A Google Reader Alternative: Sort & Filter Your Busy RSS Feeds With FeedBooster

feedbooster intro 300px   A Google Reader Alternative: Sort & Filter Your Busy RSS Feeds With FeedBoosterHow many feed readers have you tried so far in order to tame the Niagara of feeds? I admit I have done my share. After so many years, the tried and tested Google Reader and the classy Flipboard have won the game for me. But that isn’t to say I don’t try out the next cool one I find. RSS remains the best way to consume content for me. RSS is passive…just give it the feed URL and it does the rest. But sowing the seeds for up-to-the-minute content is one thing; harvesting the ones you want to read is another.

Surprisingly, Google Reader does not give us any straightforward way to organize our feeds. Yes, you can search within a feed and also add tags, but there’s no real easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff without the aid of third-party tools.

This is an open door invite for third-party Google Reader alternatives to come to your aid. FeedBooster comes calling.

Q-Sensei FeedBooster Is the Interactive Answer

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If an unruly Google Reader inbox has been your bane, then Q-Sensei FeedBooster could be the antidote. FeedBooster is a web based feed aggregator that comes with several powerful feed sorting features that should help you home in on exactly what you want to read.

The features are:

  • An ad-free soothing interface with three formats to read your feeds.
  • Sort your feeds alphabetically or by frequency.
  • Sort your feeds by – folder, date, tag, author, source, and language.
  • Last but not the least, a multi-dimensional search across all RSS feeds with Google-like search operators.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s sign-up, and gives our feeds a bit of a booster. Register and log-in with any of the mentioned social accounts (and also OpenID). You can add RSS and Atom feeds to FeedBooster.

A note on refreshing content: FeedBooster says that feeds that support the PubSubHubbub protocol will be updated in real time. You don’t have to do anything to get the most breaking news. Feeds that don’t provide this protocol will be updated every 30 minutes.

The Multi-Dimensional Search-Powered RSS Feed Reader

With FeedBooster you can import your previous feeds as an OPML file or start fresh. FeedBooster gives you a leg up with some ready-made Feed-Sets which are packaged bundles of feeds.

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Either way, you should head to the Dashboard which gives you the complete overview of all your feeds. FeedBooster arranges all feeds in neat little blocks. Clicking on them takes you to the source website. The real utility of FeedBooster lies in the sets of filters. The Dashboard has sets of filters on the left which allow you to customize your reading and bring the content that matters front and center.

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FeedBooster calls it “contextual filtering”. The filters allow you to see all your feeds in multiple dimensions. For instance, if you want to read the most recent news, you simply have to bear down on the Date filter and click on Today. Now, if I want to read only the tech-related news stuff for today, I will immediately click on Daily Technology News which is grouped under Folder. Similarly, I can add another filter (like the specific author) to the mix if I just want to read it from a favorite source.

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The selected filters are collectively displayed on the top. FeedBooster follows its own algorithms to display the contextual filters. You can cancel the filters selectively to broaden your search results again.

Even within the filters, you can click on More to expand the options and select multiple options for inclusion.

feedbooster05   A Google Reader Alternative: Sort & Filter Your Busy RSS Feeds With FeedBooster

If you plan to use the selected set of filters again, I suggest you save them as a Search Profile. Give it a name. One of the obvious advantages of saved search profiles is that you can get to the news you want in a second instead of having to rummage about.

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FeedBooster also gives you a handy search engine which takes Google-like search operators to fine-tune a search through the amassed feeds. What’s more, the search bar supports auto-suggestions (and also displays the number of feeds you can tap into).

Personalization for Readability

Unlike Google Reader, FeedBooster gives you quite a lot of leeway for customization. Clicking on the gear icon on the right takes you to the Customize Dashboard setting. As you see at a glance from the screenshot, you can tweak the position of the filters, the feed layout and the number of items you want displayed under the filters.

feedbooster07   A Google Reader Alternative: Sort & Filter Your Busy RSS Feeds With FeedBooster

For readability, try experimenting with the Feed Layout options and decide on the one which is more comfortable for you. Personally, I use the default Grid layout for taking in the maximum at a glance. You can bookmark your favorite articles. FeedBooster says that it stores all news articles from your subscribed feeds for 90 days. All bookmarked RSS articles will remain accessible to you beyond this time limit. All your bookmarked articles can be found under “Bookmarked” in the My History search filter on the left. They are also searchable in the same way as regular feeds.

If you are among the many who find Google Reader a bit too cluttered, then you will appreciate FeedBooster. No ads and an adherence to functionality over eye candy looks are the hallmarks of this Google Reader alternative. But it is you the reader who is the final judge. Does FeedBooster pass muster? Which is your favorite feed reader or aggregator of choice?

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22 Comments -

Julien

Thanks! I was about to write a blog post with a list of known RSS readers..; this one had slipped out of my radar until now :)

SaikatBasu

I also discovered it a bit late. It is a bit low key.

Jeremy Garnett

Thanks.

I’ve used Feedly for a couple of years and find myself annoyed at the constant updates. Feedbooster appears to have the sorting functionality I am missing, so I will be giving it a go.

SaikatBasu

Please do…don’t forget to give your feedback to us here :)

SaapeXD MoHods

I probably wont switch to another reader than Google Reader! :D

Sue Frantz

Google just announced minutes ago that they’re retiring Google Reader in July. I’ve tried others and I just haven’t seen anything I’ve really liked. Guess I’ll start with this one. Timely article. =)

SaikatBasu

Yes, woke up to the news. With it the other feedreaders might just up their game. Feedbooster has some nice changes planned according to the developers, so I am keenly waiting for them as well.

SaapeXD MoHods

Is it just a coincidence? Damn! Gotta Try alternatives! :/

Gabriel

I’ve tried everything before and google reader was the best for me BY FAR. So that really sucks. I’ve been going through all services again and they all have problems. I hope someone will smarten up and just copy everything to reader. I’ll pick that one service. Then they can start improving from there. I have thousands of feeds and I need to blaze trough many posts at once. Feedbooster is not good for that. Nothing else seems to be, actually. :/

Saikat Basu

Blazing speeds? Nah! Nothing comes close to Google Reader. You could give The Old Reader [http://theoldreader.com/] a shot.

Manide

I tried out some Google Reader alternatives already, but none of them have convinced me to quit GR. I’ll give this one a try…

Manide

Ops! I read this morning Google Reader will be discontinued. Check the calendar – it’s not April 1st. Sadness…
They say its usage has declined. That’s because of countless “Google Reader alternatives” articles I presume :)

SaikatBasu

Usage has declined…probable. But Google Reader has a faithful following. if only, Google could spend some effort on finetuning the interface and adding more features! Sigh,

andrey_shu

I would like suggest another alternatives to google reader. Unlike ordinary RSS-readers, LikeHack (http://likehack.com) adds links from your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and also provides two kinds of custom filters to eliminate whole topics by keywords and exclude instagram photos and other media from your feed. It makes also all links you shared searchable.

We have launched recently and glad to invite you to test!

Saikat Basu

Thanks Andrey, but the free plan on Likehack is limited. We like to showcase free applications which our readers can make use of :) But it does look like a much-needed (and timely) service.

Scott

An unintended effect of Google’s announcement: The day after I saw the announcement about Google Reader, my own preferred reader (NewsBlur) hit me with a new policy. I *had* been viewing 31 sites (the free limit *was* 64). But today I was told I could only ‘follow’ 12 sites. According to one thread (https://getsatisfaction.com/newsblur/topics/site_limit_in_free_edition?utm_medium=widget&utm_source=widget_newsblur) it’s apparently due precisely to the sudden influx of new users seeking something other than Google Reader. Over half of my subs were summarily removed !

How sad that such a great reader (for me), NewsBlur, has now crippled my RSS viewing because of Google’s announcement. :-(

Saikat Basu

Keep an eye out for a soon to be published post on other worthy Google Reader alternatives.

Lenny

Nice interface, but I’m so used to Google Reader. No key-bindings is a big deal. “j” and “k” are essential to reading my feed!!!

Saikat Basu

Well, we have to get used to new habits now :( The old has to give way to the new.

Maren Spoerl

here is a huge list with 100 Google Reader alternatives for all operating systems + mobile readers + web based readers + email readers:

http://www.rss-readers.org/list-of-rs-feed-reader/

this link should be in the article to give the users even more help.

Jason

Maren, the huge list you reference doesn’t include the highlighted reader mentioned in this article.