Will Fav.or.it get me off of Google Reader?

Nick Halstead cornered me at the geek party on Friday night in London and said something like “I have an RSS reader that’ll get you to give up Google Reader.”

“Oh really?” I answered skeptically. After all, I’m locked into Google Reader thanks to FeedHeads, which is just about to pass 10,000 users on Facebook, and thousands of people who subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items feed, not to mention that Fast Company takes that and reprints the headlines, too, so switching readers is going to be pretty tough for me at this point.

Now, I get PR people to go away pretty quickly when they are pitching RSS readers to me by asking these three questions:

1. “Does it have a ribbon of news reading capability?” (I don’t read feeds folder-by-folder anymore, but just look at all items in Google Reader and “J, J, J, J” through them (which moves me to the next item). All feeds are mixed together. I’m addicted to this mode of reading.

2. “Does it have good keyboard commands like Google Reader?”

3. “Does it have a shared item feed like Google Reader?”

Nick answered “yes” to all the questions, but then he went further and explained how I could use his news aggregator, called Fav.or.it to comment on blogs and that it does a ton of other things that Google Reader doesn’t do (like it keeps track of your attention information and uses the APML format (it watches how long you read items, and whether you click on them, etc, to help build its ranking of items, which is also something that Google Reader doesn’t do, or if it does, doesn’t expose). Like I could use Fav.or.it to easily send items to Digg or Del.icio.us.

Anyway, I was very impressed with the demo that Nick gave me (I’ll get it up on ScobleShow when I get back home on the 17th) and will try it out. I guess I should try out FeedDemon again too and see how the rest of the Google Reader competition stacks up again.

Fav.or.it is in a closed beta right now, so I put my name into the hat and will try it out. Anyone using it? What do you think?

Comments

  1. This sounds very interesting. I used to use RSS Bandit until Google Reader was released. Being able to read my feeds on any computer and have it know what I already read was killer, not to mention the “ribbon of news”. But it seems Fav.or.It has nailed the things that I wished Google Reader could do. It will be great to have more competition in this space. I signed up as well, cant wait to try it out.

  2. This sounds very interesting. I used to use RSS Bandit until Google Reader was released. Being able to read my feeds on any computer and have it know what I already read was killer, not to mention the “ribbon of news”. But it seems Fav.or.It has nailed the things that I wished Google Reader could do. It will be great to have more competition in this space. I signed up as well, cant wait to try it out.

  3. Looks interesting – especially that FINALLY somebody is realizing that minus / not is a relevant feature when slicing and dicing .

    For example I would not have the need for a dozen blogs (okay, two) if you could just filter out everything I write in German. Because you would just tag “only include the following languages” in your selection.

    Also from the pictures it looks like you can go through the relevant parts of your newsfeed first, but also slice and dice it to get rid of all the crap.

    I still like to be able to work in folders for structuring (but that is a nn / river of news versus tin / techmeme display argument); but it pushes the agenda in the right direction.

    What I am missing from the screenshots is the possibility to work better with mark read or not, but I assume that lies in the keyboard shortcuts. :)

  4. Looks interesting – especially that FINALLY somebody is realizing that minus / not is a relevant feature when slicing and dicing .

    For example I would not have the need for a dozen blogs (okay, two) if you could just filter out everything I write in German. Because you would just tag “only include the following languages” in your selection.

    Also from the pictures it looks like you can go through the relevant parts of your newsfeed first, but also slice and dice it to get rid of all the crap.

    I still like to be able to work in folders for structuring (but that is a nn / river of news versus tin / techmeme display argument); but it pushes the agenda in the right direction.

    What I am missing from the screenshots is the possibility to work better with mark read or not, but I assume that lies in the keyboard shortcuts. :)

  5. While the slices seems like an interesting concept, I almost feel that you’d be reducing what you’d see form each feed if you used it too much. If you’ve filtered out a site based on certain relevant tags, you may very well miss out on information that you thought you had no interest in, but turns out you did: the joy of discovery.

    Still, I’ll probably give it a shot. I only tried Google Reader a week ago and am pretty hooked, but if someone creates something better, I’d try it out.

  6. While the slices seems like an interesting concept, I almost feel that you’d be reducing what you’d see form each feed if you used it too much. If you’ve filtered out a site based on certain relevant tags, you may very well miss out on information that you thought you had no interest in, but turns out you did: the joy of discovery.

    Still, I’ll probably give it a shot. I only tried Google Reader a week ago and am pretty hooked, but if someone creates something better, I’d try it out.

  7. I think that should be “river of news” rather than “ribbon of news” – or perhaps it’s some new UI paradigm that I haven’t heard of yet?

  8. I’m very interested to hear your impressions of this. I too am firmly attached to my Google Reader and if this is like Google Reader+ I’m sold. I love GR but there’s always room for improvement.

  9. I’m very interested to hear your impressions of this. I too am firmly attached to my Google Reader and if this is like Google Reader+ I’m sold. I love GR but there’s always room for improvement.

  10. Whooaaa. Did Mike actually say you can comment from the reader directly to the blogs? That’s a pretty cool way to keep the conversation going without visiting a bunch of blogs. Thanks this sounds really cool, and I can’t wait until this reaches a wider beta

    (Is there anywhere to sign up for a peak?)

    Not sure how you’d do that with your incessant video though:-)

  11. Whooaaa. Did Mike actually say you can comment from the reader directly to the blogs? That’s a pretty cool way to keep the conversation going without visiting a bunch of blogs. Thanks this sounds really cool, and I can’t wait until this reaches a wider beta

    (Is there anywhere to sign up for a peak?)

    Not sure how you’d do that with your incessant video though:-)

  12. Thanks for your kind words Robert, I really loved doing the interview especially with Milan watching in the background :) I look forward to seeing it!

    Nicole, we thought about folders for the list of slices, but we will wait until we see long term use patterns, slices really should let you achieve the same thing and with the new advanced editor we have given the tools to customize it to your hearts content.

    We automatically mark things as read as you scroll over them (they are marked in grey when you scroll back up), but again will wait for further feedback on if its not obviously enough.

  13. Thanks for your kind words Robert, I really loved doing the interview especially with Milan watching in the background :) I look forward to seeing it!

    Nicole, we thought about folders for the list of slices, but we will wait until we see long term use patterns, slices really should let you achieve the same thing and with the new advanced editor we have given the tools to customize it to your hearts content.

    We automatically mark things as read as you scroll over them (they are marked in grey when you scroll back up), but again will wait for further feedback on if its not obviously enough.

  14. Hey Robert,

    Did you try the new Blog Friends v1 yet? It not only satisfies your points 1 and 3, but also helps you discover new blogs through your extended social/favourites network. And it gets blogger users new readers too—I note from your profile that you have 697 fans on Blog Friends!

    http://apps.facebook.com/blogfriends

  15. Hey Robert,

    Did you try the new Blog Friends v1 yet? It not only satisfies your points 1 and 3, but also helps you discover new blogs through your extended social/favourites network. And it gets blogger users new readers too—I note from your profile that you have 697 fans on Blog Friends!

    http://apps.facebook.com/blogfriends

  16. There’s one problem that I doubt any company can overcome to kick Google of it’s King chair — the speed at which your feeds refresh.

    Seriously, I have 443 subscriptions on Google, and there is thousands more. This is what got me off Bloglines also. When it was taking hour or more to recognize new posts and show them to me.

    Google, with their thousands of CPU’s distributed architecture can really afford pulling all these feeds and process them in timely manner.

    So, it’s Google reader for me, still.

  17. There’s one problem that I doubt any company can overcome to kick Google of it’s King chair — the speed at which your feeds refresh.

    Seriously, I have 443 subscriptions on Google, and there is thousands more. This is what got me off Bloglines also. When it was taking hour or more to recognize new posts and show them to me.

    Google, with their thousands of CPU’s distributed architecture can really afford pulling all these feeds and process them in timely manner.

    So, it’s Google reader for me, still.

  18. Seems like you’re looking at APML after all! Let us know what you think of attention profiling and how well does it differentiate fav.or.it from the other readers.

    It was great meeting you in London!

  19. Seems like you’re looking at APML after all! Let us know what you think of attention profiling and how well does it differentiate fav.or.it from the other readers.

    It was great meeting you in London!

  20. Is anyone else getting tired of these beta rollouts? I will probably forget about this when they actually are allowing sign-ups and miss out.

    =(

  21. Is anyone else getting tired of these beta rollouts? I will probably forget about this when they actually are allowing sign-ups and miss out.

    =(

  22. “After all, I’m locked into Google Reader thanks to FeedHeads, which is just about to pass 10,000 users on Facebook, and thousands of people who subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items feed, not to mention that Fast Company takes that and reprints the headlines, too, so switching readers is going to be pretty tough for me at this point”

    Lock-in? Google? Can’t be, they’re the heroes!

  23. “After all, I’m locked into Google Reader thanks to FeedHeads, which is just about to pass 10,000 users on Facebook, and thousands of people who subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items feed, not to mention that Fast Company takes that and reprints the headlines, too, so switching readers is going to be pretty tough for me at this point”

    Lock-in? Google? Can’t be, they’re the heroes!

  24. [...] ニュース系のサイトやブログとのインタラクションを簡素化する機能を多数搭載。 ファウンダーNick Halsteadは今後、フィード読み取りとコメントを可能な限りマス市場にすんなり馴染むものにするという中核目標にフォーカスしていく。 Robert Scobleみたいな人たちから絶賛を受けてるにも関わらず、サイトは当初、特にシリコンバレーのブロガーLouis Grayなどからは“昔ながらのフィードリーダー”として誤解を受けた。RSSリーダー愛好家にとってFav.or.itは物足りないだろう。Fav.or.itのサイトは2000ものフィードが用意されており、さらに3000フィードもうじき追加となるが、こうしたフィードを追加するのはFav.or.itであって利用者ではないからだ(少なくとも今のところは)。  [...]

  25. Only problem – fav.or.it is STEALING COPYRIGHT CONTENT and republishing it. My dadshouseblog.com content is copyright by me, all rights reserved. Fav.or.it stole it without my permission, stripped the copyright notice, and is republishing it. They added links to make it look like I am a contributor on their site. I AM NOT.

    I have asked them to remove my content immediately. It is not for them to republish. They are illegally benefiting off my hard work, and they are ignoring my copyright notice.

  26. Only problem – fav.or.it is STEALING COPYRIGHT CONTENT and republishing it. My dadshouseblog.com content is copyright by me, all rights reserved. Fav.or.it stole it without my permission, stripped the copyright notice, and is republishing it. They added links to make it look like I am a contributor on their site. I AM NOT.

    I have asked them to remove my content immediately. It is not for them to republish. They are illegally benefiting off my hard work, and they are ignoring my copyright notice.

  27. dadshouse is right on. fav.or.it is STEALING my copyrighted content and making me look like a willing party, too.

    Their model is all wrong. If fav.or.it wants to aggregate feeds, they need to ask the owners of the copyrighted material permission before republishing it IN FULL. I wonder how many people are unaware their content is being STOLEN.

    I have asked them to remove my content and am still waiting.

  28. dadshouse is right on. fav.or.it is STEALING my copyrighted content and making me look like a willing party, too.

    Their model is all wrong. If fav.or.it wants to aggregate feeds, they need to ask the owners of the copyrighted material permission before republishing it IN FULL. I wonder how many people are unaware their content is being STOLEN.

    I have asked them to remove my content and am still waiting.