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As Google Reader has shut down its RSS reader Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader's End Is Nigh: Prepare With These Alternative RSS Readers Google Reader is dead. By July the Internet's premier RSS service is shutting down forever, leaving users to find a replacement on their own. If you're looking for an equivalent to Google these are just... Read More , there has been a lot of talk about where to go next. Many alternatives have been suggested, and Feedly seems to be one of the most popular options Feedly Switches To Its Own Cloud Ahead Of Google Reader Shutdown [Updates] Feedly Switches To Its Own Cloud Ahead Of Google Reader Shutdown [Updates] RSS users rejoice: Feedly is go for Project Normandy. The fastest growing alternative to Google Reader is making it official, migrating its users from the soon-dead Google backend to its own cloud. The transition makes... Read More to have benefited from Google’s decision. That said, there is another service which recently launched its public beta and might be worth giving a spin. Noowit is not a traditional RSS reader by any means. While it allows you to add individual RSS feeds of your choice, it also allows you to add topics, sub-topics and authors, to create a personalized magazine much like Flipboard.

Noowit is going about things slightly differently than Flipboard. Instead of starting out as a mobile app, it has started out as a a web-based service anyone can access. Not only can you use it to keep up with your favorite sites and authors, you can also use Noowit to share the content you’re reading, whether as individual posts on Facebook and Twitter, or as part of an entirely curated, slick looking magazine where you can handpick which stories will appear.

Setting Up Your Magazine

After signing up for a free account, the first you’ll want to do is edit your sources. There are several options when it comes to how you can choose the kind of content that will appear in your personalized magazine. You can add entire sections at a time – divided by categories. The available categories include Technology, Business, Arts, Design and much more. You can also create your own custom sections if there’s a topic you’re interested in that wasn’t included.

Add Sections

The next step is to edit the sources for each of those sections. Each section has a standard number of sources or websites listed under it. So under Technology, for example, you’ll find Gizmodo, Wired, Hacker News and much more. You can add additional sources that you feel belong in the technology section, but to do so, you’ll need the link to their RSS feed.

Within each section, you’ll also be able to add specific topics to further tailor each broad section to your personal taste. Again in technology, topics you’ll find Startups, Google, Facebook, Mobile and more.

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The fourth and final way you can add content to your sections is by author. Again in each section, you’ll find well known bloggers who contribute to the sites that are included in the list of sources. If you want to make sure you see more of their work, add them to your magazine.

With a combination of suggested content, together with content that you can add manually, and import from a feed reader, you can create a completely customized reading experience through Noowit.

Reading and Sharing Content

Once you have your content all set up on Noowit, you’ll want to dig in and start consuming that content, as well as sharing it with others. Once you open up your magazine, you’ll find a cover for each section featuring a main story, and a few other main stories highlighted. Navigate using your arrow buttons by flicking through pages of each section as well as switching to other sections. The right and left arrows help you navigate between sections, while the up and down arrows will scroll through the articles listed in each section.

Sections

The magazine itself has a slick minimalist look to it, and the keyboard navigation makes it incredibly easy to consume a lot of content quickly.

Opening up an article will display it as it appears on the site, but a permanent Noowit menu appears at the top of the page. From this menu you can return to the list of articles, or you can interact with the specific article. You can share content directly from the site to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and via email.

Article

Noowit can also learn what you’re interested in to better provide tailored content. If something doesn’t appeal to you, you can ‘cut it’ which basically tells Noowit you’re not interested in the article, or you can ‘Love it’ so that Noowit knows you want to see more articles like this. You can also view it in an overlay window which strips away all of the site’s extras leaving only the article a la Pocket. From here you can also adjust the font size.

Publish Your Own Magazine

In addition to sharing individual pieces of content on Twitter, Facebook, and more, you can also publish your own magazine where your followers can go to one page to see all of the articles that you’ve found interesting, divided by category. There are two ways you can add content to the magazine – both of which are manual. In comparison to services like Paper.li, this feature being completely manual makes it possible for you to completely curate every piece of content that appears. You can also add a cover image, and give the magazine an interesting title.

You can add the sections of your choice, but then again you don’t have to add all of the sections in your private magazine, creating two distinct experiences of what you want to consume and what you want to share.

Magazine

The first way you can add content to your magazine is by using the Noowit bookmarklet as you browse the Web. While reading content on Noowit, you can also hit the ‘MagIt’ button’, which allows you to add the content to your published magazine, and choose which section it appears in.

Magit

Other Noowit users can subscribe to your magazine, and you can keep track of your subscriber count and which articles are popular.

Our Verdict

Noowit is an interesting offering, merging several different concepts together in one place.  Noowit is a little bit Flipboard, a little bit Paper.li and a little bit Google Reader. It’s a slick, feature-rich site, which could easily serve as an interesting alternative to Google Reader now that Google has shuttered the doors on its RSS reader. The keyboard navigation makes it easy to get through the content, and we’re big fans of having several different ways to share the content with others.

What do you think of Noowit? Let us know in the comments.

  1. Nikolaos Nanas
    July 10, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Nancy hi,

    and thank you so much for the very comprehensive and explanatory review.
    I would just like to add, that Noowit's Adaptive Information Filtering core,
    is something never achieved before and significantly distinguishes Noowit from Flipboard (which is not doing any personalization whatsoever) and other services like Zite or Prismatic who rely solely on user specified keywords/topic for retrieving relevant articles. Noowit learns what the reader likes really fast and edits itself accordingly. Every page of every Noowit magazine is unique, with a layout that matches the reader's interests so that that relevant articles appear large and least relevant articles appear small. The best articles appear at the magazine's cover and as part of the "Top Content" page of each section. Also, we have recently introduced our "Cut the Noise" feature, with a dedicated [scissors] icon, which allows the user to filter out the least relevant articles to get a Magazine with just the most relevant content. It makes it so much easier and fast to discover the content that matters to you. It is finally important to mention that each user generated Noowit MAG is also intelligent. It adapts to each individual reader. It is like publishing as many magazines as the number of readers visiting your Noowit MAG. This is media made smart.

    Best,

    N.

    • Nancy Messieh
      August 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

      Thanks for letting us know Nikolaos. Looking forward to seeing the service continue to grow and develop.

  2. 632477889f0f5423b07446560fea00
    July 9, 2013 at 1:34 am

    I guess nobody cares about their "personnel" info/ideas/& code.

    The 'terms of use' state clearly that "all" content that a user puts
    on Noowit, belongs to Noowit!

    You might think that's OK. But, it sure as hell is not for me.
    I will NEVER allow any site to "own" my content. Never have,
    never will and I strongly suggest all users do the same. Read
    your cloud contract... I'll bet they own your data!

    • Arxadius S
      July 9, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Wicked username bro! XD But in all seriousness, I agree that I'm a little uncomfortable with Noowit's Terms of Use. Plus why do people need Flipboard alternatives? Flipboard works fine for most people.

      • team NOOWIT
        July 10, 2013 at 5:54 pm

        Dear Arxadius S,

        some of our users already call NOOWIT an "Intelligent Flipboard for the Web". Flipboard is neither intelligent nor for the Web (at least for now). Noowit's unique personalization service makes all the difference. You have to feel it to believe it :-)

        All the best,

        team NOOWIT (@noowitmags)

    • team NOOWIT
      July 10, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Dear 632477889f0f5423b07446560fea00,

      Following your comment we would like to make clear that Noowit does not claim any User Content copyrights at no time. In relation to that, allow us to make some useful clarifications.

      According to par. 3.1 ToS, User Content is everything "a user creates through the Site and the Services". Users grant to Noowit Under par 3.2. limited rights to use and exploit the user Content "only on, through or by means of the Site and the Services". In other words, we acquire the necessary rights exclusively to operate the Site and the Services and no other rights, whatsoever. Par. 3.6 clearly states that "Noowit respects the intellectual property of its Users and of third parties". Our policy regarding user copyrights is very straightforward and we have no intention and no interest to claim any such rights.

      FYI and for further clarification we added a new 3.2. paragraph that states the following: "3.2. Noowit does not claim any ownership rights in any such User Content and nothing in these Terms of Service will be deemed to restrict any rights that you may have to Use any such User Content. All user Content and other materials provided by any User herein shall be owned by and remain vested in User, subject to the limited rights of Noowit to use the same as provided herein."

      We hope we hereby satisfy any related comments and concerns.

      At your disposal,

      team NOOWIT (@noowitmags)

    • Nancy Messieh
      August 3, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      The content shared in Noowit doesn't actually belong to you since it collets articles from websites and blogs that aren't yours.

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