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Thursday, March 14, 2013

7 Alternatives For Google Reader

5:51 PM


With the news that Google is killing off Google Reader as of July 1, 2013, users everywhere are on the lookout for potential replacements.

Replacing Google Reader isn't easy; the service isn't just an RSS reader — it's also the de facto cloud-based RSS syncing service. Many Google Reader users don't even use the web app as their primary feed reader, instead using the service to offer subscription, read, unread and folder information to other RSS clients such as Reeder, NetNewsWire and FeedDemon.

And while services and apps such as Pulse and Flipboard are a great way to visualize news and information, those services are not conducive to the needs of the power Google Reader user.
Thus, a good alternative needs to have a cloud- or web-based component — so that feeds can be accessed from multiple devices or locations — and it needs to be usable with hundreds or thousands of feeds. Finding services or apps that can support both of those requirements is difficult, but we've managed to find a few that fit the bill.

1.Feedly

For many users, Feedly may provide the most direct route of keeping their Google Reader experience intact.

The service, which offers web, Android and iOS apps, can interact with your existing Google Reader account or store feeds on its own backend.
The interface isn't identical to Google Reader; it's more fluid and Flipboard-esque, but it does offer a number of different views, and will keep read/unread lists in sync.
The most promising aspect of Feedly is that the company is committed to making the migration from Google Reader to its own sync servers seamless.
Feedly also has some built-in sharing tools that are reminiscent of Google Reader's old Sharebros days.
Our only real concern with Feedly is its underlying business model. Maintaining these servers isn't cheap, so how will the service monetize?


Feedly-screenshot

2.Fever

Shaun Inman launched Fever in 2009 as a self-hosted alternative to feed readers such as Google Reader.
Fever works like a traditional reader, but also sorts news feeds based on hotness -- wherein links that have the most links on other sites (or within your own feeds) get more prominence on a temperature scale.
This is a pure web app, and it is optimized to run on mobile or in the desktop, though some third-party apps (including Reeder for iPhone) support accounts as well.
The only downside to Fever is that it is self-hosted, meaning users need to have their own domain, PHP install and MySQL database. It's not a hard app to install or maintain, but its self-hosted nature makes it ideal for certain types of RSS geeks. The price of Fever is $30 per instance.

Fever-screenshot

3.NetVibes

An oldie but a goodie! NetVibes was popular in the golden era of RSS clients and services.
In addition to its web-based RSS feed reading options, NetVibes also has iGoogle-style widgets.
NetVibes is still kicking and can be a good monitoring tool for different types of content, but be aware that it isn't as fast or keyboard-friendly as Google Reader. Moreover, the service doesn't integrate into third-party mobile apps.

Netvibes-screenshot

4.NewsBlur

NewsBlur describes itself as innovating on the shoulders of what Google Reader built. To that end, the open source project offers free web, Android and iOS apps for news reading.
In addition to letting users run their own NewsBlur instances, NewsBlur also has hosted offerings that work with its apps.
A free NewsBlur account is good for 64 feeds and 10 feeds in a River of News, but for $1 a month, users get unlimited feeds, unlimited rivers and more share options -- including private and protected shares.
Like Google Reader of old, NewsBlur lets users share feeds and stories to one another.


Newsblur-screenshot

 5.The Old Google Reader

The Old Reader describes itself as "the old Google Reader but better," and its design and sharing features are similar to pre-October 2011 Google Reader.
While users can import feeds from their Google Reader accounts, Old Reader is having a hard time taking on the Google Reader traffic.
On the surface, Old Reader looks like a good alternative, but we're curious as to its business model and ability to sustain maintenance of a sync server.


Theoldreader-screenshot


6.Managing News

Managing News is definitely for DIYers, but it's an interesting project designed to let groups (or individuals) track data, RSS feeds and visualizations.
Like Fever, you'll need to install Managing News on your own server. Unlike Fever, Managing News will require a little more finessing. It's a customized Drupal 6 installation, and getting everything set up can be tricky for newcomers.
Still, the underlying technology is VERY promising, especially for groups who want a way to share feeds, comment on data and do different visualizations or keyword tracking.

Managing-news-screen

 

7.Twitter Lists

Twitter isn't a perfect replacement for Google Reader but for many users, Twitter lists curated by website or influencer are often better sources of information than traditional RSS feeds.
The problem with Twitter is that it is best for a source of current and breaking news, but not as good for finding or sorting through older news.
Still, for many feed addicts, Twitter is both more immediate and better at sharing than any RSS alternative.


Tweedeck-feeds-screenshot

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