I previous wrote about what RSS is. In this post I’m going to cover a specific application, the RSS reader.
An RSS reader allows a user to put in one or more RSS feeds (typically from blog or news sites) and read the articles listed in the feed in a variety of orders. The most common is start with what is the latest item published and go back in time.
Most RSS readers allow you to group RSS feeds. For example: I have one group for Books, a second for Marketing blogs and for Podcasts. I can look at all feeds at once and I’ll get a mix of articles from each group depending on the time it was published.
If I only want to read about Marketing I will go to that section and only see the article from those feeds. I can also look at a specific RSS feed, for example Natascha’s blog MarketingXLerator and see her posts withe the most recent at the top.
The first RSS reader was developed around 2000. The most popular reader was Google Reader which was introduced in 2005 and discontinued in July 2003.
Google Reader was popular because it offered great search and analytics. You could see how often a blog or group of blogs posted and how often you read them. You could also see this information by day of week and time of day.
Google Reader also added social networking features. You could mark articles to be shared and you could follow what other’s shared. This helped because the people you followed were curating news for you.
Feedly, another cloud based RSS reader, positioned the product as a successor to Google Plus. Eric Schwartzman did a whole series on replacements including Feedly. If you listen to the podcast you will hear that he asks about a number of Google Reader features that Feedly didn’t have.
Feedly just announced a Pro version that includes a number of features and it becomes clear how they will fund future development. Feedly Pro is a for fee option $5/month or $45/year.
The first wave of new features include:
- article search – by feed/blog by category or everything
- SSL support for an encrypted link to feedly
- one click save to Evernote (which I love)
- premium support
Which RSS reader(s) are your favorite now the Google Reader is gone?