Blaugust: RSS Feed Readers – The Big Switch

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Yesterday I posted about using Reader to keep up with your content. So, what about blogs that aren’t part of WordPress that you’re interested in? That’s where the old fashioned RSS Feed Readers still serve well!

I’ve been using Feed Readers since before the demise of Google Reader, and I still lament the loss. I’m confused as to why they shut it down, but I assume money. Anyhow, it was a huge inconvenience, and it forced me to look for alternatives.

Hello Feedly, Goodbye Feedly

Back in 2015, I wrote a post about using Feedly as my reader. It quickly became the go-to replacement for Google Reader for a lot of folks. It imported all my feeds easily, and was a great service. Until…

They forced monetization into the system.

Feedly Pro had been a thing for a while, but I ignored it. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to pay for a feed reader. I’ve been using readers for years for free, so that’s just how it goes.

Then, one day last year, I went to add a feed to my Feedly, and got denied. What was this?

I did research and discovered this:

Wait a second. So free accounts can only have 100 sources and 3 feeds? I’m confused by this. What’s a source and how is it different from a feed?

I don’t know, but I did understand one thing…

While they didn’t remove any of the feeds I currently subscribed to, I was faced with the reality that I’d hit a limit and couldn’t add new feeds to my reader. Needless to say, I went reader shopping that day and found an alternative pretty easily.

Hello Inoreader

My current reader is Inoreader.

This one may not work for everyone because the free version is supported by ads. And in order to use the reader, it did keep prompting me to whitelist the reader domain when I visited (YMMV). I know from a past post that a few folks out there feel pretty strongly against this, but I just whitelisted it for the sake of…

150 feeds for the free account.

And to be honest, they offer a $20 yearly package for 500 feeds and no ads, which isn’t terrible. So far, I haven’t had any issue with the 150 feed limit, but I don’t hold on to feeds that go inactive for super long.

BUT, if I were to upgrade, I think I’d fork over the yearly $20 sooner than I would a monthly fee. Yeah, I know above I just said I’m not paying for a reader (and I’m not), but this is the most likely case if I did.

Right now, this is the reader I recommend. There might be other good ones out there – if so, let me know in the comments – but this works for me. If you want to know more about how to set up your feeds in Inoreader, check out their comprehensive help!

8 responses to “Blaugust: RSS Feed Readers – The Big Switch”

  1. I’m not 100% sold on Feedly either. I want an absolutely minimal interface and I can just about get that but it’s pretty ugly to look at.

    I just read several “Best RSS Readers 2019” articles and came to a couple of conclusions; 1) 100 feeds is about par for the course and 2) there really aren’t any “good” RSS readers.

    I might try The Old Reader, which is the closest to Google Reader, but it seems a bit of a retrograde step. For now I’ve followed your lead and installed Inoreader, since it seemed the best of a not very impressive bunch. I have to say the installation process was extremely good.

    I used my Google ID and it took literally seconds to install correctly. Then I imported my feeds from Feedly and that took about another half-minute. Very impressive. The interface is a lot more attractive than Feedly and highly intuitive. I’m quite impressed so far.

    As for the 150 feeds vs 100, I think it’s a bit of a moot point for me. I currently only have 68 feeds but at least a third of those are dead and could easily be dropped. I doubt I’d ever hit 100, let alone 150. The main reason for that is that I actually use my own blogroll far more than I use Feedly – it’s faster (sometimes there’s half an hour between when a new post flags on Blogger and when I see it pop upin Feedly) and I’m on my blog al day on and off anyway. I mostly use Feedly for non-gaming stuff these days.

    I’ll have to see how Inoreader performs but if the feeds are prompt and accurate I think I might be done with Feedly.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad it’s been a good experience for you! I didn’t shop around very much when I made the jump to Inoreader, so I don’t know what competition is out there right now, aside from the ones you pointed out. This one does what I need so far, and I’ve used it long enough that I feel like I can suggest it if anyone is looking for something new to try.

      I don’t like that the ads are a thing, but I’ll let them drop ads on my reader (which I can just ignore) for a free service.


  2. Hmm. The ads thing is interesting. I’m not seeing any and I didn’t get any pop-ups or instructions to whitelist Inoreader. Also, I read everything on the web page before I started (there isn’t much) and i didn;t see any mention of it there.

    Where did you see it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting, I will have to give it a go as well then if you’re not being assaulted by ads. From Aywren’s description it was a complete write-off to me at that point. Any place that forces ads is a straight up no from me.

      On the other hand, while I have Feedly setup — like you, I tend to rely on my blogroll more than anything else anyway.

      Oh, and Aywren: I was initially confused by the feeds vs. sources thing too — So in Feedly parlance think of Feeds as a grouping of sources. So I might setup one feed for gaming blogs, another feed for general geekery and yet another for news. If I wanted a forth feed, I’d have to pay.

      Under the groupings you can then have 100 different RSS feed sources split as you see fit.

      I don’t think the 100 limit is likely to become a problem for me, but guess we’ll see. It also does help though that the RSS Aggregator that I use to drive my blog’s blogroll itself can spit out an RSS Feed as a single source which captures everything it has picked up, so for example, I have a Blaugust2019 feed that I have slotted into a separate Feed, and that helps me keep an eye more broadly than my general blogroll allows.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I wonder if this is another one of those Firefox vs. Chrome things. Inoreader picked up my Chrome’s adblock extension pretty quickly and did ask me to whitelist them to not see an annoying pop-up every time I went to the page. It’s dismissable, but I use my reader so much that it was going to be more of a hassle to deal with the popup than it was just to whitelist them. Here’s a thread that mentions it on Reddit:

        Looks like from reading this there were other ways around it with the adblocker, but it’s not a huge deal. It might be different with a different adblocker or browser?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I use feedly, I don’t pay for it, so I see an ad in any list of articles that goes longer than 2 that I can simply scroll past easily enough. I have hundred and hundreds of sources, and I just added a couple of new ones last week, so I don’t know why my experience is so different from yours.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This works just fine if all that you need is a reader for blogs. However, I also follow gaming news sites, along with blogs and webcomics. Some of those sites can post upward from 20+ articles a day. Not using a Feed Reader would just drown everything, and I’d never be able to keep up with anything.

      When something new comes in, it sticks a number next to the site that updated. This tells me that there’s something there to read. However, unlike a scrolling feed where things get lost, this number sticks around until I actually dismiss it or look at the content.

      More often than not, I’ll see my favorite blog/site/webcomic has an update, but I don’t have time to read it right that moment. This saves it for me until I can get around to it. And it doesn’t get lost in a flow of content. Here’s what I mean:

      I see I have Sims news and a few of my favorite blogs have posts for me to check out, and there’s stuff going on in the Nintendo world as well as Massively OP. I can just leave that be and come back to it when I have time to read on my lunch break.


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