, anyway.

To get this working, I installed the rss2email program on my server, and set up a cron job to run it every 15 minutes or so. New articles are emailed to me at a special address, which my mail server automatically files to a “news” folder. In order to get rss2email to use the same subscriptions I had in Google Reader, I had to add OPML import support to rss2email. It was pretty simple. I found a patch for this already, and just had to port it to the most recent version of rss2email. Here’s the updated patch, which applies cleanly to version 2.66. With that patch in place, I exported the Google Reader OPML file, and with a quick r2e import google-reader-subscriptions.xml, all my subscriptions were now being polled by rss2email.

One less inbox, much faster workflow, and a lot more privacy.

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