The AOL Reader site is already live, featuring the tagline “all your favorite websites in one place.” The site says it is in private beta right now.
Although it’s unknown exactly how the product will work, one can assume users will be able to subscribe, personalize and weed through news and content found online.
The news comes as popular RSS platform Google Reader will shut down on July 1, and Facebook is rumored to be experimenting with its own RSS feed. Digg is also poised to launch its on RSS reader on June 26.
For many users, Feedly may provide the most direct route of keeping their Google Reader experience intact.
The service, which offers web, Android and iOS apps, can interact with your existing Google Reader account or store feeds on its own backend.
The interface isn’t identical to Google Reader; it’s more fluid and Flipboard-esque, but it does offer a number of different views, and will keep read/unread lists in sync.
The most promising aspect of Feedly is that the company is committed to making the migration from Google Reader to its own sync servers seamless.
Feedly also has some built-in sharing tools that are reminiscent of Google Reader’s old Sharebros days.
Our only real concern with Feedly is its underlying business model. Maintaining these servers isn’t cheap, so how will the service monetize?
Shaun Inman launched Fever in 2009 as a self-hosted alternative to feed readers such as Google Reader.
Fever works like a traditional reader, but also sorts news feeds based on hotness — wherein links that have the most links on other sites (or within your own feeds) get more prominence on a temperature scale.
This is a pure web app, and it is optimized to run on mobile or in the desktop, though some third-party apps (including Reeder for iPhone) support accounts as well.
The only downside to Fever is that it is self-hosted, meaning users need to have their own domain, PHP install and MySQL database. It’s not a hard app to install or maintain, but its self-hosted nature makes it ideal for certain types of RSS geeks. The price of Fever is $30 per instance.
I have been an avid Fever user for the last four years, and I recommend it to anyone who needs a Google Reader alternative and doesn’t mind getting their hands dirty.
An oldie but a goodie! NetVibes was popular in the golden era of RSS clients and services.
In addition to its web-based RSS feed reading options, NetVibes also has iGoogle-style widgets.
NetVibes is still kicking and can be a good monitoring tool for different types of content, but be aware that it isn’t as fast or keyboard-friendly as Google Reader. Moreover, the service doesn’t integrate into third-party mobile apps.
NewsBlur describes itself as innovating on the shoulders of what Google Reader built. To that end, the open source project offers free web, Android and iOS apps for news reading.
In addition to letting users run their own NewsBlur instances, NewsBlur also has hosted offerings that work with its apps.
A free NewsBlur account is good for 64 feeds and 10 feeds in a River of News, but for $1 a month, users get unlimited feeds, unlimited rivers and more share options — including private and protected shares.
Like Google Reader of old, NewsBlur lets users share feeds and stories to one another.
The Old Reader describes itself as “the old Google Reader but better,” and its design and sharing features are similar to pre-October 2011 Google Reader.
While users can import feeds from their Google Reader accounts, Old Reader is having a hard time taking on the Google Reader traffic.
On the surface, Old Reader looks like a good alternative, but we’re curious as to its business model and ability to sustain maintenance of a sync server.
Managing News is definitely for DIYers, but it’s an interesting project designed to let groups (or individuals) track data, RSS feeds and visualizations.
Like Fever, you’ll need to install Managing News on your own server. Unlike Fever, Managing News will require a little more finessing. It’s a customized Drupal 6 installation, and getting everything set up can be tricky for newcomers.
Still, the underlying technology is VERY promising, especially for groups who want a way to share feeds, comment on data and do different visualizations or keyword tracking.
Twitter isn’t a perfect replacement for Google Reader but for many users, Twitter lists curated by website or influencer are often better sources of information than traditional RSS feeds.
The problem with Twitter is that it is best for a source of current and breaking news, but not as good for finding or sorting through older news.
Still, for many feed addicts, Twitter is both more immediate and better at sharing than any RSS alternative.