It’s official – at the end of this week, Google Reader will be no more. Toast.

Google Reader has been the go to choice for RSS readers in recent years – but on July 1st 2013 it will go to the great cloud-software-place-in-the-sky.

We blogged about this back in March, but the big day is now fast approaching. Now that you’ve got over the disappointment out of losing Google Reader (kicking, screaming, wailing optional), it’s time to plan for an alternative.

Running an RSS reader: apparently not easy to do

Complicating the matter is that running an RSS reader is an expensive job. Fetching the news feeds of millions of people every three minutes unsurprisingly has the effect of eating computer processors for lunch. And if Google can’t make money from it, who can?

Therefore, we wanted to recommend two that we thought would, at the very least, be around in 12 months.

We’ve got two favourites – Feedly and Newsblur.

Feedly

Feedly welcomes you with a big button that says “One Click Import from Google Reader.” It’s got a gorgeous iOS/Android app and Chrome extension, and offers by far the best reading experience of the bunch.

The only thing which stops Feedly being the clear winner is the absence of a paid option. At worst however, Feedly will end up being acquired by a larger company (Yahoo! anyone?) and continued.

NewsBlur

If after getting burnt by Reader, you are only prepared to go with a service prepared to take your money, NewsBlur is your best bet.

It’s got a clean and clear interface, the ability to share stories with people that I felt Google Reader always somehow lacked and the ability to hide stories you don’t want to read.

It’s £15 ($24) for a version with unlimited feeds – small potatoes really, but a great insurance policy against getting your fingers burnt by a Google Reader style shutdown.

Honourable mentions

An honourable mention goes to The Old Reader, a service that aims to imitate the old Google Reader service. We’ve tried it, and think it’s worth a look, but is only currently in closed beta, which doesn’t fill us with hope.

Have you tried any other services? Are RSS readers still useful to you? What will you be replacing Reader with?  We’d love to get your comments – or tweets to @claremontcomms