House of the Hanged Man has moved!

If you are not redirected in 10 second, please click here.


Podcast reviews have moved to The New, New Podcast Review

2004-09-05

Seeking the perfect Web-based RSS aggregator

I'm trying some (free) web-based RSS aggregators to collect
interesting news articles, and here are some thoughts:

I should probably preface this by saying that I'd like to browse my
feeds in a FireFox browser window and that I use the ReloadEvery
(http://reloadevery.mozdev.org/) to refresh my news-like sites (both
my feed aggregator and SlashDot, among others). I should also note
that while at work I'm behind a proxy server/firewall, and none of the
(free) desktop-based aggies that I've seen have been able to handle
the proxy authentication that my org's proxy requires.

These aggies all show the feeds grouped by feed source. This might be
useful for some users, but I'm looking for a running list that I can
read without looking at a bunch of different links. If I wanted to
look at my feeds this way, I could just have a folder of links that I
browsed every so often (well, all right, this might be a little
easier, but you get the idea).

FastBuzz (http://www.fastbuzz.com)
Bloglines (http://www.bloglines.com)

As a result of my preferences, I haven't tested these ones much....

Here's another that shows the feed grouped by source, but it's a
little different than the others - it's in the format of a FireFox
extension, and displays the list of feeds as a pane in the browser,
like the history pane. If I were to view my feeds in this manner, I'd
probably use this tool.

Sage (http://sage.mozdev.org/)

Feedster (http://feedster.com) shows my feeds the way that I want, the
newest posts on top, regardless of their source. I like the
interface; adding feeds is easy, and there's a good list of already
indexed feeds to choose from. If you're not sure what you want to
watch then this is a good starting place (in fact, it's the first one
that I tried). They're also very responsive to problems - they have
an AOLIM account, and I've chatted with them several times regarding
prob lems that I was having. The drawbacks are that it seems a little
buggy (I've been unable to access my feeds on several accounts, often
the slashdot feed is far behind current, and I still can't export my
feeds. There are also several features that I can't seem to get to
work. In fairness to them, however, I haven't notified them of all fo
thes, either), and that the navigation isn't terribly intuitive -
there are places that are difficult to find unless you know the URL to
type in).

Finally, out of all the ones that I've seen is the WebApps version
from server.com (http://server.com/WebApps/NewsApp/). As far as I
casn tell, this one displays the content in the manner I want to see,
but since I just now updated all of my feeds it's a little difficult
to tell - there were quite a few from each source all clumped
together, but I think that might have had to do with the fact that I
had just added those sources, so to NewsApp they all seemed like new
posts. I'll have to give this one a little time, but right now it
seems like it keeps a lot better up-to-date than the feedster version.
Drawback that I can see right away are that in a few days they're
going to place ads at the top of my feed page, and I can't export my
feeds to OPML.

One question that I have is to wonder why none of these tools is more
configurable (why can't I see my feeds in either chronological or
threaded fashion in the same page?). Perhaps I'll have to roll my
own....

--
Cheers!
kinrowan

1 Comments:

At 7:41 AM, Blogger J. Scott Johnson / Feedster said...

Hi there,

Scott Johnson from Feedster here. Your input is really, really good. I'm looking at this comment now and grab me via IM sometime. I'm not certain I understand reloadevery and I feel that I should.

I've had quite bad luck with Firefox extensions crashing the browser 100% so I don't use them often and am actually hesitant to even install them at this point so I could use some guidance here. In MyFeedster what screen would you see regularly using ReloadEvery with? The Today view ? Or a View you don't have access to (yet) which shows just the post titles. Something like Reload Every is a significant performance hit hence the question and what you really want.

Thanks again.

Scott

 

Post a Comment

<< Home