Google Reader quickly became the most-popular RSS reader for its simple interface and great keyboard shortcuts, but as Avvo’s Sachin Bhatia pointed out in the comments, it is shutting down. You have until July 1st to find something else.

I have already picked my replacement: Fever. If installing software on your own server does not scare you, I think it is the best alternative.

If you would like something easier, check out these alternatives. Just be careful — a lot of them actually require Google Reader for syncing up feeds. Hopefully, some of them will reconfigure to work without Google Reader. In the meantime, here are a few that will still work:

  • RSSOwl works on Windows, Mac, and Linux. It is local software, though, which is less than useful for people who live in the cloud.
  • NewsBlur is cloud-based and free for up to 64 feeds.
  • FeedDemon is a Windows RSS reader with an ad-supported free version and a Pro upgrade.

There are other alternatives at alternativeTo. I expect we will see a few other options pop up in the next few months, as well. But the fact remains that RSS is losing popularity as people find other methods to follow their favorite websites.

Update: As Niki points out in the comments, it looks like Feedly has been planning for this, and will migrate to their own backend when Google Reader shuts down.