Looking for a Feed Reader

I stopped subscribing to magazines a couple of years ago, primarily because everything that I got in print was so out-of-date relative to all the timely and good information I was getting from all of the online content, be it Blogs or other syndications.

So now that I’m getting all of my information online, my “reader” or “aggregator” is more important than ever. I didn’t realize just how much I relied on my reader until it stopped working.

I started with Sharpreader (thanks to Terry’s suggestion) and recently switched to Outlook 2007 when the public Beta 2 was released in the Fall. Sharpreader is a solid client, but the prospect of 1) managing my feeds in the same client I managed my email, and 2) using my Windows Mobile SmartPhone with Direct Push to keep up with my news/gossip/all-around geekery when riding/waiting for the bus was too good to pass up.

Outlook 2007 Beta 2 worked out well for me and I was flying high amid infoporn heaven.

Outlook 2007 RTM (i.e. non-Beta), not-so-much.

I noticed that several of my Feeds weren’t getting updated. The folders were still there, the old posts that I wanted to save were still there, but nothing new. Normally I’d get at least several a day. Even worse, it was random. Engadget would get updated, but Engadget HD would not. The folders are there, but they’re not getting updated?? DoubleYou-Tee-Eff!!??!!

Turns out that the folder isn’t an indication of whether or not you’re actually getting content, but rather a delivery location for an embedded subscription engine in Outlook. In other words, you have to go somewhere else to manage your feeds.

After finding it in the Outlook Account settings, I re-added the missing feeds (which of course, created brand new folders in Outlook), and all was right again.

Until it happened again…and again…and again…I was spending too much timing managing what can only be a bug in Outlook 2007!

  1. Notice one or two feeds are missing
  2. Re-import the list of feeds from an exported OPML file (or somehow correlate the folder list with the feed list)
  3. Delete old/broken feed folders
  4. See step 1.

With about 75 feeds, that’s about a half-hour of work just to get back up and running! And, of course, the OPML export is out-of-date, so I’ve got to troll back through some recent posts and figure out where that cool site was and re-add it to my dated feed list. Oh and of course it lost all of my subfolders so now Life Like Weeds and Lifehacker are side-by-side, when I really want LLW in People and LH in Lifestyle.

I got fed up. Buh-bye Outlook!

I switched back to Sharpreader. But you know what? Sharpreader is getting a little long in the tooth without an update since the first time I started using it. And the first time I accidentally deleted a post, reached for the Ctrl+Z, and nothing happened, I knew I couldn’t go back to it.

So … the hunt is on. I need a new reader! What are all of you using and what’s the best thing about it?

The winning submission will get a week off from on-call shifts (if you’re a co-worker), a hand massage (if you’re Boyfriend), or a Pauline Tweaking (if you’re on the rugby team). All others, will just get my undying gratitude!

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12 Responses to “Looking for a Feed Reader”


  1. 1 blankbaby January 25, 2007 at 0:43 am

    75 feeds? How precious. 😉

    So, I am going to give you my suggestion, but it isn’t free (things that are worth having seldom are).

    If you’re looking for a client to run you can’t go wrong with Newsgator’s offerings. They have the best in class newsreaders for both Windows AND OS X.

    FeedDemon:

    http://www.newsgator.com/NGOLProduct.aspx?ProdID=FeedDemon

    They also have a Windows Mobile client:

    http://www.newsgator.com/NGOLProduct.aspx?ProdID=NewsGator+Mobile

    And an online solution:

    http://www.newsgator.com/NGOLProduct.aspx?ProdId=NewsGator+Online&ProdView=premium

    If you want to go brower only (and free), then I would suggest Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com/). They also have a mobile version for browsing on the bus: http://www.bloglines.com/mobile.

    Since I’m a Mac guy I am in love with NetNewsWire, but I don’t see you switching to OS X for a newsreader. 🙂

  2. 2 guamaniac January 25, 2007 at 9:16 am

    Thanks Scott!

    I’m looking at Feed Demon right now. And honestly, I don’t mind spending a little money.

    Yeah, yeah. I know…75 feeds isn’t all that much. Stop teasing the n00b.

  3. 3 Dave January 27, 2007 at 13:27 pm

    Since I got a mention in the post, I figure I should contribute something here 🙂

    If you’re willing to try out a web based reader — I *really* like Bloglines, and it’s free.

    Bloglines has slowly been adding features over the past few months to improve the UI. There’s drag and drop in edit mode for organizing your feeds into folders. You can sort your feeds under each folder by the most recent postings, the most quantity, or alphabetically.

    There’s even real time updating without full refreshes. The feed list throws up ajax-y notifications when new posts show up. I usually forget that I’m even using a web app.

    The latest addition is playlists. Beyond loading up your feeds into folder, you can select lists of folders or feeds to a playlist. Feeds can go into a multiple playlists. So if you have a set you like to read in the morning, you can make a “Coffee Time Playlist” to only see those.

    In both Firefox 2 and IE 7 — it’s *really* easy to link your browser so feeds get added to your bloglines account. Once you login, it will retain your account and auto post subscriptions to bloglines.

  4. 4 Dave January 27, 2007 at 13:28 pm

    Almost forget the rather self descriptive link: http://www.bloglines.com/

  5. 5 roz January 27, 2007 at 20:30 pm

    i also use bloglines and love it immensely and profusely. i even have a folder devoted entirely to celebrity fluff.

    they also have a sense of humor.. on the rare occasion that they might be down for an upgrade, they will have a photo of a plumber with a perplexed look on his face. hehe.

    bloglines, bloglines, bloglines!! say it with me!!

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  1. 1 Feed reader shock and awe :: LifeLikeWeeds Trackback on February 6, 2007 at 23:04 pm
  2. 2 LifeLikeWeeds.Tech » Feed reader shock and awe Trackback on February 7, 2007 at 12:04 pm

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