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?