Migrating from Google Reader into a better world

Here at BitPipeline we do like to read our internet news on a bunch of different devices and the soon to be dead Google Reader fitted that role perfectly (thanks to the easy to use Web and Android applications).

With the dismiss of Google Reader on the horizon I set myself the task of during one weekend finding the best alternative. After reading some articles and looking at the different choices out the in the Internet the set of possible solutions was:

  • Feedly : too much emphasis on images and a design that might appeal to Mac aficionados but doesn't ring my bell. No API to integrate with other applications/services. Closed proprietary source.
  • NewsBlur : Really nice except for the abuse of intense colours in the design. Also doesn't seem to export any API. OpenSource, so should be possible to self host. Supports sharing within NewsBlur host.
  • Tiny Tiny RSS : (also know as tt-rss) Simple elegant design. Exports a API (can be switched on/off). Supports sharing to social Networks, to a rss feed or within the same tt-rss instance. Supports plugins. Can use the same keyboard shortcuts as Google Reader. Open source. Themable (even to the point of looking a bit like Google Reader).

Tiny Tiny RSS was a clear winner.

I had lying around a old Asus eeePC 901 and so I set myself to install gentoo and set it up to be the host of my tt-rss. This will be a post by itself - I used some of the great gentoo features to make this install and maintenance as easy and smooth as possible.

This looks like it has been good of Google to trigger this migration. Good for me, maybe not so good for Google in the long run (I am going more and more for the self hosted services option as cloud services are proving to be just vapour).