Flaky Goodness

My RSS Setup

June 30, 2013

Barring any last minute stay of execution, Google Reader will stop working tomorrow (Monday July 1) so this would be a great time to pull your feed list off the service if you haven’t already.

As predicted, the last few months have seen a whirlwind of RSS development and announcements as the Mac and iOS community have scrambled to fill the impending void. There are a number of great options now and they’ve been detailed at length in other articles. Here is what I decided to go with.

On the server-side I am self-hosting the single-user Fever aggregator. Fever is innovative in its presentation and ranking of articles, and this was its initial differentiator when it entered a market that still housed the 800-pound gorilla. I don’t really care about that though.

For me, the low, one time cost and compatibility with Reeder makes it a great choice. As a bonus I can finally (finally) subscribe to feeds from my client application, which I had to sign into Google Reader’s web app to do before.

On my iPhone I’m sticking with Reeder. Its gorgeous UI and reading experience hasn’t changed much in the last couple of years, and the fact that it hasn’t needed to is a testament to the strength of its design.

I wish I could use Reeder on my iPad but it has been lagging the iPhone version and doesn’t yet offer Fever support. This is expected to come soon, and the renewed interest in non-Google RSS solutions is hopefully a motivating factor for the developer. I have a sinking feeling that nobody’s getting rich off RSS, even with Google gone, so it’s probably still a matter of the developer’s internal motivation whether any particular product or service is improved. In a nutshell: Go Silvio Go!

For now, I am using Sunstroke, an excellent Fever-specific universal client and honestly perfectly suitable to the task.


Figure 1: Sunstroke for iPhone and iPad. Source: goneeast.com/sunstroke

I don’t read feeds on my Mac so the web/desktop reading experience is a non-factor for me.

There is concern in blogging circles that Google Reader’s hasty retirement is going to dramatically reduce RSS readership. Readers might not bother to find a replacement solution, especially with how fragmented the market has suddenly become and the complexity of choosing both a server-side and possibly multiple client-side tools. People might just gravitate to other sources of news instead.

I hope that this worry is unfounded: reading RSS feeds is still my favorite way to keep up with my (unevenly curated slice of the) world.