Digg Reader FTW

A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.
As I posted back in March and as much of the internet lamented in subsequent months, Google Reader, having undergone years of neglect, was finally slated to be put out of its misery. On July 7, Reader was formally shuttered.

Although I was sad to see Reader go away, I'm also excited to see what sort of innovation its absence will spur in a space that has been stagnant for quite some time. There have been numerous articles authored in the past month suggesting alternative products that aim to fill the hole Reader is leaving. +David Pogue over at the +The New York Times seems to have settled on Feedly as his RSS reader of choice, as have a large number of former Reader users.

Having tried Feedly for several weeks, I just couldn't get behind it in the same way I had with Reader. The UI seemed overly busy, there were far too many customizations to deal with, and their Android app provided me with numerous options and customizations I didn't want or need.

With that in mind, I turned to Digg Reader. For those that haven't been keeping up with Digg, the brand was acquired by the awesome team over at Betaworks last year and has undergone something of a renaissance on the path toward renewed relevance. Betaworks announced in April they were building their own RSS reader and released it just in time for abandoned Google Reader users to jump ship.

While I was skeptical at first, I can honestly say that after a couple weeks of heavy use I freaking love Digg Reader for all the following reasons:
  • The UI is lightweight and responsive
  • After some initial hiccups, Digg Reader has in my expeirence been consistently blazingly fast
  • I was able to import all of my Google Reader feeds with a single click
  • Digg Reader provides great third party support for Pocket, Readability, and Instapaper (another fantastic Betaworks product)
  • Google Reader shortcut keys still work flawlessly!
While not perfect, Digg Reader is lightweight, fast, and most importantly not over-engineered in the same way I found Feedly to be. Although it currently lacks a native Android application, if the team's initial iOS release is any indication of what user's can expect when they do release the Android variant, I'm really looking forward to it.

Although I'm really sad as both a longtime Google Reader user and current Google employee to see Reader shutdown, I'm increasingly looking forward to seeing the RSS aggregation space catch up with the rest of the internet in terms of innovation.

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A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.