By Craig Buckler

5 RSS Reader Replacements for Bloglines

By Craig Buckler

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 ReaderGoogle Reader

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.

Google ReaderGood Noows

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.

Google ReaderNewsBlur

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.

Google ReaderFeedShow

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.

Google ReaderGritwire

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.

Other Options

If you only have a few RSS subscriptions, you could consider personalized dashboard systems such as Netvibes, Protopage, or iGoogle. Pageflakes also offers a useful Bloglines-like reader view.

Do you have a favorite RSS reader? What do you think is the best option for ex-Blogliners?

  • Cezary Tomczak

    Good Noows, more advanced than Google Reader but with no import of opml files? Is this a joke? Parsing an opml file is about 15 minutes of work?

    • Yeah, it does seem like an odd omission. It should have been one of the first features they implemented.

      However, the interface feels more slick and modern. It’s good, but I prefer a simpler Bloglines-like experience.

  • Samuel Clay


    Thanks of writing up NewsBlur! I just want to mention that NewsBlur also supports both OPML importing and importing directly from Google Reader using OAuth (where you just allow Google Reader to share your feeds with NewsBlur without doing any work). You can also read the original site, which is a completely unique and wildly different way of using a RSS feed reader. And it’s open-source software that is being actively developed:

  • I use Feedly. It’s great. It displays my feeds in a newspaper/magazine like format. Very user friendly compared to many of the list formatted RSS readers.

  • Silver Firefly

    We still have Google Reader. RSS is far from being dead. :p

  • Tarh

    I use Brief, an RSS reader addon for Firefox. It works great, except that it doesn’t support media extensions for feeds. I would never trust a website with my list of subscriptions.

    • Thanks Tarh — I hadn’t come across Brief before. While you may not trust web apps, you could import your OPML file into one or more of them for a back-up. You’d also be able to access feeds when you’re away from your PC.

      Personally, I was happy using Bloglines and exporting a backup OPML file every so often. I’m now using Google Reader and, now I’ve got used to it, I prefer the system.

  • JHig310336

    I’ve been using Google Reader for years, no reason to change now.

    It works and I’m sticking to it.

  • Ely N

    yes! Feedly ( is the best rss “reader” I have tried. It has add-ons for chrome and firefox. It presents all your google reader feeds in a magazine-like layout. Last I heard they are work on a mobile version/app.

  • thirdjohn84

    I use Google Reader, however, ThyNews is a good option also.

  • I just use the basic feed reader that comes with Opera. Simple text. That’s all I need. I can easily click a link in a feed item if I want more information etc.

    I don’t understand why one would use an aggregator as described here. Perhaps that’s why they are on the decline.

  • Anonymous

    igoogle is okay to use because we use google most of the time and adding to igoogle gives simple access to everything from single page.
    -Ven (eMoneyMakingOnline.COM)

  • heathergaye

    Feedly is awesome. Sits over top of Google Reader, so anyone that already uses Google Reader should definitely check it out. Transforms reading your blogs into a lovely magazine-y interface (including stock art for blog entries without any photos – some people may not like their taste in abstracts, but I think it’s lovely).

  • Monkey

    Google’s Reader broke my heart when I tried to use it on my shiny new iPad. Thus far shelling out my hard-earned cash on subpar apps (looking at YOU, Reeder) has been an exercise in further angst. Thank you for this great list, all webby, all free, all the time – you’ve given me hope again.

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