Feed Reader Options – Web Based and Desktop

Continuing the Feed Education series from the previous post, knowing what a feed is and how you can identify and subscribe to them, doesn’t really help you unless you have a Feed Reader. However, you must (in order to stay up to date) use a Feed Reader that suits you and your daily schedule. I’ll review several options that I think are standard yet fully functional and for the “Average” Internet User, but could be and IS used by the most technologically savvy nerds out there.

Web Based RSS Feed Readers

Google Reader = most popular reader. I personally don’t like it because if I’m at work and someone looks over at my screen it’s obvious that I’m NOT doing work. Plus I don’t use GMail.

Google Reader Screenshot 

 

“My Pages” = basically consists of several options of a “home page”.  They include MyYahoo, IGoogle, NetVibes, PageFlakes, etcetera. You can add the RSS Feed easily through the Feedburner Feed Options or manually enter in the URL for the feed. For example in MyYahoo:

MyYahoo Add Feed Screenshot

(starreminder, clicking on the Universal Feed Logo icon in a browser will direct you to the feed URL to enter)

 

Newsgator Logo Newsgator = I personally use FeedDemon, but that is just the Desktop version of the web based Newsgator Feed Reader. I personally think having the ability to look at the feeds on your desktop is well presented with higher functionality (more below).

Newsgator Screenshot

(starnote: keeping feeds separated into Folders, usually by category will make life and feed reading a lot easier when you have over 100 feeds. With folders, you can view updated information by Topic, like in the screen shot above, News, New York, Personal and Technology)

 

Yahoo Mail Logo Yahoo Mail = I personally use Yahoo! Mail Plus ($20 per year) which has no advertising, Pop Forwarding features (for my PDA usage), unlimited storage and the ability to setup unlimited Disposable Addresses, which comes in handy when subscribing to all the web pages out there (can setup right from Yahoo! Toolbar). 

Yahoo Mail RSS Feeds

 

star Reminder: The advantage of a Web Based Feed Reader is that the content is always available and synchronized no matter which computer or PDA or phone you are using (options to view on PDA or Phone look like www.google.com/reader/m).

star Not to be excluded, Internet Explorer and Firefox have built it RSS Feed Readers and Firefox has several RSS Feed Reader Add-ons. However, there is a lack of synchronization between these readers so there will be a lot of sifting of previously read articles between computers.

 

Desktop RSS Feed Readers

FeedDemon = This is what I use and I think it is Amazing (but I have a few suggestions for improvement).

FeedDemon Screenshot

The advantages are:

  1. Looks like a professional program, so compared to IGoogle or Google Reader or Yahoo! Mail, if you’re boss happens to walk past your screen it looks like you are reading news or documents.
  2. If your boss is walking by, the program is easily hidden, FeedDemon Tray Icon the FeedDemon Tray Icon is a great advantage which allows you to X it out and keep it in the tray, keeping your taskbar clean and open for all the other programs you have open.
  3. FeedDemon synchronizes with Newsgator Online, so when I come home and open up FeedDemon, I hit update and it automatically synchronizes with the unread items I had at my work version.
  4. Ability to easily change Fonts, Appearances, Window Sizes, Update Frequencies, Notification windows (taskbar updates of which blogs have new items).
  5. Quick learning keyboard shortcuts for Feed Read, Mark All Read, Next Feed AND easy to use buttons.
  6. Connectivity from the Feed Item to “Email this News Item”, Copy to clipboard, Blog this item (I use Windows Live Writer and this is a quick way to post)  and Social Bookmarking posting, such as Del.Icio.us. I frequently use this to email my friends funny or interesting articles that I read.FeedDemon Options Screenshot

The disadvantages are that it cost me some money, $29.95 to be precise. It was and IS well worth it (price for 2 computers).

 

Outlook = Another great way to pretend like you are doing work and reading e-mails while really catching up with the latest and greatest. Also, to contradict myself, sometimes reading blogs and keeping up with the “latest and greatest” is beneficial to your field. Personally, I keep up with all that is Real Estate. The disadvantages was that it became overwhelming for me to view the feeds through Outlook. It also noticeably slowed down it’s performance.

Outlook RSS Reader Screenshot

Once again, hope you learned something and if not, hopefully you know of someone to send this post to in order to educate your friends on “keeping up with the times”.

starA great source for more on RSS Feed Readers is the The Ultimate RSS Toolbox – 120+ RSS Resources by Mashable.com !

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