Bye bye Google Reader, it will cease July 1st 2013

Before I rant I know I am a bit behind with this announcement, but I still want to say something!

Once again Google sticks two fingers up to its users and cans another service, harsh words but it true. Sure there will be a bunch of “real” reasons but I am still to ponder why. As it was a great RSS reader that was clean and simple to use.

Like most IT folks will tell you, just keeping up with the rapid changes in our industry is almost a full time job, so once you find a way to help manage that flood of information, you tend to stick with it, like that comfy pair of shoes that you just can’t throw away!

I used Feedler to compliment my reader account and I have a feeling I will need to change that as well. I guess the reality of the situation is its time to move on and no amount of ranting will help, so I ask my self whats next? How can I save my rather large feed list as all my data is in the “cloud” and how quickly can I migrate.

First off getting my feed data is key and according to my quick nose about I can use Google Takeout to back up my feeds and import them to another source.

I also had a look at Feedly which seems to have picked up a lot of new users since this announcement. After installing it I found that it actually has an option to link to your Google Reader feed.

It also syncs the changes between GR and Feedly, and on top of that it also imports all of your feeds from Google, so that’s a neat alternative to Takeout. However I think I will still grab a takeout backup whilst I can. You just never know.

My first impressions of feedly are positive, it has a similar feel to flip board, a news feed app I mentioned I my I world post a while back. However I will miss that clean simple interface that Reader and my Feedler app delivered.

The option to group blogs is nice, so I can split my gaming and IT blogs up. There are a myriad of features and options to geek over but I have not done so yet.

In closing Feedler is worth checking out if you are looking for a new app to manage your feeds.

My thoughts on building a personal online brand

I have been thinking about this quite a bit of late, the main reason being that I have started to blog more and this has expanded my horizons, so to speak.

This blog started as a way for me to combat my bad memory. I always write down technical fixes and I end up forgetting them or losing the bit of paper, so I started this blog to help me record technical resolutions to problems. The issue I then faced was finding the time to write-up all this information, so you guessed it not a lot of posts happened.

I started to find that I was thinking about blogs on topics other than my technical fixes and it was these thoughts that actually motivated me to write more. I then started to blog more on my favourite hobby, playing Video Games. To start with blogging on both subjects in my mind caused no issues, however as I have alluded to in the title I am coming to the rapid conclusion that all my blogging is actually helping me to build my own brand and stick it out there for all to see. Which also scares me a little bit….!

Currently my brand is a little bit messed up, clearly I have two passions and one of them fits nicely into my blog name and twitter handle, the other does not. To me this sends a mixed message, is this a problem? Maybe not as these things are what make me… Well…Me. And isn’t my brand 100% me!?

So do I split them out or stay as I am. I am thinking that I should split them out.

So where next with my online brand and why do I want to build one?

Having a brand is all about promotion and I am hoping that these posts help promote me and push my career forward. If I can then use this shameless promoting to meet new people, get different thoughts and views from others and create opportunities that I may never have had then I will be a happy guy. Also it’s my chance to try to give something back to the community as I use other people’s blogs to help me, so I hope I can do the same for someone else.

I have a few next steps in mind, beyond blogging more, I am thinking that branching out into YouTube could be one avenue to interact with the wider community, also using other social media to promote my thoughts seems like a good step. I also want to start a blog post series that will be something a bit different.

I am still working on getting my new home for the Enemy Zero clan up and running which I am hoping will give me other avenues to explore. In fact I have to get a post going on that to update what is going on as there is a new site nearing it’s launch and I will publish my future gaming posts on there, but for now they will remain on this blog.

No matter what I will continue to blog as even though putting a post together takes some time, it’s good fun and in some cases it forces me to get my thoughts down or clarify my understanding of a topic or issue.