Top 8 Web-Based RSS Readers
Using a web-based RSS reader allows you to keep up with your favourite websites or blogs and online reading. There are a variety of different RSS readers available all offering different features. After considerable research, I’ve narrowed it down to eight top notch web-based Readers and I’m confident one of these from the group will suit your needs.
Coming in at number 1 is the next G news reader Shrook 2 for Mac. It offers advanced features not available to Mac users anywhere else. It’s versatility (it supports all versions of RSS and Atom) is uncompromised. Shrook 2 features full podcast support, smart groups, built in browser and more. It’s innovative user-interface is second to none and to top it off, it’s incredibly easy to use.
Cons: None detected in the latest version
Coming in at number 2 Snarfer is a great starter for users unfamiliar with the RSS territory. Snarfer keenly follows the KIS (Keep It Simple) principle in every function which is perfect for new users. It’s uncluttered interface follows a generic design, on the left side you can observe your feed categories and listed entries and on the right side is the preview pane. Snarfer has a strong community of loyal users providing feedback, feature requests and other enhancements which allows the Snarfware team to bring out an enhanced version every 45 days!
Cons: If there are any they’ll be rectified every 45 days!
Coming in at number 3 is Google Reader! It’s been around since the beginning of time, RSS time that is, and it was launched in October 2005. The wise old girl has many benefits including a slick, universally accessible and uncomplicated way to read RSS news feeds. For the more experienced enthusiasts there is a plethora of flexibility. If you label somewhat consistently, Google Reader offers a high level of organisation. You can label both individual items and feeds freely with any combination of tags.
Cons: None that I know of!
Netvibes is an excellent choice, it’s loaded with many useful features from a to-do list to a notepad to leave yourself reminders to news feeds. The drag and drop feature allows for easy customization. The sign up is as easy as ABC and once done, you can personalize your home page to suit your personal and business interests. The initial start page isn’t particularly attractive, however this isn’t difficult to solve; the settings link on the upper right side of the page allows you to change the look and feel.
Cons: It would be nice if the initial start page looked better and it also doesn’t have separators between articles and has a very plain theme.
This is an excellent choice for those new to the world of personalised start pages. The default template is pleasing to the eye and adding new widgets (called “Flakes”) is a reasonably simple process. The interface allows you to use the service without signing up however, you will only be able to access your page from your personal computer. The new user is guided through the default page where you check off your interests. Pageflakes offers over 200,000 Flakes, which can be a little intimidating particularly as there is the option to view all Flakes on the left hand menu!
Cons: Flakes can leave you a little confused and there is an unnecessarily large footer on the page.
Yahoo is a fast and solid RSS reader. It allows you to preview articles and allows you to organise your feeds into separate tabs which is great when you want to organise your feeds by subject matter. Adding an RSS feed is as simple as choosing “Personalise this Page” and clicking on “Add RSS Feed” and paste in the feed’s address. Some websites have an “Add to MyYahoo” button to make this easier.
Cons: MyYahoo doesn’t have the ability to consolidate feeds and there are imposing limitations on the personalised start page.
While not as feature rich as other RSS readers, it’s great for beginners with it’s simplified easy to use interface. It provides just the basics and perhaps the lack of features is NewsGator’s most endearing feature. You get a simple easy to use RSS reader with punch. You can organise your feeds into different groups and these groups can be viewed by the most recent articles, which means a group can act as a consolidated feed.
Cons: If you want a feature rich RSS Reader this isn’t for you. NewsGator is a NO FRILLS deal.
Bloglines is a great, web-based way to read RSS feeds. You can easily customize your dashboard with multiple view options with a great drag and drop organisation feature. It’s fast and easy to use, it’s computer and software independent, which allows you to check on your favourite websites on any computer.
Cons: Occasionally produces feed errors and it doesn’t support tagging.