Google reader or FeedDemon?

I may be stange but I scan all of my feeds online and then read a small subset – generall about 20-30 a day offline.  I do the scanning while watching TV on my laptop and the reading on my Tablet.  I scan the feeds in FeedDemon and then read the associated web pages in Maxthon as a series of 20-30 tabs.

I noticed recently that there was a real buzz about Google Reader, so I gave it a go.  Since I scan online it worked pretty well, I really liked the single keys shortcuts for navigating between posts, however for me it was too slow,  when scanning it just could’nt keep up with me :-(.  So I went back to FeedDemon, the speed was good but I missed the shortcut keys.  FeedDemon does have keyboard shortcuts but they are all multi-key combinations, which I find a real pain.

I started to get annoyed,  in fact I was going to write a post asking for people to describe how they managed to efficiently scan thousands of posts a day in FeedDemon because it seemed to me that no end-to-end working practice had been developed that worked for people who scanned on one PC and read on another. 

Then I discovered Control-K which opens a dialog that leys you define single keys for anything you want to do in FeedDemon,so here is what I did:

N – takes me to next unread post,  I just press NNNNN until I see a post I want to read and then I press

L – which opens up the link in Maxthon.  If Maxthon is minimized and set to “not activate” when a newpage is opened it just sits on the task bar opening up tabs in the background

so here I am NNNNN and then my brain catches up and says you missed one so I press

P – which opens up the previous unread post, this works because I don’t mark posts read as I read them,  I wait until the end and then I press

R – which marks all posts Read.

So this is great however there are two minor issues – which hopefully Nick can fix:

  1. I could not see a way to define a key to download a PODCAST
  2. When I press L to open a link in an external browser I need to click back on the FeedDemon page to return focus to it before I can start to press NNNNN again.  The same thing happens if I click a link in a page or download a podcast.  This takes my hands off the keyboard – not desirable

So now I have loads of tabs open in Maxthon,  all I do is click Groups > Save Windows as Group > I have a group for my Laptop so I pick that (3 clicks).  Then back on my Tablet (via remote desktop, 1 click) I open that group (2 clicks) and I am done.  I can now read away on my Tablet closing tabs as I go.  If I don’t read them all I just save the few I have left back as a group and open that group up on my laptop before I start my next scanning session.

Actually my workflow is slightly more complex

  1. I open up tabs in Maxthon because many feeds don’t contain the full text
  2. After I have finished scanning I scan the tabs, because quite a few web pages have articles spread over multiple pages so I need to open up the other pages as well or show in print view
  3. Quite a few web pages turn out to be a few lines of comment and then some links,  its often the article or articles then link to I want to read so I click to open up those
  4. Sometimes I come across new sites I want to subscribe to, so I generally subscribe to them while online.
  5. Sometimes I have opened links to files I want to download,  so I sometimes initiate the downloads there and then,  or if I am offline when I come across the download then I add the site to a Maxthon group called Action and come back to it later.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

4 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    If you find Google Reader too slow , then you must be using a browser with a slow javascript/jsripts/ECMAscript engine. Ditch IE6. If Possible, use Maxthon /w IE7 , Opera 9.x, Firefox 2.0 or 3.0a2 or K-Meleon.

  2. Anonymous says:

    No question here.

    Google Reader wins hands down.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I find google reader noticeably slower in Opera for some reason – this is in Ubuntu and FreeBSD, haven’t tried it with the Windows version so I can’t comment on that.

  4. Anonymous says:

    In fact it’s slow with Opera 9.20 on windows too

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