This is a blog post that was stewing in my drafts folder since March. I had it half-finished when Google announced that they’d shut down Reader which pretty much took away all my motivation to keep writing. A few days ago I was asked about how I keep up with “the tech news” – and given that Reader is really going to be shutdown at the end of this month, I actually did decide to take stock.
Basically these days I have five main sources where I get my pretty constant news fix:
- Twitter – yes, Twitter. I do follow quite a lot of people who tend to post links to interesting articles plus a bunch of bots from aggregators. It’s probably the place with the highest amount of serendipity1. I also harshly judge people who link to Techcrunch or Mashable but that seems to happen less lately.
- My Fever installation. I don’t actually use this as a proper feed reader, I mostly use it for the ability to use it as a personalised meme tracker like Techmeme. Given that I use it like that, I subscribe to a whole bunch of feeds in it that I would never want to read but that are pretty good as source for links.2 These are mostly high-volume pages like The Verge or ReadWrite, but also feeds from aggregators like Techmeme, Reddit or Hacker News or things like the most popular items on Pinboard. Here I really get the most talked-about links and it’s usually a good overview of what is happening right now.
- Podcasts. I listen to a lot of them. These are only those that have some tech news angle. The News is a super-fast update, which I often skip after reading the show notes.3 The Frequency is fun and often has some stuff that I didn’t read or see somewhere else. The guys from the Accidental Tech Podcast sometimes cover current events in the tech – well, mostly Apple – world, so there’s that. I’m kind of missing a more web-focused podcast at the moment, but I’m pretty sure I could find one if I actually looked.
- Digg – Digg? Yes, Digg. It looks nice and tends to have links to well-written, longer articles.
- (And now it gets really sad.) A feed reader. But I have no idea which one I actually want to use. Before they started to annoy me, Google Reader was my everything when it came to reading online content. First thing I opened after I started the browser. Reeder was one of the first apps I bought and always on my iPhone home screen.
And now what?
I actually have no clue. I could use Fever for the intended purpose, get rid of all the feeds I don’t want to read2 and sync it with Reeder on the iPhone.
I could use Netvibes which has a nice, clean feed reader web interface – but no apparent way to sync to the phone.
The Old Reader and Newsblur are too far away from my personal taste, so there’s a no, too.
Feedbin or Feedwrangler would be something I’d try – I don’t mind paying for a good service – but they both accept payments only through Stripe and for some reason that doesn’t work with my card at the moment.
I do have an installation of Tiny Tiny RSS running, but oh boy. That’s both ugly and doesn’t sync with my phone.
So, I have no clue what to do at the moment. Digg has promised a feed reader which is supposed to sync with the same API as Google Reader – except for some tweets or posts by people with early access mentioning an apparently nice early version, I haven’t heard from that since. But those seem to be the options at the moment. I’m not even going to consider using Bloglovin even though I do of course have an account there.
I might just pony up the 30$ for a second Fever license and use one as an aggregator and the other one as a proper feed reader. It sounds very silly but at the moment it’s the most tempting way to get back into the feed game for me.