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Author Topic: Google Reader gone  (Read 17053 times)
Jibz
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« Reply #100 on: June 25, 2013, 06:00:39 AM »

Related (and rather amusing):

http://www.jwz.org/blog/2...e-extremely-fucking-nigh/

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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
IainB
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« Reply #101 on: June 25, 2013, 11:26:42 AM »

^^ Yep. Good post.
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johnk
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« Reply #102 on: June 25, 2013, 09:03:25 PM »

The search continues...as stated above, Feedbin is my favourite so far, but in the end I'm quite nervous about relying on what appears to be a one-man operation.

I'm looking forward to trying the Digg reader when it appears, but I decided today to have one last look at Feedly and try to deal with the things that annoyed me. I keep coming back to it because it's one of the few readers that syncs with Press, my Android reader of choice. I intended using the NoSquint Firefox extension to deal with the colouring of the site, as advised by IainB, but I decided first to look for themes online.

One undisputed benefit of Feedly being popular is that plenty of people will be tweaking it, and sure enough Userstyles has plenty of themes.

One of them, IamEyeFriendly, got me halfway to what I want, changing the colour scheme, and once you have a base CSS it's easy to keep going. I found the IamEyeFriendly defaults too dark, so I brightened it. By messing around, I found I was able to adjust more or less anything, including, critically, the font for the article text (currently I am very partial to Bitter as an on-screen reading font -- I also use it in Press. I also reduced the padding around the article text. There was far too much space wasted.

I then found a script called Feedly Enhancer, which allowed me to make one more important change -- making the left pane wider. The default is ridiculously narrow, and many of my feed titles were truncated. The script contains a few other useful, space-saving tweaks. If only I could find a way to remove all those annoying social/sharing buttons...The remaining weakness of Feedly is that it doesn't seem to use a mobilizer to grab the text content of RSS feeds that don't supply full-text RSS by default. Feedly just sends you to the web page. Feedbin wins here (I believe it uses Readability).

Here is a screengrab of my current Feedly setup to give you an idea of what I did. So Feedly is a contender again. Digg needs to impress...
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 06:31:42 AM by johnk » Logged
Jibz
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« Reply #103 on: June 26, 2013, 05:25:30 AM »

I'm looking forward to trying the Digg reader when it appears

http://blog.digg.com/post...65994/digg-reader-rollout

Looks nice and simple, but like the rest of the web offerings, going freemium at some point.

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"A problem, properly stated, is a problem on it's way to being solved" -Buckminster Fuller
"Multithreading is just one damn thing after, before, or simultaneous with another" -Andrei Alexandrescu
40hz
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« Reply #104 on: June 26, 2013, 06:22:04 AM »

Just in time! A recent article on some open source RSS alternatives can be found here.

Some of the apps in the article have been mentioned previously in this thread. But some are new.
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nosh
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« Reply #105 on: June 26, 2013, 06:37:22 AM »

I'm going with Bazqux.com  (a 30 day trial after which you're charged $9, $19 or $29 a year for the same service, you get to decide what it's worth) over Feedly's freebie.

Note: My intent here isn't to trash Feedly. Despite my dislike for some things, I may end up using it if Bazqux throws a nasty surprise at me down the line. I may come across as a little enthusiastic in my praise for Bazqux - they're all valid points, but compounded by the fact that I'm justifying paying (albeit very little) for something when there's a free alternative available.


Here are my reasons for picking Bazqux over Feedly:

I love the aesthetics. Feedly's look (colors/ text spacing): not so much to my taste.

Bazqux has fewer options but just the essential ones, IMO - all placed neatly in a drop down menu on the main page. Feedly throws everything and the kitchen sink on a separate settings web page.

Bazqux has all its sharing options in a little dropdown menu, Feedly has some individual sharing icons and then an expanding menu with more options. There are some social media options in settings too, so I don't know how much of this can be customized but the point is: why unnecessarily complicate what should be straightforward functionality? I could probably delve deeper into the options and see if I can do something to fix things but there's a larger point to make here - it's design decisions like this that put me off a service. And it's the simplicity & functionality of the other service that makes one really love it.

Resize the browser beyond a certain point and Feedly loses the left hand feeds panel, not so with Bazqux.

Bazqux is snappier.

Feedly hasn't outlined a monetization plan - they're free, a double-edged sword. I'm not one to shun a free service but am gravitating towards the "you get what you pay for" camp these days.

Bazqux has an easily accessible OPML export function, it saves an .xml file to disk - nice and easy. As of now, Feedly doesn't seem to have any known way to export your data if you decide to switch services.

If you're looking for a Google Reader replacement, I would strongly recommend taking the Bazqux 30 day trial for a spin.

Edit: I'd mentioned in one of my earlier posts that Bazqux didn't have support for starred and tagged items. The developer's added that functionality now and it works well.  

« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 09:21:08 AM by nosh » Logged
40hz
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« Reply #106 on: June 26, 2013, 09:07:04 AM »

@nosh - Thx for the pointer to Bazqux. I set up a trial and it looks pretty nice. Blazingly fast and quite readable too. And it sucked in  a very large OMPL file without a hiccup in just a few seconds.  So far, there's a lot to like here.

 Grin I especially appreciated this bit of candor in the FAQ:

Quote
Will you add free accounts?

No. I don't want to close reader like Google.

Yeah...I just might subscribe to this thing after the trial period...


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nosh
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« Reply #107 on: June 26, 2013, 09:17:05 AM »

My pleasure! I love helping along lesser known but quality services like these. Thmbsup
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ewemoa
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« Reply #108 on: June 26, 2013, 07:17:25 PM »

A recent article on some open source RSS alternatives can be found here.

Thanks for the link Thmbsup

Happen to be trying one mentioned there: newsbeuter.  It bills itself as "the Mutt of RSS feed readers" and it does feel it a bit like it.
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IainB
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« Reply #109 on: June 27, 2013, 03:39:34 AM »

BazQux reader: I have been trialling https://bazqux.com/ on and off for 20 days now, and it is very impressive indeed - if anything, it's better than Google Reader.
I had been hoping one of the "FREE" readers would come up to the same sort of standard, but they don't - not even the moribund Google Reader.
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erikts
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« Reply #110 on: June 30, 2013, 07:27:16 PM »

I'm going with Bazqux.com  (a 30 day trial after which you're charged $9, $19 or $29 a year for the same service, you get to decide what it's worth) over Feedly's freebie.

Nosh, thanks for the head up. I am also now trialing Bazqux.com.
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phitsc
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« Reply #111 on: July 01, 2013, 01:18:51 AM »

I'm going with Bazqux.com  (a 30 day trial after which you're charged $9, $19 or $29 a year for the same service, you get to decide what it's worth) over Feedly's freebie.

Nosh, thanks for the head up. I am also now trialing Bazqux.com.

And me.
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allen
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« Reply #112 on: July 01, 2013, 09:36:54 AM »

Bazqux is impressive -- very simple, light, fast. Newsblur feels sluggish by comparison, though I still somewhat favor NewsBlur for a number of features and its high level of polish.

Thus far, the hardest part of trying out Bazqux has been remembering the name!
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pl5bnsf
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« Reply #113 on: July 01, 2013, 10:46:46 AM »

One thing I'm finding hard to work around is that I have two gmail accounts I used for Google Reader. One for home feeds and one for work feeds. Unfortunately, the paid RSS readers don't allow for multiple accounts without paying for 2 accounts. So, for me, I would need to purchase two accounts on something like Bazqux/Feedly/etc. Not hard to understand the logic of paying for each account...but it means I would need to pay double and they are monthly/yearly costs.

So I am now focused on using The Old Reader on which I can have multiple accounts and then I can donate to The Old Reader without facing a yearly $29 * 2 = $58 per year for something like Bazqux.
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wraith808
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« Reply #114 on: July 01, 2013, 11:00:53 AM »

I'm using The Old Reader also.  Less work than setting up my own, and it works well.
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40hz
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« Reply #115 on: July 01, 2013, 01:35:30 PM »

^FWIW (assuming I understand Bazqux's TOS) you can pay what you want - with the suggested amount being between $9.95 and $29.95 annually. Haven't exhausted my free trial yet so I don't know how true in practice the "any amount" part is. I think $20-$30 annually is reasonable. But my finances aren't somebody else's so YMMV.

Also Bazqux doesn't have free accounts - period. So if you did need a free account, Bazqux won't be on your short list.
 smiley

I wish DoCo could put something like this (plus some other web services) together for its members. Especially as paid services to get a steady revenue stream in. Because I'd rather drop my plastic here than elsewhere if I'm spending money.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 01:44:53 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #116 on: July 01, 2013, 01:41:48 PM »

Does anyone know of an IE8 friendly RSS web reader? I have yet to find one. And no, I CANNOT upgrade due to my work environment. We are forced to use IE8.
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wraith808
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« Reply #117 on: July 01, 2013, 02:02:46 PM »

I wish DoCo could put something like this (plus some other web services) together for its members. Especially as paid services to get a steady revenue stream in. Because I'd rather drop my plastic here than elsewhere if I'm spending money.

That's actually a really good idea.  You should create a thread and add the services we're looking for smiley  Then maybe we can persuade Mouser to make it a project!
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johnk
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« Reply #118 on: July 01, 2013, 02:13:50 PM »

I'm sure I've already posted far too much detail about my seemingly endless search for the best Google Reader replacement. But as I seem to be nearing the end of my journey, I feel obliged to sum up. Briefly:

Previously: Google Reader (just for sync, never used it to read), FeedDemon on desktop, Press on Android.

Now: Bazqux on desktop, JustReader on Android (only option at the moment).

First of all, many thanks to Nosh for his encouragement to try BazQux. Indeed I had already tried it, very briefly, but there was so much I didn't like about the web interface:

  • the all-white background, with no option to change it (why do they do that? Am I really the only person who can't stand all-white backgrounds?)
  • The left (feeds) column was too narrow (many feed titles truncated), with no option to change it.
  • Default font size settings seemed odd -- again no options.
  • And a few other things besides. Overall, it seemed inelegant.

But Nosh wasn't the only person recommending BazQux. I kept coming across favourable reviews on the web. So I though I'd have another go. And pretty soon the speed was addictive. I think I've tried most of the GR alternatives, and BaxQux is the fastest. Feedbin (which was my favoured option before Bazqux) is almost as fast after its recent server upgrade.

I was impressed enough to spend a couple of hours re-jigging the BazQux interface to see if I could achieve a usable UI (using userContent.css in Firefox), and I came up with this: grey background, wider left column, lots of font and colour changes, padding where I thought BazQux needed some air, etc.

So BazQux it is. I like the fact that it is a paid-for option, it has been going for a year (i.e. before the GR meltdown) and the developer has said on Twitter that revenues are already more than covering his costs. Nothing is risk-free, but...

The only disappointment so far: that I can't hack Feeddemon to use it with Bazqux the way you can for Reedah. I have hex-edited a version of FeedDemon and tried to use it with Bazqux (which also has a Google API clone), but I can't log in. But that was a long shot anyway, and not exactly a long-term solution -- the developer of Basqux is supporting the Open Reader API initiative, and that seems sensible. Let's hope it comes about. And what makes Bazqux stand out in any case is that the speed of its interface means it is a real option for reading in volume. I might not miss FeedDemon as much as I expected.

By the way, the author of BazQux puts the speed of the site down to coding in Haskell. I'm not a programmer, so it means nothing to me, but the conversation may interest others here.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2013, 05:30:11 PM by johnk » Logged
Josh
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« Reply #119 on: July 02, 2013, 03:34:55 AM »

I have just stumbled upon the open source (you can download and install it yourself), or hosted solution: http://www.goread.io. Based upon my interaction with this tool, it works fine with IE8, is quick, and mimics Google Reader. This will go payware, merely to cover the costs of hosting as stated in the author's blog post, but I would gladly pay for such a service.

This one is worth a look for everyone.

GoRead.io
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IainB
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« Reply #120 on: July 03, 2013, 11:23:22 AM »

^^ goread.io just doesn't seem to work for me. I have tried it a few times.

This list of alternatives to Google Reader is quite useful from alternativeTo: http://alternativeto.net/software/google-reader/
The link is provided in the latest shutdown notice from Google Reader: Google Reader's Final Message
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IainB
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« Reply #121 on: July 03, 2013, 11:27:40 AM »

I had already anticipated that Google Alerts would remove RSS, so get the reports via email at present, whilst I find a decent workaround.
Refer: Google Alerts Drops RSS Feeds
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IainB
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« Reply #122 on: July 03, 2013, 11:36:56 AM »

If you also missed Google web page monitoring, killed in 2010, try this: http://updatescanner.mozdev.org/
It's really very useful.
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dr_andus
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« Reply #123 on: July 06, 2013, 08:27:54 AM »

I haven't done any in-depth research, but I've been scanning reviews, and eventually I settled on InoReader, which doesn't seem to have been mentioned on this forum yet.

My criteria were to try find something as close to the Google Reader experience in terms of simplicity as possible. I wasn't looking for any fancy intelligent processing or social networking. From what I've seen so far, InoReader came the closest. It's also free (for now).

So far so good. There were a couple of quirks in setting it up (I couldn't import an OPML file properly, but the XML export from Google Reader worked; and for some reason the service still says I need to validate my email, even though I've already done it several times), but otherwise it works and seems to be fast enough on the desktop. The iOS interface on the iPad (in the Safari browser) does not match the Google Reader experience as well, but for now I can live with it.
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« Reply #124 on: July 06, 2013, 12:49:26 PM »

InoReader looked rather interesting, but when I clicked on "see what other readers say about InoReader," a message appeared at the top of my screen that said "You will need Google Chrome to install most apps, extensions and themes.  Download Chrome now."  Apparently, the link to other readers' remarks went to chrome.google.com/webstore/.  I can't imagine why they'd put the comments there, but I decided that I'd move on.
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