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Thoughts From Readers on Replacing Google Reader 50

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Last week, we asked you about replacements for Google reader. In both this Ask Slashdot (errr, "Slashdot Asks") and this poll, readers responded with suggestions. Not everyone cares about Google Reader; nearly 70 percent of the poll respondents said they didn't use it anyhow. So think of the rest of this post as something like the gum commercials which draw their conclusions from "those dentists expressing a preference." Below, some of the collected wisdom:

There are a lot of RSS aggregators. In the poll, the clear winner of the small list of options we could squeeze into the list was Feedly; in fact, it was the only replacement option to break into a double-digit percentage, tied with the catch-all "other alternative" choice.

Some of the strongest endorsements are for Tiny Tiny RSS (also knowns as tt-rss), including this one from the esteemed Col. Klink (retired), who also links to a "free (and improved) fork of the Tiny Tiny RSS Reader Android app."

An anonymous reader says that Tiny Tiny RSS "would be the 'slashdotter solution,' since it has a lot of strength in its plugin capabilities, is GPL v2, fully stylable, has an API, etc. If you have your own server available (or a shell account somewhere), I can't see any reason to not use this solution. I left Google Reader after several years upon the close-down decision earlier this year, and I have not missed it a bit. For those that have previously tried TT-RSS and didn't like it, it can be said that it has evolved significantly in my eyes during this year. Development is very much alive."

For those who'd rather stay in the browser, stevegee58 is one of several to suggest Netvibes: "It seems like the RSS reader market is flooded with apps so it was difficult to find web-based services. I had grown used to the Reader look and feel so I settled on NetVibes as being the closest fit."

Note: Digg's promised alternative to Google Reader is supposed to arrive soon, too — June 26th, according to that Washington Post article.

For those uninterested in using a yet another app when there's a perfectly good email client to read things in, there's this, from reader devent: a quick HOWTO on setting up an email sink for your favorite RSS feeds.

And for those who'd prefer a bit more esoteric solution, reader yosephi suggests Emacs + Gnus + Gwene, and links to an informative video tutorial, writing "There is a steep learning curve, but having mail and news in one place is nice."

(That suggestion was seconded by reader Sq, who writes "It will turn any RSS to newsgroup, and you can read those with any NNTP newsreader (for which I already have setup .newsrc syncing between accounts).")

Finally, at least two readers (uberjack and billstclair) have written their own alternatives.
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Thoughts From Readers on Replacing Google Reader

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  • iGoogle (Score:4, Interesting)

    by trmj (579410) <tmacfarlan.gmail@com> on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:03AM (#44092655) Journal

    With iGoogle shutting down in November as well, it's getting overlooked by all this talk of Google Reader. I've been using iGoogle since '04, and it coming to an abrupt end is unfortunate.

    That said, it looks like Netvibes will import your iGoogle settings directly and supports the same interface. I'm going to sign up and try it out.

    I've already installed and configured Feedly on my phone, tablet, and in Chrome, but it's not the experience I'm looking for. Feedly is all about being a newspaper. iGoogle was all about all of the headlines at a glance, sorted however you like, on one screen.

    Other than Netvibes, has anybody found an alternative to iGoogle I should check out?

    • I've been looking at ighome.com, but haven't switched yet. Not sure how well it'll hold up or for how long.
      • by trmj (579410)

        The look of that one is instantly familiar, and I love it. I don't see a method of importing iGoogle settings though, and the widgets (gadgets on their site) look like it's using the ones hosted by Google. I would assume that Google's widget hosting is going away along with iGoogle.

        I've taken Netvibes for a spin and it's working pretty well. There are a few things that make you aware it's an RSS reader and not a home page, but I think they'll clean those up )or give you the option to turn them off). Your iG

    • by Teese (89081)
      They announced the shutdown July 3, 2012, a 16month shutdown windows doesn't seem that abrupt. also, according to wikipedia, iGoogle launched in in May 2005.
      • by trmj (579410)

        I'm using a very me-centric definition of abrupt. I don't want it to stop and it's stopping before then, thus abrupt :-P

        And counting back the years, you are correct. It was 05. It launched the same year I could buy beer.

    • With iGoogle shutting down in November as well, it's getting overlooked by all this talk of Google Reader. I've been using iGoogle since '04, and it coming to an abrupt end is unfortunate.

      That said, it looks like Netvibes will import your iGoogle settings directly and supports the same interface. I'm going to sign up and try it out.

      I switched to Netvibes as soon as I heard iGoogle was shutting down. It's doing the job perfectly, and I've never looked back.

    • I'm using a very me-centric definition of abrupt. I don't want it to stop and it's stopping before then, thus abrupt I like it. (^^^)
  • by Anubis IV (1279820) on Monday June 24, 2013 @11:25AM (#44092825)

    At least it didn't when I left it a few weeks ago, and there were no indications that they intended to add one. As I mentioned in a related discussion [slashdot.org], it appears that requests for adding the feature have been falling on deaf ears, and for a group of people like Slashdot, being able to migrate your data between services is of vital importance. Feedly is definitely the most well-polished, but I can't use it if I can't leave it easily later.

    I offered some other alternatives that weren't mentioned in the summary above if you follow the link I provided.

  • by kav2k (1545689) on Monday June 24, 2013 @12:17PM (#44093251)

    If you're a fan of Google Reader UI, check out The Old Reader [theoldreader.com].

    It is a "fork" of Google Reader before it integrated with Google+.

    Upsides:
    * very familiar UI and very similar functionality
    * an API is coming very shortly
    Downsides:
    * the feeds are not updated as timely as in Google Reader
    * there are no long-term feed archives, at least not yet
    * does not embed the Slashdot iframe with top comments

    I enjoy the clean UI and none of the social/magazine nonsense of popular alternatives.
    I'm also contributing to its Chrome Notifier.

  • I'm a fan of Fever [feedafever.com]

    Fever is an excellent RSS reader in its own right, but what sets it apart is "hot feeds", which is a list of feeds sorted using something vaguely similar to pagerank. If a story is linked several times, its 'temperature' goes up. It makes it easy to find interesting stories, without wading through thousands of entries.

    • I'm a fan of Fever [feedafever.com]

      Fever is an excellent RSS reader in its own right, but what sets it apart is "hot feeds", which is a list of feeds sorted using something vaguely similar to pagerank. If a story is linked several times, its 'temperature' goes up. It makes it easy to find interesting stories, without wading through thousands of entries.

      I see pageranked news feeds as a negative both on a personal and societal level. Why do we want to homogenize discourse?

      • by sl3xd (111641)

        Why do we want to homogenize discourse?

        Simple: It's helpful to be aware of the mainstream in society. This isn't the same as homogenizing discourse; it's simply being well informed.

  • ... especially because it has a decent mobile web version that works well on Android. And it's fast, unlike TheOldReader, and doesn't increase power consumption on my laptop, unlike Feedly. :)

  • I was trying NewsBlur at first but I didn't like it. Too many important features are locked away as "premium" stuff and it doesn't load through a proxy like Google Reader does, requiring me to load Javascript from every site I had an RSS subscription to which was nonsense.

    Then I tried g2reader - for the Google Reader user who doesn't use social features (it has some, but they're on the minimal sideby today's standards) it's a perfect replacement. Simple, uses a proxy, no bullshit.

  • Coming around really nicely, and already has an Android app (which even works, thanks to some nice work by the developer of the app, on my hacked Nook Simple Touch running Android 2.1). Explicitly designed as a Google Reader replacement, and really easy not just to import your Google Reader feeds (and starred articles) but also to export again.
  • Personally, I dropped Reader ages ago.
    I've moved over to rss2email, a small script that fetches RSS Feeds and mails them to me.
    I combined this with cron, sieve and IMAP.

    Feeds are checked every 15 minutes, I get them on my email on different mailboxes depending on where they come from.
    IMAP makes sure all the stuff get synced across different devices, and I get all the added funcionalities of my email client (archiving, searching, etc).

    I've thought numerous times about writing some nice webUI for it and hosti

    • This is exactly what I do and it works great. Sharing and syncing mail is solved problem and mail is a very suitable format for the short blurps of information that most RSS-feeds are made of.

      I have rss2email set the from-adress based on the RSS-feed which makes automatically filtering the mail into folders easy.

  • If you "just" want a perfect copy of Google Reader, which in my case is EXACTLY what I want, then InoReader is the one for you. No hype, no fancy "improved" interfaces, no attempted lock-in, just a pure Google Reader experience from developer that knows his stuff and publishes a changelog, sometimes updated several times a day (this "feature" alone speaks volumes).

    http://www.inoreader.com/ [inoreader.com]

    If you login with Google, it imports feeds automatically from Reader, so give it a try.
    • by jamlc1m (1697540)
      This is finally what I've been looking for. Great web based client. Unfortunately not Android app (yet?) But the mobile web version is not too bad either. As this is the last day of Google Reader I was about to settle for the old reader but this one has just won me over. This is the ONLY rss client off all the ones I tried that has the comments from /. already in the RSS same as google reader used to have. And it doesn't force you to hand over your credentials to other services just to log in... (I'm looki
  • I tried a few different apps (Feedly, Vienna, RSS Feed Reader, Slick RSS) to replace Google Reader but didn't like any of them.

    A couple of weeks ago I switched to The Old Reader [ http://theoldreader.com/ [theoldreader.com] ] and I've been perfectly happy with it since.

  • For a familiar look, I'd just like to point out that I'm working on a replacement for Google Reader called grr, which is also open source and GPL-licensed:

    grr >:( [github.com]

    There's also an official Android client, currently in progress:

    angrroid [github.com]

    • by c_g_hills (110430)
      Does it absolutely have to be Apache, or will it work on lighttpd too? Your client looks great and I am keen to use it.
  • by ssam (2723487)

    liferea is a pretty good desktop rss client. it can import google reader feeds.

  • thank you shared
  • I've tried all the popular ones. I stuck with Feedly for awhile, but it really like to slow down my browser for some reason after opening a handful of tabs. CommaFeed is the one that finally won out. It's a straight forward RSS reader. Fast, clean, with no bloat. CommaFeed.com
  • Would you consider InfoServant [infoservant.com]? It's geared for Mobile and supports:
    • RSS/Atom Reader
    • Competitive Pricing: $1.50/month
    • Simple Interface
    • Optimized for Mobile

    http://infosevant.com

  • I'm happily following /. on my Google+: https://plus.google.com/+slashdot/posts [google.com] It's an even nicer way to follow /. than Reader was.
  • Just discovered MiniFlux http://miniflux.net/ [miniflux.net] Install on you server, requires php and sqlite. Ligthing fast on server/client/network. Minimal web design, responsive on desktop/tablet/smartphone Enjoy :) gl

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