Google Reader Alternative Spotlight: Feedspot
Google Reader has been officially gone for a whole month now, but there is likely still a lot of experimentation going on when it comes to alternative tools for consuming news and blog content. We’ve certainly discussed a number of them here. Today, we’re going to take a look at Feedspot, which in some ways looks very similar to others like Feedly, Digg Reader and AOL Reader, but does offer some unique features, including one that might help you replace your reliance on Google Alerts as well.
“All the existing RSS Readers are still single utility products. Feedspot’s goal is to connect RSS Reader users so that each user gets the benefit of the entire RSS Reader Ecosystem,” founder Anuj Agarwal tells WebProNews.
To do this, Feedspot has implemented following features and tools like the ability to follow news using keywords, and the ability to share and follow folders and other users, as well as an advanced search feature.
“Many users around the world are not satisfied with Google Alerts,” Agarwal says. “We integrated a feature called ‘Track this keyword’ that lets a user follow news using ‘Keywords’.”
You can see an example here.
If you click “Track this keyword” the keyword gets added to your homepage, and you can track all the news that happens around it.
“Each folder has a unique url and can be shared via email or on twitter, FB etc. So that other users can directly follow curated folders. Just like Twitter List feature,” explains Agarwal. The Follow Users feature is pretty self explanatory, but creates what Agarwal calls “a niche social network designed for RSS readers.”
The advanced search feature adds filters to make the search experience more useful for specific needs.
While some saw the demise of Google Reader as a sign that RSS is in its last days, others view the event as something of a dawn of new innovation around the format. This includes Agarwal.
“I believe, RSS as a tech has a lot of potential,” he tells us. “Our goal is to take this product to the mainstream users and i’m sure they will find it useful too as much as we geeks love RSS Reader.”
“The Keyword-based feed approach appeals to mainstream users who don’t care about following specific blogs or authors, but rather subject areas of interest. eg celebrities, favorite sports team etc.,” he says.
The feature, of course, also has business benefits, such as the ability to monitor yourself, your brand, and your competitors, as well as the ability to find potential customers and spot emerging trends, Agarwal says.
“This tool is a sure way of finding potential customers,” he says .”Using relevant key words, you can be able to get customers who are in the market for exactly what you deal in.”
“One of the things businesses have to do is keep up with the ever changing market,” he adds. “Keyword Tracking ensures that you are kept in the know on any and all new developments in your industry.
You can also use it to find out who’s linking to you.
The most important aspect of the Keyword Tracking feature, Agarwal says is that it saves you time by eliminating “the hassle of having to go through hundreds of articles looking for content that is pertinent to you.”
“The system only gives you content that is relevant to you or your company/brand,” he says.
The feature will allow you to search within the feeds you follow, see only results from a specific one or more feeds of your choice, search in title only, exact phrase search, etc. It will also let you search the web.
“Both these features are aimed to increase users productivity,” says Agarwal, referring to keyword tracking and advanced search. “Plus, it has business use case as well. Apart of this, we added social features to make it even more easier for users to discover new feeds from their friends and to see popular articles shared by them.”
Feedspot certainly does offer some features that some of the other potential Google Reader replacements do not. If you’re still experimenting with the options or trying to decide which one is going to be your true replacement, you might want to check it out.