It’s time for RSS to catch up with the rest of the world

Rivered is an RSS reader that treats RSS more like Twitter - a continuous stream of updates.

Rivered is an RSS reader that treats RSS more like Twitter – a continuous stream of updates.

Google Reader is shutting down. Google Reader uses a very specific paradigm for consuming RSS feeds and in my opinion that paradigm has no place in the world any more.

The problem is Google Reader treats RSS the same way we treat email. It has folders and labels, subjects and message bodies, a from address and most importantly an unread item count. Imagine if Twitter had an ‘unread tweet count’?

In today’s world of social networks, we don’t consume all the content sent our way. Instead we dip in and out of a constant flow of knowledge. We’ve developed better skimming skills and we’ve got better at spotting patterns in large amounts of data.

To that end, I decided to build an RSS reader that fulfills my vision of how RSS is meant to be consumed today. With the help of the startup I work at, I built and launched Rivered in less than a week. It’s been live for a couple of weeks now and we’ve already added loads more features.

Rivered is a pay-for RSS reader ($2 a month, less if you pay for a whole year). By paying, you are supporting future development of a great product and helping to make the service sustainable.

Why I think Rivered is awesome:

  • It is an uncluttered, fast ‘River of News’ style RSS aggregator with the most recent stories at the top.
  • I hate that lots of RSS readers want to take over every part of your workflow. Rivered has no ‘starring’ or ‘sharing with Rivered’, instead I want to support as many third-party services as simply as possible. For example, you might use Pinboard for bookmarking interesting articles, and Buffer for sharing to your Facebook and Twitter account. Rivered makes this easy; buttons for Pinboard and Buffer are already next to every article. If you don’t use the other services that have icons, you can remove them in your settings to keep your River uncluttered.
  • It’s super-easy to add new feeds. You don’t have to hunt for the RSS feed URL, just enter the URL of any website and Rivered will do the rest.
  • Rivered tells you when it has new content to display so you’ll always be on top of things.
  • It supports SubToMe, a growing open service for service-agnostic site subscription buttons.

I’d love for you to try out Rivered. If you are worried about handing over your credit card details, remember there is a free 30 day trial and you will be reminded before you are charged so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to cancel. If you do give it a try, let me know in the comments or by email how you get on.

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