RSS feeds are dying. That's what I'm hearing left and right. Many say that social networking sites have replaced them. And while social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook may be useful to stay up to date, they are nowhere near as accessible as a feed reader. You first need to follow users who post the news that you are interested in, then need to wade through everything they post to find the news, and lastly stay on the social networking site or use a desktop app to avoid missing news.
Feed Notifier is a news notification app for the Windows operating system. When you first start it up you are asked to add feeds to the program that you want to monitor. This is done with a right-click on the program's system tray icon and the selection of Add Feed. You can also open the options to add feeds there.
Feeds can only be entered one at a time which is a severe limitation, especially if you want to monitor hundreds of feeds. You could combine multiple feeds with Yahoo Pipes to reduce the setup time.
You can configure the polling interval and notification border color for each feed individually. A popup is then displayed in the lower right corner of the screen whenever new content has been added to one of the added websites and services.
Controls are displayed at the bottom of the popup that allow you to go back and forward, and to pause the automatic updating. A click on the news title or blog name takes you to the site in the default system browser.
The popup appearance and behavior are configured in the preferences as well. Here it is possible to change the maximum title and body length, change the duration the popup is displayed or display it in another position or on another monitor.
Feed Notifier won't check feeds if the computer has been idle for at least 60 seconds. It would not make sense to display news on an idle computer, as it is likely that the user working on it is currently not present. The option can be disabled if that's preferred.
Filters can be configured for all feeds or individual feeds. These exclude news matching select keywords. This can be useful if you want to reduce the number of news popups throughout the day.
Feed Notifier is different in this regard from other feed readers such as RSS Owl or Google Reader. It is not a program that you open to read up on all the news item that have been posted since the last time you have taken a look. Its realtime approach works best if only a handful of news feeds are monitored. If you monitor hundreds, you probably end up spending more time looking at new news popups than working on the computer.
Interested users can download the open source software Feed Notifier from the developer website.
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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.