About a month ago, Google retired its Reader (for RSS feeds), forcing a switch in the Beemsville web protocols. You see, a good feed reader, serving up the news, blogs, happenings for our digital consumption whenever we feel like checking it, has become our staple of information gathering. The feed reader is like our daily newspaper (and indeed features some feeds from our local newspaper).
We’ve been using Netvibes and Feedly since the end of Google Reader. Netvibes gives an iGoogle-like interface (and other templates if you want to try them) and an easy to navigate reader-mode. We like most of the features, although the Facebook add-on doesn’t work very well, and any Google-bridge apps either don’t work or have suspicious origins. This especially bothers us because we are big users of the Google-Calendar, and it would be nice to have a compact version of my agenda sitting there on my desktop via Netvibes.
As a straight feed-reader though – no real complaints. If certain feeds seem to lag sometimes, or they mysteriously mark certain posts as unread after you’ve read them… Hey, it’s minor. We had no problems importing/exporting our feed list from Google.
Feedly proved equally problem free on the import/export front. We’re not using it as much on the desktop, but it is our best option for feed-reading from our Android tablet. Feedly doesn’t appear to offer the iGoogle-like interface, but it does offer different reading modes (magazine, cards, titles) to suit your preference.
Note that both of these apps/sites are mining your data as you use them. Feedly wants access to your Google-contacts. Netvibes opens you up to cross-site vulnerabilities if you elect to use their plugins/apps that leverage other sites and services. So this is your trade-off for convenience – the classic trade-off of tech convenience many seem unable to grasp – if you want your info served smartly to suit your customized preferences, your info will be tracked and analyzed. But hey, we acknowledge this and accept it.