Monday, March 10, 2008

The Death of the Feed-Reader

Well what do you know ?! Two blog-posts in two days.

Have been thinking about this for sometime and thought it would be best to just get it out. I've used a lot of feed-readers in my (short) Web 2.0 life. I've used Liferea, Sage, Microsoft Outlook, Google Reader, Netvibes, Pageflakes, FeedDemon so I'm not looking for recommendations. What I'm more interested in is how Twitter (here we go again) has killed the classical feed-reader for me.

This is how I use Twitter as my feed-reader. On twitter I follow Slashdot, Ars Technica, Engadget and Techmeme and each time a new news item comes up on these sites it gets posted to my Twitter feed. Now I know I could possible roll my own RSS feed based on a combination of RSS feeds but doing it the "twitter-way" is more fun as I can get my (limited) social networking fix also. All in all it works out great. A combination of tweets and RSS items gives me the feel of the 'river of news'.

The other reason why I feel the classical feed-reader is dead is because of Techmeme which has changed the way I consume tech-news. If you are new to Techmeme go ahead and visit the site it's a great way to keep in touch with hat's hot at the moment in technology. Instead of having to peruse through 250+ blogs I just wait for the blogosphere to do it's job and bring the most important tech news to me. I then wait for Techmeme to post it on it's Twitter feed and then wait for TwitterFox to fetch it from my Twitter feed. In all quite a bit of abstractions but it's good as I do not need to have a RSS feed-reader open all the time.

Ofcourse I'm not following all the 250+ feeds on Twitter just the most important ones. For the rest of my feeds I still use FeedDemon which is perhaps the best RSS Feed-reader for Windows. The other reason why I've picked FeedDemon is because it has the best three-screen-play among the feed-readers. It has a desktop based client which is really really fast once you set it up with a few turbo-RSS-munching settings. It has a really simple, low-bandwidth mobile-version which till now has worked the best for my GPRS (!!) connection. And finally it has a passable web-based reader which can be used whenever I need to access my feeds from elsewhere. Also it syncs my read/unread items across all three platforms hence I dont need to suffer at the hands of data-reconsumption.

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At 8:32 AM, June 23, 2008, Anonymous Prashanth said...

When you posted this, I thought perhaps the blog wasn't entirely dead :-)

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