Since the announcement of impending doom for Google Reader there has been a lot of activity in the RSS world. Services like Feedly have had to beef up server and bandwidth capacity, and other services like Feedspot have appeared on the scene. Even Digg has announced it is building a Reader replacement. Add to this storm one more alternative -- CommaFeed.
The latest app aims to simulate the Google program almost exactly and has built-in Reader import capability. You will first need to register for an account using a user name, your email address (optional for password recovery) and a chosen password. You can then choose to import your Google Reader feed, but if you wish to just explore the app first then, don't worry, the import can be done at anytime. You will also need to grant permission to the app accessing your Reader account, so there is a level of trust that needs to be granted here.
Import is fairly quick, and the service keeps all categories intact. Once imported, you have a two options for viewing posts in your feeds -- simply seeing the titles only, or a title along with a snippet of the post. There is also a Settings button at the top of the screen. This allows for only a few options, all enabled by default.
If you are feeling geeky, there is also an option to add your own custom CSS. This possible because the web app is open source, with all code available on GitHub.
A Subscribe button is found at the top of the feed column on the left side. As you hover your mouse over each feed, you will notice a tiny wrench icon appearing to the right of the name. Click on this and you will be able to get information on the URL and last refresh, plus change the name of the feed or the category where it is contained. You can also unsubscribe from this screen.
The app looks eerily similar to Google Reader. The only real beef I had with it was that, while it placed almost all feeds in alphabetical order, it dumped some at the end, effectively starting over at "A". I could find no way to correct this issue.
CommaFeed is in the very earliest stages of development so it is difficult to fault it for minor issues or glitches at this point. The fact is, it shows a lot of promise and potential. Let us see where the developers can take it.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.