Google Reader, Bloglines and Newsgator are some of the popular online feed readers which lets you read blogs and RSS feeds all at one place. You don’t have to visit every single website to read what’s new, just subscribe to the RSS feed of the blogs you are interested in and let the updates come to you.
Feeddemon is again a nice tool to read RSS feeds from desktop but the tool which I am currently loving is NewsBlur.
Newsblur takes a different approach when it comes to reading RSS feeds. To get started, you can add the blogs one by one or import an OPML file from Google Reader. Once the feeds are in place, you get three views to read a feed – Feed view, Original View and Story View.
The feed view loads the actual RSS feed from the blog, much the same way as other feed readers do. However, the “Original” view loads the actual webpage of the blog post side by side. This is very useful when you want to read the comments of a blog post directly from a feed reader and hate opening the webpage on a new browser tab.
There are quick shortcuts e.g Mark all as read, jump to the next unread item but the thing which is most impressive is the Intelligence filters. While you are reading blog posts inside Newsblur, you can like or dislike an item ( no worries, everything is private!). Seeing this liking pattern, Newsblur’s Intelligence filters learn which blogs you love to read and which blogs you don’t love to read so often.
Moving the intelligence slider towards left or right automatically filters blog posts you don’t want tor read often – hence reducing the information overhead. This is a much desired option missing in any feed reader – the ability to define keywords and filter feeds accordingly.
Apart from the filters and other customizable options, Newsblur also provides a quick stats on any RSS feed, showing how frequently the feed has been updated in the past couple of months. This is handy, because you then you can safely unsubscribe from a few sites and keep your reading list clean
All in all, Newsblur can be a strong alternative of Google reader – considering the minimalist interface and the ability to filter feeds. The free version provides up to 64 subscriptions, an iPhone app is in the works as well. If you are a RSS feed junkie, it’s worth giving Newsblur a try – no signups or registrations are required.