When Google Reader shut down in 2013, a bunch of companies tried to present themselves as viable alternatives. That included some new players like Inoreader, Feedly, The Old Reader, and Newsblur as well as some older names including Aol and Digg.

But Aol Reader shut down a few months ago, and now it looks like Digg Reader is following suit. The service is shutting down on March 26, 2018. Users can export their feeds and folders as an OPML file until that date.

Digg Reader is/was a simple, but functional replacement for Google Reader, but it didn’t really offer any new or innovative features. Its main claim to fame was probably that it was free and allowed you to import your feeds from Google Reader.

It also may have a bit of name recognition for long-time denizens of the internet. Digg was kind of reddit before reddit was reddit. It started as a social news site that allowed users to vote for or against stories so that the most popular articles would appear on the main page.

But Digg’s technology was sold off in 2012 and as reddit rose to popularity by embracing a million subreddits and sticking with a super-simple design, Digg changed tactics and became a simple news aggregation website.

Digg’s homepage is still just that. It’s only Digg Reader that’s shutting down.

The moral of this story? Your best chance of finding a cloud-based RSS service that’ll stick around is probably to find a company that only offers an RSS service and which has a business plan (including premium and/or freemium features). Or maybe just host your own.

I know not everyone uses RSS these days, but as a blogger, I still find it an incredibly useful tool for sifting through updates from hundreds of websites every day. I paid for a Feedly lifetime subscription when that was an option, and I’ve more than gotten my money’s worth out of it over the past few years.

There are certainly cheaper options, including just using a desktop or mobile RSS client. But I like the cross-platform nature of a cloud-based solution like Feedly, which allows me to save items on my phone and view them on my desktop or vice versa or to just pick up scanning through headlines on one device where I left off on another.

Personally, I’m just happy that there seem to be some decent options these days. When Google announced that it was shutting down Reader, I was very worried. Now I’m pretty sure that even if Feedly were to shut down tomorrow (please don’t!) I’d be able to switch to another RSS reader in a matter of minutes by exporting my feeds from Feedly and importing them to a different app or service.

What about you? Are you still using an RSS reader in 2018? What’s your preferred method for getting news from multiple sources?

via Hacker News

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10 replies on “Digg Reader shuts down this month (another RSS app bites the dust)”

  1. I’m still using RSS, but through a script that post items to IMAP folders (based on Plagger, in perl). With the same tool, I also scrap a few news feed that don’t support RSS anymore, like Twitter or Facebook public pages.

    Otherwise, good old newsletters are the way to go. Modern SMTP hell is not helping, but it still works well enough.

    We had a good time when RSS was popular, but it becomes like the 90s again… scrapping the web and subscribing to newsletters…

  2. I agree that Digg Reader was a kind of a strange “me too” project. They did it fast and then stopped working on it completely. No attempts to add premium features, no ads, nothing. And AOL Reader was almost the same (although it had more features but still no monetization attempts).

    Nevertheless both readers was quite appealing in their simplicity.

    I could only recommend my own BazQux Reader (https://bazqux.com). Which existed before both these readers, has business model, much more features and is still alive.

  3. Digg Reader really was an oddball. They built the product because Google Reader shutdown. Obviously if Google Reader dumped the niche, why would an investment firm like BetaWorks expect to get a great return on an alternative? Feeder.co is a great alternative that’s been around for ages. I think it all comes down to business model and not expecting a billion dollar exit.

  4. Nice article, I’m another rss-dependent guy, who felt orphan when Google Reader turned off. Then I found Netvibes. I’ve been using it for years now, and I think it does its job.

  5. That’s too bad. I also switched to Feedly upon the demise of Google Reader. Less than a year later, however, I gave up on RSS. It still has its place, but I found that when once I could read full articles directly in the feed, more and more sites were truncating them and asking you to click to read the full story. I don’t begrudge them for wanting ad revenue, but it did lose a lot of its appeal to me.

  6. I was thinking about Digg the other day and how all their links, comments, their different looks, etc… just vanished! I was wondering what they did with the data.

    It’s interesting, in retrospect, that they went from a system that empowered the user to one where they empowered themselves (or a particular pov). Even though they could have re-empowered the user, they just kept tightening the leash until they were no more.

  7. That is too bad – check out Feedly for sure, as it has come a long way and has some very interesting AI/Machine Learning projects in the pipeline! (full disclosure, I used to work for Edwin, Feedly’s founder…)

  8. never used digg reader, switched from google reader to feedly, and i’m currenlty using aktu (https://aktu.io) which is a good mix of google news and google reader

  9. Aw. Too bad for them… the screenshot looks pretty decent.

    I landed on Inoreader and really like it (and pay for it, I don’t want them to die). Feedly was doing their own thing before Reader, but inoreader’s look is/was more of a straight up clone, which was what I wanted. 🙂

    I’m still bitter about Google Reader’s shutdown, but Inoreader’s even a bit better since it lets you follow Twitter. (Or maybe that’s worse; I quit twitter a few weeks ago and feel much better about life in general. <_< It's a depressing place.)

    1. I like the way you can create Google News search feeds.
      Search – Click “Google News for [search term] in the drop down – Then click subscribe

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