If you’re managing your reputation online and consume a significant amount of information on a daily basis from the web, you may not be okay with what Google is selling in regards to their talking points RSS and feed readers. While the retirement of Google reader may have felt like a setback for the use of RSS, the backlash that Google felt from loyal Google Reader users sparked some interest back into RSS feeds and feed readers. The discussion on the topic was loud enough that RSS reader services were scrambling to position themselves as the feed reader of choice for July’s Google reader retirement.
If you’re doing any monitoring or managing of alerts, I recommend revisiting RSS feed readers to help make your life more sane and your inbox more manageable.
1st Place: Feedly
Feedly gets the mark as top choice to succeed the standard bearer for RSS readers. With much of the same functionality as Google Reader, a flexible user interface and a slick mobile app, Feedly became a fairly obvious choice for many Google reader users, especially as they made importing and moving over all Google reader feeds data single-click process.
Feedly’s excellent listening skills and preparation made all the difference as they made minor tweaks to their interface to appease Google Reader users, as well as incorporate some additional features that users have expressed an interest in. Since Feedly was already an established feed reader prior to Google’s shutdown of Reader, and they already played nice with Google Reader, there were a good number of users on the service to begin and the Google Reader shutdown did cause these users to skip a beat.
Runner Up: Digg Reader
Digg was an interesting and refreshing last minute entry to the Google Reader heir sweepstakes. The former social news powerhouse announced a new reader service once they caught wind of the announcement that Google Reader would be shutting down. Interestingly enough, Digg launched their reader just days before Google Reader actually shut down.
In some ways the anticipation created more curiosity and probably resulted in a good number of users, however others may have browsed the alternatives during Digg’s delay in actually previewing what the Digg Reader capabilities would be. For those who patiently waited, they were awarded with an excellent reader option with a very clean interface, perhaps most like Google Reader of any of the alternatives, and a solid mobile app. I would mention that the Digg Reader would probably be the best choice, had it not been lacking in social integration (namely no Buffer or IFTTT.com) which would put it over-the-top as the best reader option available.
The bronze award winner is Flipboard. While not a pure RSS feed reader like Feedly or Digg Reader, Flipboard is an excellent social utility for consuming content, and can tie to virtually any type of news source, including RSS channels. If you like and are accustomed to Google Reader’s user interface, then Flipboard may not be for you. But, if you like sleek and visual design, this could be just the right option for your content consuming needs. Flipboard has one of the slickest mobile apps of any reader replacement, with Feedly coming in as a close second.