Okay. Since the announcement of the Google reader closure I’ve been looking for an alternative reader. Here is my progress so far.
After reading a few things, I headed over to Feedly. I’ve heard good things about this, but there is just one problem. It’s not a web service. It’s a downloadable plugin for Firefox or an app. For one thing that’s not acceptible, for the other I’m about ready to dump Firefox completely. Frankly, it’s a piece of crap. It crashes regularly at least two or three times a week. If the updates are turned on, it crashes whenever something is ready to install. In anycase, a downloadable bit of software is not what I want.
So the next port of call was NewsBlur. It looked okay, and the demo worked the way I like. But here’s the catch. I have 128 feeds. NewsBlur only allows 64 on a free account. It’s not expensive for the next level up, about $2 a month, but I’m not looking at paying for this. One of the reasons for this post is to recommend a good free reader for you. And I’m cheap…
I then tried NetVibes. Okay this works very similar to Google Reader. And it’s free for a personal account. There’s a couple of subscription levels that I didn’t go into, but they seemed to be for agency and business use. However the problem with NetVibes was that it wasn’t user friendly. When you start, there are a bunch of sites you are pre-subscribed to. I didn’t want these and spent the next half hour dicking around trying to figure out how to delete them. There was no help on this. The link to the forum takes you to their blog. I did figure it out, loaded up my old feeds, and started reading.
But the worst thing was that I couldn’t figure out how to get my feeds ordered. It seems it is always newer at top. I use older at top as it provides a better history. I always see the older story first so I can get the flow of things. It’s good to see several blogs cover a story in order. This helps to understand it better. The other thing about NetVibes is that read stories stay visible. On Google Reader they disappeared after being read and refreshed. I found after I had been running it for a while it became hard to find new stories without scrolling through dozens of old previously read stories. Not good.
So I went to my last choice. Bloglines. I used Bloglines years ago before Reader. It was pretty good back then. However, after loading up the page and recovering my password I had a rude shock. Bloglines is now NetVibes. It still has the Bloglines branding, but uses a NetVibes signin. Sigh.
So, the search continues for a new feed reader. How about you. Any luck yet?