Good Noows is a Google Reader alternative that gives you more control over the layout, with enough choices that everyone is bound to find something that appeals to them.
It enables the sharing of links and stories easily on major social media sites, and it’s all presented in a sleek and streamlined manner. With the overwhelming amount of information that is thrown at us online everyday, from every possible source, Good Noows give its users a pleasant way to keep up with the latest stories from their favourite websites.
You cannot sign up for an account with Good Noows itself, but rather can use Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo or LinkedIn to access the site. Once you’ve signed in, it only takes a few minutes before you have your personalised RSS reader set up, delivering the content that matters to you.
The first step in setting Good Noows up is choosing the sources of your information. In each category, from Headlines, to Science and Technology, to Satire, you can choose from the suggested major news sources, mainly from the US, UK and Germany. A nice touch you’ll find using Good Noows is that it takes into account your location, so for example, visiting Good Noows in Egypt, one of the news sources included on the list was a major weekly English language newspaper published in Cairo.
You can also choose to add custom sources, simply by selecting the category you want that source to appear in, click on ‘Add custom source’ and enter the URL of the website.
Once you have done that, the website you have entered will appear in the list, and will be checked.
It should be mentioned however that the first time you log in to Good Noows, a lot of news sources have already been selected by default, so if there are certain sources you don’t want to receive news from, be sure to check each category and uncheck the websites you don’t want to follow.
Once you’ve selected your sources, the next step is to choose from 9 different visual styles. If you prefer a magazine styled theme, go with Pulitzer Story.
If you prefer large headlines and nothing else, go with Gutenberg Letters.
If you want to see the headline, along with either the first line from each story or a one line summary, go with Web Stream.
The 9 available styles vary in the amount of information that can be seen from each story, the font and the layout.
After your initial setup is done, you can easily go back and add or remove sources, and change the visual style. Another nice touch is that you can choose a different layout for each category – but this can only be done after the initial set up. You can further customise the appearance by increasing or decreasing the font size to suit your preferences.
The menu at the top of the page also features a button that allows you to refresh your news sources, to change the visual style, and to automatically translate the entire page into a variety of languages including Arabic, Hebrew, French, Italian and much much more.
Once you click on any given story, it will redirect to the original story on its website, which will of course appear in its original language.
Once you have visited the link where the story was originally published, the news item will be greyed out on Good Noows.
Another feature is the ability to search or filter all news stories in any given category for a specific search term. You can save your filters as ‘labels’, adding a button to the top of the page for quick access to your favourite topics, or the topic of the moment.
Stories can be quickly shared directly from Good Noows using Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, Yahoo or via Email.
Another interesting feature that you don’t often see is the ability to quickly share links using chat.
Good Noows’ native chat application is powered by Meebo, and allows you to access Facebook chat, Google Talk, My Space IM, AIM and Meebo itself. To share a link using chat, click on the share button, choose the chat window, and select the contact you would like to share the link with from you contact list. Clicking on their name will result in the link being sent to them in a chat window.
Have you used Good Noows to keep up with your favourite websites? Let us know what you think of this Google Reader alternative in the comments.