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Three great alternatives to Google Reader

So Google is pulling the plug on yet another popular service. Thankfully, there are other ways to manage your RSS feeds.

Not again, Google!

First you announced plans to shut down iGoogle, the popular but apparently not profitable Web portal, and now comes word that Google Reader will be next to get the axe.

What's next: Gmail?!

Yeah, I realize you're in the business to make money, and if Reader isn't adding to the coffers, it's gotta go. But it's hard on us customers when you give us such cool stuff for free, then decide a few years later to pull the plug.

I guess we'll survive. And maybe we'll find an even better place to house and manage our RSS feeds, which Reader did well but not very prettily.

For example, there's Netvibes, which was actually on my original list of alternatives to iGoogle. Although it's more of a Web portal than a dedicated RSS reader, it's easy to stock with RSS feeds--great if you're looking to kill two birds with one stone.

If you've already invested a lot of time in Google Reader, check out Feedly (shown up top), which not only presents your feeds in a gorgeous, blog-style layout, but also imports from Reader. That means with just a few clicks, you can resurrect your existing feed library--and give it a sweet makeover in the process.

Feedly is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, and even has mobile apps for Android and iOS.

If those options seem overly fancy and/or cluttered for your tastes, check out Skimr, a bare-bones, mobile-friendly feed reader that's already stocked with popular tech sites (All Things Digital, the Verge, etc.--but no PC World?! Ahem!). Sign up for a free account and you can add sites of your own.

By the way, if you are indeed migrating from Google Reader, Lifehacker explains how you can use Google Takeout export your Reader feeds, which can then be imported into Skimr.

Contributing Editor Rick Broida writes about business and consumer technology. Ask for help with your PC hassles at hasslefree@pcworld.com, or try the treasure trove of helpful folks in the PCWorld Forums. Sign up to have the Hassle-Free PC newsletter e-mailed to you each week.

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