While I wait for my game to download I figure I’d take this moment to give my quick run down on RSS readers and hopefully get users who aren’t currently taking advantage of them to give them a go. For some of you, Google Reader is closing down and you’re looking for a new place to reside. A mass exodus occurred and places like Feedly pretty much got DoS’d by the swathes of people flocking to find a nice alternative. I wonder if Google will ever rethink its position on Readers. I could forsee it integrating with G+ quite nicely. You could have a “Websites & Blogs” circle which goes directly into your feed. Seems almost like a no brainer now that it’s popped into my… brain.
What’s An RSS Reader & Why Should I Care?
Everytime someone doesn’t care about RSS, an angel dies. RSS stands for Read Something Stupid and was invented by Isaac Asimov in the year of our Lord: who cares. It’s a service that collects all your blogs and updating websites new posts all together in one place.
This is the soon to be dead Google Reader. Down the left hand side are all my unread items. All I need to do is click on one to view it straight away. No need to remember URLs, and it speeds up the process of looking at all my daily stuff. At the top right is a subscribe button. Just slam a URL into that and it’ll do all the paperwork for you. Bureaucrats could learn a thing or two from that button.
If you read a lot of webcomics or news sites this is a godsend. Some comics (like Chainsawsuit pictured, XKCD and also our very own Snow) allow you to view the comic right in the reader. Some like Penny Arcade and PvP don’t, so you just need to follow the link that gets pushed to your reader to view them.
Some readers come with browser plugins, meaning you won’t need to manually check all your favourite sites for updates. When they’re ready the come to you.
Ok You’ve Convinced Me You Slick Talking Devil, Now What?
There are a shit ton of them out there. The one that everyone is going for at the moment is Feedly.
I’ve been using the mobile app for about a year now on my iPad. Matthew Rust has been using it to great effect on his iPhone, and now his Android. So in terms of mobility Feedly really kicks ass. If you’re a smart phone user I’d recommend this. It’ll make your general browsing experience of your normal haunts a lot easier. Because let’s be honest. Mobile browsers kind of blow arse at getting around quickly.
My new personal favourite is The Old Reader.
New users may not be enthralled with its slick mirroring of the Google Reader interface But I really dig it. Especially its responsiveness at different sizes. It currently lacks an app, but the aforementioned responsiveness of the site lets it adapt well to smaller screens. Personally I prefer this as a desktop reader. It cuts all the shit and stays out of your way. Also another bonus, you can download a Chrome plugin for it that alerts you in the top right of your browser when you have new unread items. Perfect for when you need a quick dose of procrastination between emails and real work.