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Which Feed Reader is Best?

Posted By Darren Rowse 13th of May 2007 RSS 234

FilenameTime for a little reader debate discussion.

Which Feed Reader do you use and Why?

Are you a Google Reader fan? A Bloglines junkie? Do you prefer NewsGator, Firefox Live Bookmarks or Netvibes? Or do you prefer to follow blogs via MyYahoo or iGoogle?

Which one do you use – why?

Leave us a mini review – it’ll be interesting to see what trends emerges from the discussion.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  1. Online: I was using for a long time but about a month ago switched to Google Reader and found it to be a lot better.

    Offline on my Mac: I was using Vienna (free) and then switched to Newsfire which is faster (but costs money).

  2. I use Netvibes mostly I also have various accounts on Google, Bloglines and Pageflakes just to get a change in look and design sometimes.

    Why I prefer Netvibes the most is because it lets me add a lot more modules and basically run everything I ever do on the internet from reading blog feeds, to mainstream news feeds, comics :) and more.

    The only thing missing would be a module like scribefire/performancing to write my blog post from within netvibes, then my online office is complete.

  3. I’ve always used newsgator, I like simplicity :)

  4. NetNewsWire.

    It handles my vast amount of feeds much better than any web app I’ve tried so far and it’s integrated well with MacOS X and some third-party tools. I have it open all the time and it has always worked stably for me. It also comes with a free 1-year subscription to NewsGator and there’s a free “Lite” version available.

    I’ve tried some other dedicated feed readers for the Mac, such as NewsFire or Vienna, but none of them could steer me away from NetNewsWire. If you want to follow (well, at least subscribe to) a lot of feeds and use a Mac, this is the way to go.

  5. I’ve never been a big fan of online-based feed readers. I use NetNewsWire on my Mac, never had a problem with it.

  6. Google Reader.

    I work on different computers (at home and at uni), so a web-based reader is really necessary to grab my updates as soon as possible.

    Google Reader really needs a search function though, it’s annoying having to wade through old posts.

  7. I’m a happy Netvibes user. Its interface is clean, you can easily subscribe tons of newsfeeds, order them in tabs, and get to know how many news items you still have to read.

    Productivity-wise, using Netvibes drastically reduced the time I’ve been spending keeping up to date with the flood of news coming from blogs and news sites I enjoy reading.

  8. I use a Linux box and I use Liferea mostly but I’m also a heavy Bloglines user. I hate proprietary software and Newsgator !!

    So, here’s it :
    1) Liferea.
    2) Bloglines.

  9. Since I have moved from Windows to Ubuntu Linux I am using Liferea as a feed reader. For when do not have my own computer at hand I have configured iGoogle to show me the most important feeds.

  10. Still like BlogBridge. Synchronisation, so you can use one account on serveral locations/pc’s, easy smartfeed creation, fast updates and nice user interface. One disadvantage: only free when using less then 300 feeds.

  11. Google Reader for one not so obvious reason:


    In other words, I log in, go to ‘All Items’ view and just sit back and tell my reader (as I go through all the items): surprise me.

  12. NetNewsWire. Period :)

  13. I like Netvibes a lot, and not only because they are French.
    I use them as my landing page to the internet. It’s my personal portal. I use it as a RSS feed reader, to check my Gmail accounts, weather forecast, listen to my favorite music feeds, etc.
    It’s not like tab browsing with firefox, as you don’t always actually visit the sites. It’s more like an desktop app within the browser.
    Their great idea has been the Netvibes Ecosystem, where people can contribute to new modules…

  14. I’ve been a long-term Bloglines user and I cover over 300 newsfeeds to a greater or lesser extent. I like the amount of information that Bloglines manages to cram into the screen.

    I checked out Firefox Live Bookmarks when it came out but it had some awkward features. I still keep my Google Reader going but rarely visit. It just misses slightly versus the features that Bloglines does for me, but it’s not good enough to attract me away. Recently I saw some folk were happy with NewsHutch and it’s still sitting on my Favorites toolbar. It’s pretty but for me it’s not a power tool.

  15. I user bloglines, all the day. First i used Thunderbird for rss, but now i’ve switch to mac and using Mail for mail, and bloglines for rss feeds.
    Maybe i’ll try google reader.

  16. I subscribe to several hundred feeds using Bloglines but am considering a switch to Google Reader. Lately Bloglines has been acting a bit funny.

    – Deb

  17. Newsfire on the Mac is absolutely my reader of choice. It features a great interface, familiar from iTunes, and brings just enough features that help you cut through your feeds. It has Smart Feeds, which can aggregate posts that match certain criteria, for example a Smart Feed collecting all blog posts containg the word “money” or all posts published within the last 24 hours.

    Apart from that I like the idea of an offline reader as there are no loading times involved. I do quite a bit of clicking about, and flagging posts etc. Google Reader just bugs me with it’s “Loading” box.

    Newsfire is inexpensive compared to it’s bloaty big brother, NetNewsWire.

  18. I use a free program downloaded from I love it as it’s user-friendly, it works offline and has a simple design.

  19. Definitely Netvibes !

    I’ve tried Google reader and Bloglines but I’ve dropped them quickly because their are not good to visually display which feeds has been updated.
    You can do this at a glance with a Netvibes page and your tabs.

    I also had the impression that Netvibes updates faster than both Google reader and Bloglines.

    And I follow almost a hundred feeds…

  20. I am using Firefox Live Bookmarks. :)

  21. I use Bloglines with Jon Hick’s bloglines os x theme, which you can get here:

    and also for google reader:


  22. I use various computers and laptops at my home office so I use Google Reader. It’s quite delayed though.

  23. Another vote for NetNewsWire.

  24. Related to my above comment, I’ve tried really, really hard to love NewsFire but I just can’t get my head around it. That’s probably because NNW was my first experience with RSS feeds at all, so it’s now hard-wired.

  25. NetNewsWire has unbeatable sortiment, for which i use:

    – NetNewsWire on my mac
    – Newsgator on web
    – Newsgator Go on my Nokia -phone

    And everything keeps in sync perfectly!

  26. Put me down as “undecided”…
    It’s all mad wavering between Pageflakes, Google, Bloglines, Newsgator, Firefox live bookmarks and Sage extension, Netvibes, even a few feeds stashed on a Yahoo page – I’ve yet to get around to trying NetNewsWire, though, so perhaps that will turn out to be the feed reader of my dreams…

  27. Netvibes. Its an online office I can use on every place in the whole world.

  28. I prefer the Bloglines gadget for the Vista Sidebar.

  29. I use Bloglines and am happy with it. I tried Google Reader for a while but I couldn’t get used it. I probably didn’t give it long enough. I think it was a case of ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ so I’m sticking to Bloglines.

  30. I’m a creature of habit – I got used to Bloglines and that’s where I’ll stay. It’s a matter of familiarity to me. I started up a google reader but it just didn’t do it for me the way Bloglines does. If I don’t feel like it fits my way of reading or the way I feel information should be presented, I have a hard time giving it much more thought, there are too many alternatives out there.


  31. I prefer the Sage extension for Firefox

  32. I use e-mail if the site offers it, but otherwise I use Google Reader, just because it’s by Google.

  33. I use Google Reader, I think it’s simple to use and works fine for me.

  34. […] just came across another “which Blog reader do you like best” polls. It would be great if you support our project if you throw in a vote for us there. All […]

  35. I’ve been using Bloglines since time immemorial but I hate it whenever it undergoes maintenance which is happening more and more often nowadays.

  36. Google Reader… i think it’s the best… and together with Google ToolBar… adding new feeds and reading old feeds is just as simply as one click… forgot to tell… i’m a Google fans… haha…

  37. Bloglines exclusively. I’ve tried Google Reader as well, but BL just seems to work better for me.

  38. I use google reader with a number of firefox plugins.

  39. I use Netvibes for the handful of feeds that I want to keep very up-to-date on. The rest (and that list is around 600-700 feeds now) I track with Google Reader. I tried Bloglines, then Newsgator and Google Reader is fastest and easiest to navigate, and still accessible from my phone.

  40. I’m using iGoogle ( I’ve used it since the beta. It is very smooth, fast and easy. Actually so fast and light in graphics that I use it as my start page.

    I can define how many headlines I want to see (usually 3) and it shows the local weather and my gmail inbox.

    Netvibes is appealing and I might change one day, but for now iGoogle does the trick for me.

  41. Not the Deb in #16. I just started using Google Reader on Friday. I had stalled getting on the “feed’ wagon for months and it was actually an article by Amy Gahran that moved me off the fence. I am using Google because I already have a Google account. I was amazed at what using a reader did for my time-blog investment interface. I was crazy to have tried to manage without one. But I appreciate the information on other services and the suggestions that there are some that might be a better fit for my use style. But for the moment as a newbie I would recommend Google Reader to someone who already has an account and wants to explore if a reader is the right approach for them.

  42. I use Google reader due to its relative ease of use, in addition to the fact that it is easily accesible on mobile phones.

    Although popularity of feed readers amongst bloggers is noteworthy, I think the more compelling question is how to make feed readers more accesible to the mass market.

  43. I tried many and I ended up with Google Reader. I love that I can access it anywhere from home or office. I love the star feature, so I can mark the interesting articles and save them for later read. It just does everything I expect from a feed reader.

  44. I switch between Newshound and Google Reader. Both use ajax goodness and are very simple to use.

  45. I use FeedDemon on my tablet PC, syncing with Newsgator, because it is a superbly crafted piece of software. The interface is a real pleasure to use, especially compared to clunky web-based readers.

  46. Google Reader all the way.

    Also, you may be interested in this:

    I take your study about why people unsubscribe to RSS feeds (too much posts or too few posts) and compare it to the various RSS reader software — the reason why people unsubscribe is because of what reader they use!

  47. Been using Bloglines for some time. It has it’s little quirks but has served well as a feed reader.

    In the past I have tried numerous readers and find web based readers are more efficient.

    One day maybe I will give Google reader a go or if this poll turns up anything new.

  48. I started with Google Reader and haven’t been compelled to switch. I especially like that I can keep up with my feeds from any computer with a browser.

  49. Online, I use Bloglines for a long time, I think from the very first moment I learned about RSS and now I am a fan of it. I think it is a professional RSS reader and much better than Google’s Reader. Offline, I use ActiveRefresh.

  50. I use both bloglines and google newsreader. I still mainly use Bloglines for the simple reason that I can launch directly from my system tray with out having to on-line first and then pullup a reader.

    If I can do that with Google I may switch completely.

    But bloglines to me still does what I need it to do, so that is another reason I haven’t jumped ship completely to Google.

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