I have been using Netvibes to subscribe to and read feeds from other websites and recently decided to give Google Reader a try to see if the hype that it created was justified at all. I really like the options to customize the feeds into different windows and tabs in netvibes, I added some on different subjects such as tech and software and can switch between those tabs for fast access. Drag and Drop is used to move feeds around which makes this feature very fast.
15 feeds with the latest seven articles can be displayed on my screen without scrolling using Netvibes and I was a little bit disappointed when I saw how Google Reader handled the feeds. Google Reader does not use tabs but folders to sort feeds. Folders and Feeds are displayed on the left pane which does not have much space if you keep the folders expanded all the time. (a scroll bar appears if you reach the bottom, happens after about 20 feeds and 5 folders)
About 25 feeds are displayed in List mode in the main window of Google Reader, if you have more you have to scroll again. Expanded mode displays the content of every feed on a single page just like Google Groups displays the content of the discussion.
Reducing the text size in Firefox makes everything more accessible, does anyone know if there is a Firefox add-on to customize the text size on certain pages and leave the default size for the rest?
I don't like the way Google Reader displays the feeds, I tend to get a great overview in Netvibes when I access it. I see which site has updated articles. In Google Reader I have to take a look at the left pane and see if there are new feeds (and probably scroll down to the feeds that are of interest) or take a look at all updated feeds of a certain folder to find the ones that are of interest.
Google Reader on the other hand pulls more than the maximum of ten feeds from a website. Netvibes has a maximum of ten feeds that are pulled from a new source, Google Reader pulls about 180 at the first time and if you scroll down to the last ones it pulls more from that site.
Google Reader feels a little bit faster than Netvibes, not enough to make it a significant advantage though. Both Google Reader and Netvibes make it possible to import feeds from an OPML file and both do not offer the feature to create one Netvibes does not offer a way to export one I was not able to find the option in Netvibes. I had to manually enter all feeds from Netvibes into Google Reader. Took a while as you can guess.
My conclusion is that I will stick with Netvibes for now and wait until Google changes the arrangement of feeds on their site. I don't want to scroll to read feeds which is the greatest disadvantage of Google Reader at the moment.
Update: Google announced that it will retire Google Reader in 2013.Advertisement
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.