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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Time to reboot the feed reader September 16, 2010 11:37 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Communications, Software, Technology
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I used to love SharpReader. I was using it before RSS was vogue. The difference between consuming information by going to individual webpages vs using a feed reader is like riding a bike on the Interstate versus driving a Ferrari. I had to give up SharpReader because it was tied to a single box and I’m not. I work anywhere and everywhere and I need to be able to access my data from any device. I switched to Google Reader and have never looked back. Unfortunately, I lost all the articles in SharpReader that I’d marked as a favorite during the transition.

As I scan and read in Google Reader I use the star to mark my favorites so that I can return to the article and read it again (not that I ever do). I rarely but once in a blue moon add an item to my shared items.

I’ve come to a point where my feedreader more resembles bookmarks rather than a useful way to consume content. Many of the feeds are dead or stagnant. I have some like Fark that I don’t read anymore. Some have changed hands and are actually spam now. I’m going to drop my entire feed list. I’ll export the entire list first and probably publish it somewhere for reference. My one concern is losing my favorites. I can find nothing that talks about whether or not there is a way to save my favorites and whether or not removing a feed that had something marked as a favorite will also delete that favorite. I’ll experiment with it this weekend and figure it out.

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1. Jonathan Hickman - September 16, 2010

I’m pretty sure if you delete the feeds, you’ll lose all associated starred items.

2. Doug McCaughan - September 17, 2010

Me too.

3. Barry - September 17, 2010

I am/was a faithful user of Bloglines (well, the Beta that never got out of Beta). Now that I hear it’s closing up show as of Oct. 1, I switched all my feeds over to Google Reader. And I really don’t like it.

Not only did I lose all my saved posts, it’s clunky. It doesn’t deal well with the things I was used to doing intuitively on Bloglines. I want my Bloglines back!

I’ve never heard of SharpReader. Would you still recommend it on a single platform system over Google?

4. Jonathan Hickman - September 17, 2010

Sharpreader was the best of the best a few years ago, but it doesn’t seem to be in active development anymore. RSS Owl is pretty good, too, and it’s still in active development. I think newsgator is about the only other game in town these days, and it syncs with google reader, too, so you could have your cake and eat it, too, if you were so inclined. I haven’t used it in years to know if it’s any good. But I do know that I love cake.

5. Doug McCaughan - September 17, 2010

I don’t think I’d ever go back to tying myself to a single machine. I’ve been told there are some good apps for the iphone and ipad like Goodreader but I haven’t checked any of them out yet.

It seems that the authors of feed readers universally screw up the save points/favorites. I think using a service like http://pinboard.in/u:djuggler/ which will consume and archive your google reader shared items feed and just get in the habit of sharing instead of favoriting. If its something private that you don’t want the world seeing, you’d have to use the bookmarklet for either http://pinboard.in/u:djuggler/ or http://delicious.com/djuggler to bookmark the item as private. It’s really no additional effort. It’s a change of habit.

6. Jonathan Hickman - September 17, 2010

I use instapaper now for anything I want to read later or archive.

7. Victor Agreda Jr - September 20, 2010

Doug try Reeder for iPhone and iPad. Best I’ve used and I have hundreds of feeds I have to read each day for work.

8. Doug McCaughan - September 20, 2010

Thanks! I’ll check it out.

Btw, how was the show last night? Work kept me from making it.