Goodbye Google Reader, we’ll miss you

So how’s your new life going? You know, (whisper) post-Google Reader. Did you wake up feeling okay this morning, are you still going through withdrawal?

Whatever you’re feeling, the fact is that Google (s GOOG) Reader is really gone: Those who might have tried to pull it up yesterday, hoping Google might have forgotten or something, were greeted with this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-02 at 10.13.55 AM

The most important thing from that notice is that you need to have your data out by July 15, so please do that. If you’re still looking for an RSS service, check out our guide to Google Reader alternatives.

google reader retirementIf that doesn’t provide enough options for you, Google recommends checking out this list of alternatives (and get Mathew Ingram’s take on why you don’t need an RSS reader at all here). Not surprisingly, that list has Feedly in the lead, followed by over 150 alternatives, which is also roughly the number of press releases we have received about new Google Reader competitors in the past few days. Takeaway: It’s easy to build an RSS reader, but it’s hard to get it right. Even Feedly has spent the last two days responding to an endless stream of user complaints and questions — turns out there’s a mobile login bug, and they’re waiting for Apple (s AAPL) to approve their iOS app update.

Nobody said this process was going to go perfectly smoothly, though. And don’t feel bad for Feedly: They’ve added millions of new users (and a bunch of new servers) since the fateful Google Reader announcement in April.

Digg also just launched its own Reader, and while it too is dealing with bugs and user complaints and questions, the company says Digg Reader “remains speedy and stable” and that it crawled 7.7 million feeds as of last night, up from 100,000 a week ago.

If you’re still wondering why Google killed Reader, by the way, check out Om’s interview with Chris Wetherell, who was on the team that created Reader. Also, here’s a former Google employee debunking the myths that cropped up surrounding Google Reader’s death and explaining why Reader wasn’t a product that made sense for Google in the long run.

So how are you handling the transition? And did you read this post through an RSS client — if so, which one? Let us know in the comments below.