Monday, July 10, 2006

Best. RSS Reader. Ever.

I rarely pimp for a particular product or service except within the framework of a lengthy post on all kinds of other pointy-headed stuff. But every now and then ya just gotta show love.

I've tried about two dozen or so different RSS readers / aggregators. I am, I will admit, an information junkie. Or at least a headline junkie. I like to scan lots and lots of headlines and then pounce! like a mongoose on the ones that interest me. Until recently, I had been using MyYahoo. It integrated with other stuff I do at Yahoo, and I had high hopes that they'd pull (which I love, and which they bought) into the UI really well and interestingly. Not so much thusfar. Oh well.

So I've been trying on new RSS readers. In the process, I made a list of what features the perfect one, for me, would need to have:

  • Separate panes for feeds, article headlines and article summaries/bodies

  • An indication of how many articles are unread

  • The ability to import/export OPML (as I am WAAAY tired of trying out new readers manually)

  • The ability to share settings, feeds -- the whole mess, actually -- between multiple computers. I do lots of stuff at home and at work, and having to update or match two sets of feeds is a pain.

  • Tagging of feeds and individual articles

  • Bookmarking / saving of individual articles

After a bunch of unsatisfying experiences, I came upon Alesti. It's a free, web-based RSS reader / feed aggregator that does all of the above. Because it's web-based, you can log in from any computer and view your feeds. It's got the panes, the indication of unread articles, OPML export/import, tagging, etc. I'm thrilled. And it's still in beta, and looks like it's just getting started.

So help these guys out. Go join up and make sure it keeps on keeping on, because I like it and don't want it to go away.

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