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Which Feed Reader is Best?

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of May 2007 RSS 0 Comments

FilenameTime for a little reader debate discussion.

Which Feed Reader do you use and Why?

Are you a Google Reader fan? A Bloglines junkie? Do you prefer NewsGator, Firefox Live Bookmarks or Netvibes? Or do you prefer to follow blogs via MyYahoo or iGoogle?

Which one do you use – why?

Leave us a mini review – it’ll be interesting to see what trends emerges from the discussion.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. I’m a big fan of Google Reader. I’ve been using the iGoogle page as my homepage and I love the ability to put my feed reader, email, calendar and other useful stuff right at my fingertips.

  2. I use FeedReader 3 from i-systems inc. It is a great program but I hardly see anybody using it. It is a stand-alone program that looks similar to a e-mail program. Three different windows to select source/post/text. you can categorize your feeds and search old ones as well. It has tons of customizable options. It also has a category called Unread News which makes it easy to see only the new feeds.
    I also occasionally use Google Reader when I am not on my own computer.

  3. Google Reader is my choice because it’s easy on the eyes. It allows me to categorize everything the way I want to with the option of starring or sharing an item. I enjoy sharing my items with friends who follow what I’m reading. There are some options I wish it had like an easier way to find stuff you’re starred but overall I’m happy with it.

  4. I use both Firefox Live Bookmarks and Google Reader. Likely to keep them both for the near future.

  5. I use bloglines and like it a lot, but I’m getting curious about Google Reader.

  6. I have been using Bloglines for a while now. It works great for me. I can put my feeds in categories and actually that’s all I need. Bloglines’ interface is good enough to scroll through my feeds and read the lot. I am sure there are better readers out there, but I do not care. It’s Bloglines for me now.

  7. Netvibes for me.

    With the Tabs it is so simple to catagorise feeds. A Tab for how to blog feeds. A Tab for searching for blogs. a Tab for vegie blog and on and on.
    Set it up just how you want it.

    Love it !!!******

  8. I use RSS Owl.

  9. I am really surprised that no one has mentioned GreatNews. It’s free and quite easy to use.

    off-topic: I have never understood those who have 100+, or 1000+(!!) feeds. How in heck can anyone read all those feeds?

    My feed list is less than 20 and will remain that way. If I want to add a feed, another one has got to go – so my reading is only the best of the best. Otherwise it is a major time-sucker. When I die, I don’t want think, as I go: “Wow, I had a great life, I had 2002+ feeds in my feedreader!!”

    *shakes head*

    Anyway, GreatNews is here: http://www.curiostudio.com/

    Darren, I would like to see a discussion on the best offline blog writing tools as well, such as Windows LiveWriter, if that has not been done already. Thanks! :-)

  10. I actually read all of my feeds through Livejournal.com, believe it or not. I have various filters (comics, news, important, spare time) and it works out pretty well. And since most of my actual friends’ blogs are on Livejournal (yes, even though we’re all adults), it makes things more efficient. Otherwise, I’d probably use Google Reader.

  11. Feed Readers…

    Darren asks Which Feed Reader is Best? I was going to just add a comment, but it quickly turned into…

  12. i am a great fan of Endo by Kula, the same people who made the famous Ecto blogging tool, they intergrate like treat!
    The top-bar are your categories, and then you feeds are bundled by vertical tabs, your inbox tells you how much new messages you have.
    an other nice feature is a “Me” tab, that way you can keep tracj of your stats on Technorati, and del.icio.us.

    best feed-app ever according to me and a beautifull app-icon!!!!!! (only for mac)



  13. I use PageFlakes – serves me just right – and the people who made it are from my Country : ) . .

  14. I use Feed Reader Built into Opera Browser

    i) I get informed as soon as there is a new feed to read.
    ii) I dont need to open another applicaiton or visit another website.
    iii) It dont need advanced features like grouping feeds into folders or tagging them. I only have about 30 feeds.
    iv) I dont like web based feed readers. Opera stores the feeds offline. So everytime I switch from one feed to another it doesnt need to be reloaded. Also opera manages to display all kinds of content including embedded videos which somes feed readers cant.
    v) It does the job unlike Live Bookmarks.

  15. I am a converted Google Reader fan – love it!

  16. I personally use Google Reader. At one point I tried NetVibes, too cluttered and cutsey for me. Then I tried MyYahoo but that was just too little. Google Reader is just right.

  17. Wow, surprised to only see one other vote for FeedDemon.

    With FeedDemon’s Newsgator syncing option, I can basically read my news on my work machines and home machines without double reading, yet get the speed of a desktop application as opposed to the slower web based options. After using FeedDemon, Google Reader, the best web based RSS reader, is just too slow for reading over 200 feeds a day.

  18. I used Google reader before but I left it because I wasn’t able to load my feeds for 2 days. I don’t know if anyone else had the same problem but I feel that Google reader is unreliable.

    I’ve been using Bloglines ever since and I’m completely satisfied with it!

  19. Hi Darren,

    I’m a Linux user, and don’t myself using an online reader even if I’m online 99% of the time I have my laptops on. The reason is that I’m at the same time an Information Junkie and have simptoms of ADD or hiperactivity (don’t know if those two are really diferent things or diferent aspects of the same thing). If I used an online tool for this I’ld be all the time refreshing the page or checking the browser window for new stories.

    The way I found to concentrate more time in the same thing is having (and sometimes creating) tools that put all the information where my eyes can see it. That’s why I prefer desktop applications for everything (or almost everything).

    So I use Akregator (the KDE feed reader). On the same line of thought, I don’t use WebMails also (Kmail is the choice), wrote a small aplication with GTK to check my Adsense stats (Perl GTK Adsense Checker), and every tool that I use that can have new information for me without my interaction need to have a desktop interface (even minimal), send emails to me, or have a RSS/Atom feed that I can subscribe.

    Knowing that I can’t miss a thing, I can then work.


  20. Google Reader. A web-based reader is essential since I need to access my feeds from any computer.

  21. i use google reader…cause it’s just what came to my mind first…and it does the job …so i’m quite satisfied !!

  22. I started with Bloglines, but was having some difficulties setting up the feeds I wanted to follow. So far, Google Reader is working well enough. I wonder if it’s worth the trouble to try one of the others.

  23. I prefer using Thunderbird for reading RSS feeds. It’s nice having being able to read e-mail, newsgroups, and RSS in one application.

  24. FeedReader is my choice. Fast and clean.

    Google Reader = 578348457 bugs and its slow.

  25. My three favorite Feed Readers are: FeedDemon, FeedDemon, and FeedDemon. It works, it’s fast, it’s not web -based (though has NewsGator as the web-based component if I ever need it), and it’s flexible.

  26. I’ve been using Google Reader for a few months now and find it has less glitches than Bloglines. Recently, Google Reader improved the Email function and I find myself using it daily to send people interesting posts/tips. The posts arrive in the complete format as displayed in the Reader so they’re easy to read without having to click on this link or that link.

  27. I’m new to the whole RSS world. Signed up to Google Reader, mainly because I was already using gmail and google calendar. I’ve found Google Reader pretty instinctive and easy to configure, and the functionality is fine, at least for my fairly basic (at this stage) requirements. The positive feedback from many other more experienced bloggers gives me confidence that the reader I’m with is a reasonable choice.

  28. I am a FeedReader fan here myself. The last thing I need is another place to go online.

  29. NewsFire. It is one of the few pay-apps that effectively competes in a market saturated by high-quality free-apps and web-apps.

  30. Sage for Firefox is the best — it doesn’t promise too much, it doesn’t deliver too much. It’s just what I need.

  31. I’m a Google Reader girl and of course I’ve blogged about it http://jaycee.typepad.com/semantics/2007/03/how_using_googl.html

  32. I use iGoogle as a home page and RSS reader.

    I’ve found it a lot easier to group RSS feeds into different groups and create a separate tab for each group.

    And I still keep the google reader as a block on my homepage for headlines from those feeds I don’t need all that often.

  33. I use google reader because I use gmail and blogger and other google apps; I can go back and forth without logging out. It’s all the same account. Plus it is easy to use and understand. It’s a snap to add a feed to google and to have it display the way I like.

  34. I use and love Sage – the firefox extension.

  35. I’ve only recently started using Google reader and I’ve found it meets my needs just fine. I can’t say much for the other readers as I haven’t tried them yet.

  36. I’ve been using Google Reader for about a week and love it. I also discovered iGoogle and have been using it with my Google Reader.

    Google Reader is simple, and I like that it puts each feed into its own folder. I like that it’s online, so I can access it either on my PC or laptop.

  37. Personally I’m a IGoogle homepage reader myself

  38. NetNewsWire, hands down. It’s incredibly fast, handles any type of feed (including authenticated) you can throw at it, excels as a browser as has a powerful, lightning-fast search.

    Sadly, I can’t stand NewsGator online, so for a web-based reader I’m all for Google Reader (aside from its ridiculous lack of search).

  39. At First, I used default Feed reader comes with Flock Browser. But it make me difficult when I reading from my home machine and office machine. Later, I used Bloglines until Google Reader out. Now, I’m using Google Reader because of it’s feature and handling rss feeds by using folder. And of course, easy to share the posts I like very much to my friend using email feature. Google Reader’s folder [tags] feature can blend so many feeds into one feed. So, we don’t need to use Feed blending service like Feedblendr to blend feeds. And Trends, new feature in Google Reader, gives me suggestion that I can make a decision whether I unsubscribe or not. So, now Google Reader is my favourite rss reader.

  40. Still not a big fan of reading feeds because I still like to see the layouts of the blogs I am reading. Learn a few hints and tricks that way. I have used Bloglines and Google Reader and prefer the Google Reader. Maybe someday, I’ll end up being a feed reader.

  41. iGoogle.

    I don’t like reading articles out of the context of their website. iGoogle is the perfect balance between RSS notification and a reader. Expand the post and you have a summary, if you want to read more, click on the title and read it on the website. It’s that simple.

    To be more organized, I’ve setup mutliple tabs per categories of blogs such as business, technology or jobs.


  42. For my money… (and I would be willing to pay them) It’s netvibes.

    I live in their reader… I’m typing this comment with the netvibes reader. I love the browser within a browser aspect of it.

    My 2 cents…

  43. Wow, there’s a lot of RSS action going on in here; hardly any negative debates though, which is good. I’m seeing a lot of variety in feeder preferences. What do reader do you personally use, Darren?

  44. Google Reader – because I can use it at home and work. I haven’t tried many others – as a basic user GR is sufficient.

  45. I’ve just started using Newsfire on my mac, I love the simple interface, smart lists and the ease of adding new feeds. It integrates with ecto and I can flag feeds for follow up on my blog. I initially tried endo because I love ecto but it really didn’t have the ‘tightness’ I wanted.

    Although Newsfire still requires opml import (there is a free safari feeds to opml exporter out there) it’s import is much cleaner than endo’s. t has easy keyboard navigation which has sped my reading up no end.

  46. I used to be a Bloglines fan, but for the last few months, I am using Google reader extensively. The AJAX backbone makes it pretty fast. Very useful if you have a large number of feeds.

  47. I’m a big Google Reader fan myself.

  48. Google Reader. Was a bloglines fan for years but switched this year to GR because it’s hands down a better online reader. I too require access from multiple machines and don’t want to maintain an installed client app.

  49. I have my favourite blogs sorted into bookmarks in Firefox. To read them I simply go to the folder and do “open all in tabs.”

    I’m a big fan of pull technology rather than push. I want to visit my blogs when I want to, looking at the blog the way the author has designed it.

    Feeds and emails just don’t work for me.

  50. Netvibes is the best for keeping up with blogs I enjoy reading daily since I can get an organized view of all the stories from my favorite sites. However Google Reeder is by far the greatest when you are looking to research a story to blog about since you can look at skim through hundreds of RSS feed posts without having to load lots of slow pages (like other feed readers).

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