Tuesday, April 9, 2013

On Social and RSS

A few weeks ago I wrote about Fever, a self hosted RSS reading solution with some unique features. After a couple more weeks of use, I think it's going to be my near-term solution to the Google Reader death while I wait to see what else comes along in the next few months.

When evaluating what I wanted for a future reading tool, I ultimately want to use something with good integrated social features (Fever does not really have much other than hooking into other social sites - which it does pretty well) that a critical mass of my friends and acquaintances also use. Google Reader was this for a time, but since the splinter off to Google +, it's really a subset of what it once was, and now that's going to get even more splintered.

In the near term, people seem to be moving to several services with mixed levels of social integration and slightly different features. Some are using Feedly which seemingly doesn't have much in the way of integrated social, though admittedly I have not spent a lot of time using it. Others are using The Old Reader, and a few people are using Newsblur. I have accounts on all of these services and even kicked in for a one year subscription to Newsblur because I like their mobile clients quite a bit, but I find myself hardly ever using them.

Ultimately, nothing is a complete solution right now, and Fever comes the closest for what I want to do, minus the social features. I'm starting to think we'll never achieve critical mass in the social realm on another service again, but maybe that's OK. I've just not used many of the other tools as link finding because I find them to be pretty inefficient for those purposes. Facebook has a link view, but I'd have to do some fine tuning of who shows up in there to make it worth my time, and a lot of my friends that I enjoy links from don't link there. Twitter doesn't have such a view that I'm aware of (I wish it did) and I find it hard to keep up with interesting links there sometimes. There are some third party tools but I've never found them to be of much help (probably because I don't follow enough people).

Fever's spark/kindling model is starting to work well for me and I'll write about that more in a future post.