I have yet another change in my RSS habits. I now use two RSS aggregators.
As I mentioned before, my primary RSS reader now is Google Reader. It works perfectly for all those hundreds of feeds that I want to read, tag, search, and share. Every so often, Google developers add useful features and fix those few bugs that there are.
But, as good as it is, Google Reader isn’t perfect. Or maybe that’s just me with my weird needs and wants. One of the things that I missed from the time I migrated from Bloglines was the possibility to rearrange and sort feeds and folders in any way I want. Google Reader sorts everything alphabetically, and while it’s fine for some feeds, it doesn’t work for the others. In Bloglines I had a number of options for sorting, one of which was manual. I could put feeds and folders in precise order I needed.
Why do I need this? Because there are some feeds that I want at the top of my feed. These are feeds from my projects, and from the people I know personally. I want them all in a specific order, so that I can quickly look navigate through and find stuff that I need. Everything else can be tagged and sorted alphabetically. I don’t care.
Another feature that I missed in any online feed reader is custom update interval. Most online RSS aggregators update feed information either by time (1 hour or more), ping (not all feed generators do that), or request (“Click here to update feed”). There are situations though, when I want full control over feed update interval. For example, if I know that there is a heated discussion at Dmitry’s blog going on right now, I should be able to tell my RSS reader to fetch comments feed every five minutes. I’ll slow it down later on.
On the other hand, Google Reader does such an excellent job on all the other feeds that I didn’t want to leave it. So, with that in mind, I decided to use two aggregators.
The choice for the offline reader fell on Akregator – RSS reader for KDE. I created two folders “Projects” and “People”, with subfolders for each project and person that I wanted monitored, and subscribed to all the feeds. I then unsubscribed from those feeds at Google Reader to avoid dups.
I’ve been using two aggregators for the last few days and it seems like a perfect setup for now.
P.S.: I am subscribed to 300+ feeds, if you are interested. Some of these are updated once a week, others 400 times a day (think Flickr groups).