Bored with Google Reader? Try Fastladder

I came across this new web based RSS Reader through Lifehacker and bookmarked it to try it out later. I got around to trying it today and here are my impressions on it.

What readers have I tried?

I am a RSS feed junkie fan. I have tried desktop and web based readers. And I have settled down with the portable version of GreatNews. Google Reader was everything I wanted until I tried the slick interface of Netvibes. The tabs and the collapsible boxes with feed headlines was so cool when you have a couple hundred feeds. Then, I got bolder and tried out a couple of desktop clients but wanted the agility of a portable RSS reader and found GreatNews. With my ever shortening attention span for web tools, the fact that I have stuck with GreatNews for months now should say something about it. Few others I have tried are Omea Reader, Bloglines, etc.

What is Fastladder?

Fastladder is a brand spanking new (read probable bugs) web based RSS reader. I think they got tired of the short comings of Google Reader and just wrote a fast and slick reader themselves.

Quick facts:

  • Register for a free account to use the service.
  • First time you login, you can either import an OPML file or point to a location in the web.
  • Import: I had about 230 feeds in around 20 groups/folders and the import took about 4 minutes. It preserved all folder structures and the feeds. Not bad!
  • Rating: You can rate the blogs. But, I am not sure how I would end up using this feature. It’ll probably useful when trying out new blogs to rate their content and once in a while delete all the poorly rated ones or the ones I haven’t rated at all which probably means I never read that feed. Might as well delete it.
  • Search: One thing that stands out is the Integrated Search! I can’t believe Google Reader doesn’t have it yet but if Fastladder was counting on just this feature to compete with the big G, I think they will be history faster than you can say ‘fast’. I am sure Google is working on all 4-billion cylinders to bring search to GReader.
  • Sorting: It trumps GReader here as well with additional sorting options. You can sort by rating, title or number of subscribers, which itself will be useful only after Fastladder goes mainstream.
  • Favicons: This is the little icon you see by the name of the site and it is very helpful to quickly zoom into a feed than scanning down a long list of feeds you have.
  • Bookmarklet: Use this bookmarklet to easily add site feeds to Fastladder.
  • Options: There are plenty of options to change the font size, number of feeds per page, number of feeds fetched, etc.

Should I ditch Google Reader?

I wouldn’t. But, if any of the above features that are missing in GReader but available here, it is definitely worth a try for e.g., searching feeds for specific words. But, with the ability to set up a new account and import your feeds all in a few minutes, you have nothing to lose in trying out this new service.

Mind you, the service was just released on July 3 and it already has beaten GReader to the punch in a few key areas. I have to appreciate the team’s effort on that and hope they will be able to stay ahead of the curve.

[via Lifehacker]

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18 Responses to “Bored with Google Reader? Try Fastladder”

  1. Mark July 11, 2007 at 4:12 am #

    I just signed up! One thing I like already is the ability to return to the page I was on after subscribing. Clicked the bookmarklet, put it to its folder and it brought me back here. (I was already subscribed you with GReader), but hey what’s one more subscription, right? 😉

    I’ll kick this one around and do some comparison with GReader.

  2. July 11, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    Hi, I am one of the developers of Fastladder.
    Thank you very much for the review that serves as a reference.

    A lot of people give the uncritical evaluation without clarifying the number of subscriptions.
    Are your number of subscriptions only 230? That is a too small number to say “RSS feed junkie”.
    I am reading over 3000 feeds with Fastladder.
    Did you try the shortcut key?

  3. K-IntheHouse July 11, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    Mark, yes I noticed and should have mentioned it in the review. I did miss the keyboard shortcuts as well. Appreciate the subscription and I have you on my GreatNews., thanks for stopping by. First of, you have a great product here and I wouldn’t have taken the time to review it if I didn’t think so.

    Wow. You read 3000 feeds? You are a feed junkie. Where do you find the time? 🙂

  4. Kyle Eslick July 11, 2007 at 1:07 pm #

    I’m a bit of an RSS junkie as well, but I’ve found that I have less and less time to try out all the products and services that I want to.

    Because I don’t have the time, I have to rely on reviews done by my piers. Thanks again for the review!

  5. Brown Baron July 11, 2007 at 7:05 pm #

    I’m going to get this one. That integrated search is a big deal for me.

  6. K-IntheHouse July 11, 2007 at 10:30 pm #

    Kyle.. that’s very true. I think you are a GreatNews fan as well aren’t you?

  7. K-IntheHouse July 11, 2007 at 10:32 pm #

    Brown Baron, glad you like it and are gting ready o use it. Will be great to hear your thoughts after you start using it.

  8. July 12, 2007 at 2:28 am #

    Hi again.

    I read high-rated feeds on weekdays, and the rest on holidays. It doesn’t take much time.
    Fastladder is designed for reading more feeds spending same time, you can read much more feeds by Fastladder than by Bloglines or Google Reader.
    You will notice it when you see the scrolling speed using keyboard shortcuts, for example.

    Many people don’t read so many feeds, so they’re overlooking this feature. They pay attention only to the surface.
    I will try to improve the service for the day you need Fastladder.

    Thank you.

  9. Nirmal July 12, 2007 at 9:08 am #

    Although I have subscribed to many blogs, I dont use feed readers. Some blogs I have subscribed through Email and others I read directly.

  10. K-IntheHouse July 12, 2007 at 11:55 am #

    Hey Nirmal.. great to see you here, man! And I see you are using Flock as well. Have you tried the feed reader in Flock 0.9?

    I skim through the headlines in a feed reader and I jump on to the site to read the comments and participate in the discussion. This way I am able to keep track of lot more sites than I would be able to by going to every site I like.

    Hey, whatever works for us right?

  11. Madhur Kapoor July 12, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    Its good to try something other than GReader

  12. Shankrila Admin July 13, 2007 at 2:54 am #

    Variety is always good. Anytime I have steered away from my regular app and tried something new, most times I find a better solution. Let me know how you like Fastladder if you try it. I’d love to know from peers with a similar taste. 🙂

  13. blogpaul July 13, 2007 at 3:37 am #

    Im going to try it out!

  14. pay for essay January 27, 2012 at 9:01 pm #

    cool post!

  15. term-paper-writer April 24, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    very interesting post!


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