Thursday, May 23, 2013

RIP Google Reader

How do you read this blog?

If you do it via Google Reader, You must be aware by now that Google has announced that they will be retiring the service 01-July-2013.  Oh NO!

But hey, there are alternatives.  Who knew?  Google was the 800 lb gorilla in the room.  With them active, the alternatives were boutique news readers, largely ignored except by the Neteratti.

I am not going to tell you what reader to use - that is a decision that each must make for him/her/self.

But I am going to tell you what I chose:  Feedly.  Why did I choose it?

  • It uses OAuth for authentication, via your Google account.  (That means that Feedly asks, via OAuth, that Google authenticate you.)  Why is this good?  
    • Federated identity management (OAuth - Open Authentication - is the authentication portion of OpenID - a federated identity manager) is the way things will be working everywhere in the future.  Step aboard the train!
    • Doing authentication properly is hard.  Google is an experienced old-hand at this.  I trust them much more than I'd trust a brand new site.  
    • If you are already logged into Google, you will not be asked for a password when opening Feedly.
    • No new password to memorize
  • Feedly will automatically import the current state of your Google Reader.
  • There is an iOS Feedly app
  • There is a Firefox Feedly plugin.  
The user interface is different - it is much richer.  It's going to take me a while to get on top of it.  But here in the fast-paced Internet world, change is the only constant, so join me in embracing change!



Anonymous said...

Thanks, I was very excited to try Feedly but you kindly provided me with several bullet points why I can't.

I will never, ever, ever allow another site to access an account as important as my Google account. I don't doubt the security is very good, but I would only ever enter my Google password on a trusted Google site. The risk of phishing or man in the middle password sniffing, perceived, or real, is far too grate of a risk for me to take.

Robert Salnick said...

Thanks for your comment Anon. You point out a common misconception about how federated authentication works.

You will never enter your Google ID/password on Feedly's site. Instead, Feedly asks Google to authenticate you... That will happen on Google's site. All Feedly's gets back from Google is a token that says "authenticated".

This is a difficult place to have a comprehensive discussion of federated identity management. I'd suggest you research 'OAuth' or 'OpenID' for more info.

(who does this stuff for a living)

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