Looking for a Google Reader alternative? You should try Fever

in Geek Inside

Everybody seems to be tweeting / posting / complaining about Google Reader today. In case you missed it, Google Reader is shutting down and you have 4 months to find a new home for your RSS feeds.

I moved off Google Reader a couple of years ago and I’m really happy with my RSS Reader, so I figured I’d let you in my little secret: it’s called Fever, and it’s hot!

Fever RSS Reader

Beware though: this tool is meant to be installed on your own server, and can eat up quite a bit of resources. The database can also get quite large if you add many feeds. It’s also not free, but it’s 30 well-spent dollars in my opinion.

While there are many other RSS readers out there, Fever does one thing that the others don’t: it curates the news for you, offering you 2 different ways to consume content:

  • You can go through all your Unread RSS feed items, one at a time, like you would have done with Google Reader. Fever includes different views, keyboard shortcuts, sharing features, much like Google Reader. That’s the classic way.
  • Fever also goes through all your RSS feeds and gathers the news that have been reported by more than one news source. You are then able to view the most popular news today, in the past few days, weeks, or in the past month.

Fever reads your feeds and picks out the most frequently talked about links from a customizable time period. Unlike traditional aggregators, Fever works better the more feeds you follow.

Here is a quick overview of my Fever installation. The “Hot” tab includes the curated content, while the other menu items are my Feed groups. The last 2 menu items are “Sparks” (feeds that I don’t read but that contribute to improve the curation), and “Saved”, a list of my favourite RSS feed items.

You can also see the different views: including Unread items, including links to all my feeds, collapsed Feed items and expanded ones.

Once you have installed Fever, you will want to start by adding more feeds. The more feeds you have, the more accurate Fever will be. Since you don’t have to read all your feeds anymore, you can add as many as you want.

You can then go to Preferences to adjust your Reader settings.

It also includes an API that allows you to use apps like Reeder on your iOS device. And you can use the app on your mobile since it has a responsive design!

Not ready for a self-hosted RSS Reader yet?

If this RSS reader is not for you, I would recommend that you look at the WordPress.com Reader. It’s simple to use, and integrates the most popular WordPress.com features.

WordPress.com Reader

  1. Heh, interesting, I have installed a Fever instance a while ago, used it for a moment, then forgot about it, as I wasn’t so happy with the automated curation. I guess Twitter has replaced that specific feature, stuff everybody is talking about comes up there. Where I actually love using the WordPress.com reader, is for all the stuff nobody is talking about…

    • I think the automated curation is only as good as the content sources you’ve added to the Reader. I wasn’t too happy with it at first, until I started adding sites that just curate and share information that’s interesting for me. Then it became really useful.

      If you’re happy with Twitter, you could add Twitter RSS feeds to Fever. Here is your twitter account feed, for example.

      • Interesting, I’ll give it a second try, after all, I went through the purchase / install process.

  2. Salut Jérémy
    Thanks for your post. Since this good and bad news I was thinking about rss solution. Fever seems really great and Reeder on Mac/iOS will support it.
    I will give it a try this we.

  3. I’ve been using Feedly since coming off Google Reader (due the impending shutdown) and I’m liking it.

    However, Fever’s curation functions sound neat, and since it still provides read/unread functionality for my must-read feeds, it’s only an improvement. I would actually be willing to pay a decent subscription to a service that didn’t require one’s own server… I’m hoping somebody launches such a service soon. Apparently the Digg staff are cooking up a reader since Google canned Reader. One can hope, I suppose.

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