OOooooohhhh Vienna | A Google Reader Substitute

Vienna RSS Reader

A kick-ass replacement for the doomed Google Reader.

The smiles:

  • open source: no more Google indexing your feeds and using your data against ads to make money;
  • social channels integration: Faceache, Tweetmails, Buffermeup etc all covered (can even route the article content directly into whatever blog creation software you’re using);
  • integrated browser: basically allowing the user to surf the sources of the content without leaving the app (via tabs)
  • a plethora of keyboard shortcuts: current favourite is the space bar navigation function. Clicking it will not only scroll you through the article that’s open but when it reaches the end the app will direct you to the next unread article (nice);
  • free: *head-nods.

The frowns (kind of):

  • desktop / Mac only: not an issue for me but could be for some;
  • no sync to the cloud: currently syncs with Google Reader but obviously that will die in the coming months (would be great to have a Dropbox option for your subscriptions file so they are kept safe);
  • ‘mail link’ option: will probably work if you have an external mail client although not integrated with gmail (the only piece of the puzzle in terms of my workflow from Google Reader that I’ll miss).

Want to give it a go?

Grab your feeds from the Googles takeout page, download Vienna RSS Reader, import feeds (it’s just the “subscriptions.xml file”), play around with the preferences and ensure you customise the toolbar to feature all the social sharing / navigational stuff you need (see options below), then smile and carry on with your rss feasting.

vienna rss toolbar options

If you want it to do anything else check out the forums for help.

Have a go and let me know what you think. Maybe you’ve already found a replacement, what is it?

Long live RSS!


As Reader wasn’t going to be shut till 1st July I thought I had plenty of time to find an alternative and flirted with a few online options discuss in my previous post. The idea was to write a blog post closer to the closure time as by then lots of these other platforms would have tightened up their offerings. Then again, why wait when you got something that works…

Related post: Why Closing Google Reader Is A Good Thing | A Retrospective

Why Closing Google Reader Is A Good Thing | A Retrospective

google reader rip

An open letter.

Thank you Google.

Thank you for giving us a simple, wonderful, effective (and free) RSS aggregator in Google Reader.

The news you are now going to retire the service is sad but not surprising.

Personally, been honoured to have introduced thousands upon thousands of individuals to the platform through my seven years as a social media trainer / masterclass take / speaker. Even a couple of days ago was enabling a group of librarians here in Wellington, NZ to the power of filtering the web and creating your own social media menu.

Of course I’ve tried other services like Yahoo RSS and Netvibes plus also dabbled with a few desktop readers, but you always got me coming back with your minimalist approach and deep integration with other platforms (not to mention a direct distribution channel through email).

Understand you’ll now be focussing your efforts on other services and although we’ll all miss and have to find another RSS aggregator, the closure will spark new players into the game, and for those already providing services, an opportunity to tighten up their offerings. This will be a good thing (although feel for those folks who created apps like Reeder and thers which sync the reader data in to make it work).

It will also move me further away from all my data being routed through you guys—as you and I both know, it’s getting a little creepy nowadays how we used to be users and are now the products being packaged and sold on (without full disclosure of the parties involved).

Thanks again Google for the memories, making me look awesome and keep in touch.

For those who are looking for alternatives, check out these:

…anyone use any of the above? Which are the best? What do you think about this announcement?
Related post: OOooooohhhh Vienna | A Google Reader Substitute