BREAKING UP WITH GOOGLE: READER

In Part I we looked at replacing Google Analytics with Piwik. Today we'll look at Google Reader alternatives.

Like everyone else who heard of Readers eminent demise I panicked and started looking for alternatives. Initially I looked at hosted options:

They all worked but all were missing feature X or Y from Reader and several were slooow... most mentioned they were being flooded by people fleeing Reader, so I didn't count that against them.

I also went back to look at desktop RSS applications - mainly FeedDemon by Homesite creator Nick Bradbury. He originally announced he was killing of FeedDemon but has since backtracked and is going to release one more version which will be free, and not tied to Google Reader.

Since 3rd party apps were out, and I wasn't to thrilled about using a desktop app I started looking at self-hosted solutions. Piwik was a success so maybe there was something out there for RSS.

After some Googling I found a few options:

Fever looked promising but it seemed very Mac centric (no Android/mobile version), it's a paid product (which I don't have a problem with) but there is no demo available, so I skipped it.

Managing News looked very interesting and if I was involved more in tracking 'news' than tech, this probably would have been my pick.

Selfoss was next. I installed this and it was very slick but for me it didn't click. Installation is easy as it uses a Sqlite database by default (you can point it to a MySQL database).

Finally I installed Tiny Tiny RSS (TT-RSS). Initially I didn't like the interface but there are a lot of options, and after tinkering a bit, and talking to a few people on the forums I've got it configured so it is very similar to Google Reader.

Tiny Tiny RSS

The developer is listening to feedback from the influx of Google Reader converts and it will be interesting to see what he does (and doesn't) implement. The interface is a bit busy for my taste but reading the forums it seems easy to modify the CSS so that is on my list to tackle. It does support keyboard shortcuts so you can get through your feeds really quickly.

I've been using it for a week now and haven't looked back since importing my Google Reader feeds.

Published on Tuesday, April 02 2013    

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Jim is a Senior Applications Engineer working at Red Hat. He slso likes motorcycles and keeping his quadcopter out of trees.