Now that everyone said their goodbyes to our beloved Google Reader, I wanted to join in. Since 2005 Reader (and later the great iOS and Mac apps and front ends named Reeder1) became my everyday companion and it’s probably among the top three sites I’ve visited over the past couple of years. So I was really disappointed to see it go. But I guess that’s what eventually happens to non-paid services.
Looking for alternatives, I found Shaun Inman’s web app Fever. It’s a $30-service that you purchase once (unless there is a major update that he might charge for) and install it on your own webspace. After the fairly easy setup you may want to import your feed collection from Google Reader. But that’s not all you should do. As Fever calculates the hotness of an article based on the references it gets from other blogs you follow you might want to add some other sources writing about the topics you’re interested in. This improves the overall accuracy of that calculation. No worries: You don’t necessarily need to read every single blog you add: If you only need feeds for the calculation quality you can always add them to the so called Sparks list. This hides them from your unread list.
Nice side effect: Fever already works with Reeder on the iPhone. After setting it up you can directly add it to that app as you would do it with an ordinary Google Reader account. Unfortunately, the Mac and iPad versions still lack this feature. Can’t wait for Silvio to add them.
After about a week with Fever I can now say that I really like browsing my feeds and articles using the fresh new web interface. It’s fast and intuitive. Only downside: Refreshing the sources and pulling in new articles is not so fast. It might take a few few seconds for the server to get back to you when you ask for new content. But this can only get better in future updates.