Reader Survey: RSS Readers

I’m rather late to the game but am finally getting around to using RSS feeds to better enable me to keep track of updates to blogs on my blogroll. I’ve tried the version on MyYahoo, which is fine but doesn’t sort, and Bloglines, which is ugly and seems not to do what I want very well (although, admittedly, I haven’t played around with it much).

What I’m looking for is:

  • A full-page view of the latest posts and the excerpt
  • Sortability at the post level: I’d like the newest posts up top with identification by blog but not grouping by blog.
  • Easy adding and deleting of feeds
  • The ability to allow OTB’s readers to look at the feed, too.
  • Compatibility with Firefox
  • Update: Must be Web-centric. I blog from several different computers depending on my location.


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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. bryan says:

    You might try Sage, which is a built-in FireFox plug-in RSS reader.

    And, I noticed today that google has a new RSS reader they are testing out.

    it’s at

  2. Pauof says:

    The mozilla mail client, Thunderbird, can do everything you want. I am pretty sure Thunderbird can be integrated into your Firefox browser.

    I know you wanted something firefox-compatible, but Opera has great, out-of-the-box funtionality as well. It is also a free browser now (no more ads).

  3. Zeuswood says:

    The only one I have used is Google Reader, so I have no idea how it compares. It seems fairly slick, though the interface to add feeds seems clunky. It’s also not fussy about what kind of feed you give it, though perhaps that’s universal.

  4. Bithead says:

    Personally, James, I’ve been using Bloglines, since it allows me to do what I do from wherever I’m at.

    But if you’re OK with being limited to one software installation, may I suggest using Thunderbird as your mail client? I use it.. and it has excellent support for RSS.

  5. John Gibson says:

    Omea Reader is the way to go.

    Check out the features and

  6. Nathan Moore says:

    I tend to use It’s free and sortable. It’s not as fast loading as I like, but that’s probably because I’m following an absurd amount of blogs.

    Nathan Moore

  7. dw says:

    I am thinking you need Bloglines, since you want to share your list and want it to be web-centric.

    Personally, I use Sage, since I read different feeds at home and work.

  8. tqa says:

    Is your web-only requirement because of the multiple computers? RSSBandit ( does pretty much everything you mentioned and has a syncing system which allows you to keep track of your feeds/read status on multiple machines. I use it on three separate machines and keep them all in sync pretty easily. Adding/removing feeds is easy and all of the sorting options you describe are available. As for sharing… hmmm… maybe the opml export would fit the bill for you there.

    I’ve tried nearly every online and offline reader out there and RSSBandit is by far my favorite.

    Good Lord… I sound like an ad…

  9. bithead says:

    Following your update, James, I’m forced to conclude your only real option is to play with Bloglines a bit more. Once you get used to the way it handles the feeds you’ll find it a good tool.

  10. Roscoe says:

    I experiment with other RSS readers from time to time, but I’ve not found anything better for my needs, similar to yours, than bloglines.

    All RSS readers on the market right now have glaring weak points, imho, but bloglines has fewer than the others — at least, for my needs.

  11. I recommend NewsGator which is web based. It’s worth buying the Outlook plugin as well if you use Outlook. The nice thing is is that you can keep it synced everywhere via the web. I add subscriptions to my NG-Outlook at work and also at home and I get the same feeds in both places and online if I so choose. Well worth it. The best I’ve found and I’ve used several.

  12. Long-time and happy Bloglines user myself.