Rss/feeds

10 Best Alternatives To Google Reader

If you are worry about the replacement for the Google Reader then you do not have to worry anymore because this collection is all about alternatives to Google Reader. No doubt Google Reader is one of the most important and useful tools from Google apps. So what if Google Reader is closing or shutting down, these days lots of good and outstanding replacements for the Google Reader are available in the market like the Old Reader, News Blur, Feedly, net Vibes and Pulse and so many.

In this compilation we are showcasing 10 free and best Alternatives to Google Reader. With these quality replacements of Google Reader, you do not have to worry if Google Reader is closing or not because you have good alternatives in hand.

You can also tell us what you think about this collection and share your precious opinions with us via comment section below. Do have a look at this collection and chime in with recommendations as well. Enjoy!!!

Feedly

Organize your favorite blogs, news sites, podcasts and Youtube channels and access them all in one place (or sync with Google Reader).

RSS Owl

RSSOwl is a free and powerful news feed reader. RSSOwl lets you gather, organize and search news in a convenient, easy to use interface with endless flexibility.

GreatNews

GreatNews displays full pages of news articles across rss feeds, optimized for fast reading. So you can skim through pages in seconds, and pick interesting ones to dig in.

FeedReader

You just sign up, add your favorite feeds, and arrange them into a personal list that you can then access at any moment from any other computer simply by logging into your account in a web browser.

FeedDemon

FeedDemon is the most popular RSS reader for Windows, with an easy-to-use interface that makes it a snap to stay informed with the latest news and information.

Taptu

Taptu provides instant access to all your interests in one beautiful little app.

Pulse

Pulse is a fast and beautiful way to read your favorite blogs, magazines, social networks and newspapers.

Newsblur

Bringing people together to talk about the world.

Bloglines

Bloglines is the fastest way to find and track your favorite websites and blogs in real-time. Easily customize your dashboard with multiple view options, drag and drop organization, and exclusive widgets. Get the latest news on all your interests and trending topics exactly the way you want it, with the new Bloglines Reader!

Omea Reader

Free and easy to use RSS reader, NNTP news reader, and web bookmark manager. It’s fast, it aggregates, and it keeps you organized. Check out the additional features: lightning-fast desktop search, flexible information organizer, contextual access, and quick extensibility for developers who want more.

WebReader Makes Your Google Reader Experience Visually More Appealing

I used Google Reader to catch up with all of my favorite websites. But like many other users of the service, I feel that the Reader’s interface lacks the eye-candy I want. If you are like me and want to your Google Reader experience to have a visual appeal, then you will find “WebReader” to be greatly helpful.

WebReader is an AIR-based freeware. Being based on Adobe AIR makes the software cross-platform. The first time you run WebReader after installation you will need to provide your Google account details. This is to fetch your Reader subscriptions from Google.

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With the subscriptions and articles fetched from Google, the program will have a view similar to the following image:

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As you can already see, the program is a lot better looking than the native web interface of Google Reader. Individual feeds are categorized in the left pane. You can further categorize these feeds by creating new folders and dividing the feeds amongst these folders.

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New feeds can be added right from the program using the “Add a Subscription” button from the top left. This area is also where you can search content in your feeds.

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The program allows direct sharing of the article you read. Just place your mouse pointer over one of the visible articles and links will appear that let you email the article and share it on social networks.

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Viewing the articles can be done in 3 different ways: you can choose to have entire articles displayed, only a summary of them, or just the titles. These views can be changed from the buttons in the top right.

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The buttons in the bottom right let you navigate to other articles and control the font size.

In addition to all these features, WebReader displays desktop notifications for each new entry in the feed; this ensure you are updated of new articles as soon as possible.

WebReader, clearly, is an excellent replacement for the web interface of Google Reader. You can get the freeware from http://www.getwebreader.com/

New Customization Features Added to Google News

Google News has undergone extensive testing by Google and finally the service now has a number of notable customization options. Read on to learn about them:

1. Topics you can subscribe to

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In the left pane of Google News, you will find a topics list. Click on any topic to find news related to it. When the news open up, you will find a button which lets you add that topic to your personalized news page thereby subscribing to the topic.

2. News For You

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News For You is a brilliant idea by Google. You can edit the news topics by filtering them out of your news feed. New topics can be added by entering keywords in the search bar provided in the News For You box. You can also specify the frequency with which you read about each topic so that news is correspondingly arranged.

3. Selecting / Deselecting News Sources

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If there is a certain news source that you prefer, you can click on “Settings” at the top of the page, select “News settings” and start typing the sites you’d like to see more often in Google News. On the other hand if there is a news source you do not like, you follow the same procedure and eliminate the news source from your feed.

4. Social Network Integration

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Clicking on the small arrow in the top right corner of each news cluster will drop down networks on which you can share the current news. This is a great way to let your friends know of anything interesting you read.

5. Keyboard Shortcuts

Some keyboard shortcuts have been added to enhance the user experience. The following keys apply: j or n (next story), k or p (previous story), / (search), s (star), . or f (share), Enter (open the headline article for the current story).

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Google has clearly improved its News page by giving more control to the user. A full list of new features can be read here, on Google’s official page on the matter.

BlogRadio: A Tool To Convert RSS Feeds Into Audio

RSS feeds are a great way to catch up on website updates. You can simply have the RSS feed view all the latest material on a site without having to look for it manually. However reading many RSS feeds can get a little too tiresome for the eyes because of the extensive reading. To ease your management of RSS feeds, give BlogRadio a try.

BlogRadio is a freeware desktop application based on Adobe Air. The tool gathers your RSS updates and reads them out for you. It uses great text-to-speech techniques to produce almost natural male / female reading voices.

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To get started with BlogRadio you will first need to download it. Since it is based on Air, it is multiplatform and can be used by Windows, Mac, and Linux computer users. After installation this is what BlogRadio will look like:

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(* You can resize the window to suit your monitor’s resolution and view all BlogRadio’s buttons.)

Initially, BlogRadio’s main pane will be empty. You will need to use the “Add” button under the left pane of RSS feeds add new feeds.

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After you have successfully added the feed, the updates will be shown in the left pane.

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You can highlight any entry and its corresponding updates will be shown to the right, in the middle pane.

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In this pane, you can click on any entry and use the button under this pane to start the reading.

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Each entry will take a short amount of time to load up before it can be played so you might have to wait a while, depending on the speed of your connection.

To change the voice the feed is being read in, use the “Test the Voices!” button in the top row of buttons.

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This button will show you options of voice which you can test out and select.

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In conclusion, if you use RSS feeds and are looking for a way to improve their convenience level, BlogRadio will not disappoint.

Visit BlogRadio @ www.podblogr.com and get its desktop application.

Supercharge Your Google Reader & Read Your Feeds In Style With FeedSquares (Chrome Extension)

To read updates on the Blogger pages I am following, I use Google Reader. If you are unfamiliar with Reader, it is Google’s service that lets us read any Atom and RSS feed online or offline. Every since its main release in September 2007, it has been tried out many Google users and is now quite popular. This is what the Reader interface normally looks like:

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Although I am happy with the convenience that Reader provides (the ability to read all our Atom plus RSS reads on a single dashboard) I feel that Reader’s interface could be revamped and made more visually appealing.  One tool that achieves this is FeedSquares.

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FeedSquares is a great browser extension for Google Chrome. The first change made by FeedSquare is the addition of a pink icon to Chrome’s address bar.

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When this pink icon is clicked, a page like this is opened in a new Chrome tab:

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The squares represent each blog / feed we are following or subscribed to (excluding the square titled TOP PICKS, ABOUT US, Rocket in-Bottle, and Friend’s Shared Items). By clicking on any square of a blog / feed, we open its feed beneath these squares (see image below).

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The feeds are listed from newest to oldest (the newest is left most). Clicking on any feed opens it quickly in a pop up window right there, above our feed-line.

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Blog entries can easily be read in this pop up window. In case we want to head on over to the post’s original link, we can click on its title in the pop up window (marked in the red region in the image above).

When combined with FeedSquares, Google Reader is a wonderful service that provides its users with a great online reading experience. Click here to get FeedSquares for your Chrome.

How To Organize/View Your Feeds In A Magazine Like Start Pages In Chrome

Recently I came across a great website titled Fav4. It provides users with a four thumbnail shortcuts to websites. The websites can be selected from a list of the most social media websites. Fav4 has an appealing look and can serve as a great clutter-free start-page for any user.

But what if I need a start-page that does not only provide me a link to my most frequented sites, but also extracts the latest updates from them and shows them all to me neatly? I asked a blogger friend about this and his suggestion was more than satisfactory: Feedly.

Feedly is a wonderful extension for Chrome that can give us a magazine-like start-page. After installation of the extension, you will see its green icon in Chrome’s address bar.

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To set up Feedly, click on its icon. A new tab will open up in which Feedly will try to organize the data from your bookmarks. This may take a little while  during which you will see a “loading” message.

Once Feedly has loaded completed, you will be presented with your magazine-like start-page. On the first run you will see your bookmarks on top with suggestions on the bottom.

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You can choose to create your magazine yourself or rely on Feedl to do the job. Under this yellow area you will find your magazine.

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In addition to that if you’re interested in checking out any of the articles you like in your feed you wouldn’t need to open a new tab for it. Feedly allows you to view your favorite blogs in the same window. For example, if I want to view the first post that says “Stunning Pieces Of Digital Art That Would Make You Say “WoW” I would simply click it and view it right there. While external links will be opened in a new tab.

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You can also categorize your feeds by simply dragging  and placing them in your favorite category.

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You will also notice a Search box where you can easily search for your favorite blogs with just a click of a button. Feedly provides seamless integration with Google Reader, Twitter, Delicious, YouTube and Amazon.

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For a tiny Chrome extension, Feedly provides a great convenience to all internet users including me.

Create A News Aggregation Website With PHP RSS Reader

Imagine if there was a way to provide new, relevant content from thousands of different sources every minute, automatically on your website. How much more eager would a user be to come back for more? This is exactly why PHP RSS Reader was created, to give you the opportunity to automatically provide your users with an incredible amount of information in a compelling, simplistic format and provide this new, relevant content every single minute!

PHP RSS Reader is a full blown news aggregation script programmed in PHP that allows you to provide your users with fresh content 24/7.

http://www.phprssreader.com/images/php-rss-reader.jpg

How does it work?

The script pulls news articles in from RSS feeds that you specify in the administration panel. You can have “keyword-based” categories which automatically moves items with the keywords mentioned into the related categories, an innovative way to categorize news for those that want to have multiple feeds.

Keyword Based Category Population

When adding a category to PHP RSS Reader, you can assign ‘keywords’. These keywords are used to find relevant news from the news source you’ve specified for the script to crawl. This allows you to target specific keywords.

Crawl an unlimited amount of news sources (or tweets!)

PHP RSS Reader allows you specify which sources you’d like to be included in the site. All you need to do is specify the RSS feed of the news source you’d like to be crawled.

SEO URL’s

One of the biggest problems with web scripts is that most developers really don’t understand how optimise a site for search engines. PHP RSS Reader provides a true SEO URL structure that will allow your site to rank highly for the keywords you’re targeting.

Favicons to distinguish between posts

When you add a new source, the script automatically tries to assign the sites favicon to the source. If the favicon can’t be found, you can simply upload a new image of your choice.

Configure News Timescales

It’s completely up to you how you’d like the timescales to appear. You can add as many timescales as you wish.

Extensive Customization

Within the settings section of the admin panel you’ve got plenty of options. You can define how many news articles to display per category, how many popular news articles to display, edit the sites title, description and much more.

Prune Articles

You may eventually find the need to delete old articles, this is a simple process, made easy through the PHP RSS Reader admin interface.

CSS Styling

It’s easy to change the look and feel of your PHP RSS Reader, with some simple edits within the CSS file, you can adapt PHP RSS Reader into your current site design.

User Friendly Administration

The PHP RSS Reader control panel couldn’t be easier to use, it’s a simple process to kick-start your aggregator and you’re assisted every step of the way.

Simple and fast installation

It’s so easy to install PHP RSS Reader. You simply upload the PHP RSS Reader into the site directory you wish and then run the install.php and follow the steps.

Google Analytics Integration

It’s easy to integrate Google Analytics into the site. Simply enter your Analytics ID with the settings section of the Admin panel and you’ve got a powerful way to track all your stats.

There are 2 versions of PHP RSS Reader

5 Websites & Tools Bloggers Should Know About

While the job is interesting and one gets to discover the latest about the Internet, blogging is no easy task. “Time is money” could not be any truer for bloggers; impossible deadlines put us under harsh time constraints. Due to this constraint, bloggers are always actively on the lookout for the next great tool that can help us cut back on the time it takes to write our articles/reviews.

Bloggers who run their own website, on the other hand, are not under any critical deadlines – their worries are of a different nature. Taking constant care of their website and monitoring it is an absolute must for them; if a site owner’s website unexpectedly goes down, his/her income will be negatively affected.

Therefore one way or the other, all bloggers have problems whether they are self-employed, freelancing, or fulltime employed. They need all the help they can get.

Today we present to our fellow bloggers five tools available on the internet which will help them in one way or the other. We hope you all find the following tools as helpful as we did.

You are welcome to share if you know more useful tools which our readers/viewers may like. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at SmashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter and do not forget to become our fan on facebook as well.

1. DomainTools

Domaintools

For somebody who plans to start out his/her own website, the first most important step is to come up with a great name. Once the great name has been thought of, one needs to check its availability. DomainTools is a free website that does both things. Firstly it can suggest various names to a user by taking as input a keyword. Secondly it shows us which domain extensions (COM, NET, etc.) is the site name available. If a user wishes, he/she can buy and register the domain name right from the site. In this way, DomainTools eventually saves us a lot of time in the process of naming our website.

2. WhoisLookup/WhoisApplication

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WhoisLookup is a freeware application less than 100KB in size. The EXE file is downloaded and can be run without any installation. In the program we can enter the URL of a site and get its Whois information which shows us the site’s various attributes such as its registrar’s information, the location of the site, and the details of its administrator. Whois specifics can help out a great deal when trying to determine which website to blog about. To some extent, it can also show us whether or not the site’s claimed location matches its actual location; this helps us judge the trueness of the website’s credentials.

3. dnspchecker

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This nifty little freeware is about 3MB to download and is helpful in determining the status of a website. It is compatible with Linux and Windows operating systems. After we enter a URL into the program, it uses ping command to see if the DNS is live. In other words you can see if a site is up or not. A successful message is show each time the site if up; if the site is down or a valid response could not be received then it automatically checks the site every 60 seconds. This way we do not have to recheck the status of the site each minute (because it is automatically being done for us). To have it not interfere with our work, the program can be minimized to the System Tray and gives an alert when DNS is propagated.

4. Observu

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dnschecker can only help you if you have it installed on your system. If you are using a computer on which you do not have the privilege to install new programs and you would like to check the status of your websites, the only way that comes to mind is by actually visiting the website in your internet browser. If the number of websites is more than one then the process could be considerably time consuming. Observu is a free website that lets us register for a free account and enter an unlimited number of websites to be automatically monitored. If any one of them goes down, we are immediately emailed of its negative status. There is no limit to the number of sites we want monitored. Observu can be helpful not only for site owners but also for bloggers who have reviewed a website and want to stay informed of its status. For instance John, a blogger, blogs about www.XYZABC123.com and he is emailed of its negative status the next month; upon receiving the notification, John can updates his previous review and add a note saying that the site is currently experiencing problems and is down. Such responsibility can go a long way and earn loyal readers.

5. BlogDesk

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WordPress is a blogging platform used by many bloggers. Other widely used platforms are MovableType, Drupal, Serendipity and ExpressionEngine. To blog in these platforms, we open up our internet browser window, log into our blogging Dashboard and get started. With the latest platforms we can save our work as we go along but having the data secure on our hard drive is something that most bloggers find comfortable. Also while typing on these platforms, one has to go through special means while inserting hyperlinks and pictures. BlogDesk is a 4MB freeware program that eliminates all the problems associated with typing our blogs on these platforms. It is a desktop application that enables us to type up our blog offline with ease. When we want to publish the article, we can simply blog from BlogDesk directly. The abovementioned blogging platforms are supported by the program. But before you go using it, make sure its option is enabled in the online settings of your blogging platform.

Let’s Take A Look On Some FeedBurner’s RSS Feed Analysis Tools

I will appreciate if you can spread the word via Digg or other social media websites, Thank you

FeedBurner, A must have online service to control rss feed of any website specially for the blogs. While browsing from news websites to entertainment or tech websites to general websites everyone is focusing to promote their rss feed to subscribe by their visitors or try to motivate their readers in a different attractive ways to increase his rss feed subscription. And FeedBurner is really helping the webmasters to offer rss feed subscription offer on the website.

Today, we are discussing about few rss feed analysis tools which may help you to analyze any web site’s rss feed subscribers, performance, hits, comparison etc

If you know more tools which may help to analyze rss feeds, you are welcome to share them with us here via comments. We will also welcome your feedback about any tool given below so new user will have success story to read before they will use.

BlogPerfume Feed Analysis v1.1 Analyzes Your FeedBurner Feeds

Blog perfume feed tool

By the use Blog Perfume Feed Analysis tool, the number of subscribers for each month is neatly shown on the column chart. You can also view the number of subscribers, hits, views and clicks for every single day from the line chart. The best/worst day of the week is also available which is displayed on the pie chart. And also, Feed Analysis can give you an estimated value for your blog / site according to the number of your subscribers.

FeedCompare Helps To Compare Your FeedBurner Subscriber Numbers With Others

FeedCompare

FeedCompare helps us compare our FeedBurner Feeds Subscriber Numbers with others. You can simply type in the FeedBurner Feeds (http://feeds.feedburner.com/SmashingApps). You can type maximum four FeedBurner Feeds and then press submit to compare them, FeedCompare will then shows the subscriber numbers of different sites on a lovely line chart.

Feed Commander Gives Complete Control Over The RSS Feed You Display On Your Website

Feed Commander

Feed Commander is and online software that allows you to easily configure an RSS feed to display any way you like. With a few simple choices from the menu, you can hit the preview button and see exactly how the generated code will appear. When you have a preview that you like, you simply choose to generate the code, and copy and paste it wherever you wish.

Create A Simple Graph Of Your FeedBurner Subscriber Circulation Data

joostdevalk feedburner tool

With this simple FeedBurner subscriber analysis graph tool you can extract the circulation data for a blog for a given period of time. If you do this for f.i. the last year, you can draw a nice graph of how your RSS subscribers have progressed over time. To do this, you need your FeedBurner name, for instance, use the FeedBurner URL SmashingApps.Com which is http://feeds.feedburner.com/smashingapps, and see the performance of last 6 month, 1 year, 2 year or 3 year.

Fresh, Free and Gorgeous RSS/Feed Icons Set Released By SmashingMagazine!

SmashingMagazine has recently released a Fresh, Free and Gorgeous RSS/Feed Icons set. The set contains 8 icons which you can use for private and commercial projects, blogs and web-sites for free. The icons are available for both Mac and Win-users in resolutions 16×16px, 24×24px, 32×32px, 48×48px, 128×128px, 256×256px and 512×512px.

Smashing Magazine free RSS/Feed icon set

You can use the icons for private and commercial projects, blogs and web-sites for free. However, please take a closer look at the license agreement.