The end is nigh for Bloglines. Its life has been extended to 1st November, 2010, but it’s in the final death throes and there’s only a few weeks to migrate to another service. Yet despite the loss of many big names, and contrary to popular opinion, RSS is not dead. There are several free aggregators you could consider moving to.
Google Reader is the most obvious choice for ex-Blogliners. It’s by far the most-used RSS aggregator, and it’s backed by a company that’s unlikely to disappear or remove the service (Reader is more successful than Wave ever was).
Google Reader will import standard OPML files, and has an easy interface. There are good configuration settings if you want to change the default setup. The service is also more reliable than Bloglines, and works well on mobile devices.
Although Good Noows is a beta product, there are plenty of features to satisfy the most demanding users. You can sign in with an existing Google, Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account, and then view RSS streams in a variety of styles such as “Pulitzer Story” or “Glossy Mag.”
I like Good Noows, and it feels more advanced than Google Reader. Unfortunately, there’s no OPML import support yet. It’s coming but, until it’s fully implemented, I could only recommend it to users with a handful of RSS feeds.
NewsBlur is an interesting HTML application offering several widgets to play with. For example, it has an intelligence slider, which analyzes your reading history so it can show or hide stories of less importance.
The reader encourages you to view stories within NewsBlur rather than opening a new page. I found the interface a little quirky and confusing at first, but some users will love it.
FeedShow possibly offers the closest experience to Bloglines. The interface feels a little dated, but the options are logical and easy to use. The service is free, and OPML file import is supported.
Gritwire is a fully Flash-based application that offers RSS aggregation and services akin to social networking. OPML import is provided as well as a podcast media player, weather forecasts, and several other widgets.
Do you have a favorite RSS reader? What do you think is the best option for ex-Blogliners?
Craig is a freelance UK web consultant who built his first page for IE2.0 in 1995. Since that time he's been advocating standards, accessibility, and best-practice HTML5 techniques. He's created enterprise specifications, websites and online applications for companies and organisations including the UK Parliament, the European Parliament, the Department of Energy & Climate Change, Microsoft, and more. He's written more than 1,000 articles for SitePoint and you can find him @craigbuckler.