Feedspot provides another Google Reader alternative
Written by Alan Thursday, 28 March 2013 07:00
In the wake of the Google Reader debacle that took place last week, a number of RSS services that formerly languished outside of the mainstream have suddenly shot to the forefront and gained popularity at an amazing rate. Feedly, The Old Reader and other alternatives have come under heavy traffic and been forced to scramble simply to keep their servers up and running.
While the two I just named, along with a few others like NewsBlur, have garnered the most attention, it does not mean they are the only ones available. In fact, there are numerous RSS readers that are not getting the attention they perhaps deserve in all of this. With that in mind, I want to look at a few of them over next several weeks, while we still have some time to choose our alternatives.
Let’s start with one called Feedspot. Unlike some of the ones out there, Feedspot is free. It is web-based and it can also import your Google Reader OPML file. To get started, you just need to sign up for an account. To do so, enter your email address, name and choose a password.
This business model here becomes immediately apparent upon entering your sign-up information — the site prompts to begin following one of the numerous sites that it has apparently partnered with.
This is a bit of a hassle, but certainly not the end of the world — after all the sites are legitimate and you may stumble on something you actually like here. I chose to add National Geographic to my feed. Once I picked it I was greeted with a “Done! Click to continue” button at the top of the page.
Now you can click the down arrow to the right of your name at the top of the screen and select “Import” to grab that file you took from Google Takeout.
Unlike The Old Reader, there is no wait to import your file. It simply takes about one minute — give or take depending on your file size. It unfortunately does not appear to sync with Reader in any way, so unread articles present when you exported your OPML will still be unread, even if the export was days ago.
In order to move a feed to a category you can click the “Edit” button at the top of the right column. You can also follow others and share items, just as you could in that previous RSS program we were all using.
Feedspot turns out to be a very strong candidate to be my next RSS program. The inteface is Reader-like, but more updated and modern looking, which is something lacking in The Old Reader. Feedly seemed an endless problem for finding what I was looking for, but this just works.