My last post was jus a big list of all the available RSS readers I could find. I’ve since spent the last few weeks researching alternatives and seeing how well they fit into my life.
The great thing about Google Reader was that everyone used it in a different way. My own personal usage was to load all items in a label into the full screen the interface (F on the keyboard, not the browser window) and hit jjjjj until all items were read. (and space to scroll down the longer articles) I learnt to be a quick reader and anything I wanted to take more time to read or in the case of tutorials, follow along with, was added to pocket. Anything I thought people would find interesting was added to buffer or pinboard‘d if I thought it might come in handy for a project.
My Google Reader flow.
Not being one for change I set out to find an RSS reader to replicate that workflow. I was also left with an interesting choice. Stay with a free service (or even a paid one) and hope it doesn’t go away again, or go the self hosted route.
I quickly narrowed down the list of ones to try, Fever was out fairly quickly, not that I’m averse to paying for an RSS reader but because it didn’t fit my work flow, yet. I’m still keeping an eye on it though, it looks good enough that I might be willing to change!
Next up was the old reader. I can’t really fault this one either. It behaves exactly like google reader but again its a hosted service that could go away any minute, especially with all these new people using it.
Then theres feedly. I’ve actually used feedly for a year or so, at the same time as google reader. Mainly for feeds that are image heavy, feedly tiles them nicely so when you have 100+ items to read it makes it much easier. My main gripe with Feedly though is that its too ‘pretty’. The reading area is too small and I dont care about related items. That said though, some smarty pants has come up with a userscript to make feedly look like Google Reader! and the team are very active at adding new features and communicating with users. So I’m not willing to give up on them yet!
Feedly (top) and Readly (bottom)
Finally I decided to look at all the self hosted options. I chose Selfoss. My decision was based on a few things. First, all the other ones weren’t as pretty, and their functionality was a little weird too. Secondly the others are all written in languages I’m not 100% familiar with. Selfoss is PHP mySQL based. The design is nice. Its a little buggy but it works on phones too, and even better, it doesnt load images on a phone unless you ask it to on a post by post basis!! Its also opensource (view my fork here) which means that If I find a bug, I can fix it and I can submit improvements too!
So currently I’m using selfoss but keeping feedly as a backup. Anyone want to trade notes!?