Google Reader Alternative – Digg Reader

When Google closed their RSS feed reader service, the Google Reader, a big lot of people let out a lot of hue and cry. Since they were the avid readers of such feeds, Google Reader was their best companion.

Following Google’s announcement of shutting down the Google Reader, Digg.com announced

” Like many of you, we were dismayed to learn that Google will be shutting down its much-loved, if under-appreciated, Google Reader on July 1st. Through its many incarnations, Google Reader has remained a solid and reliable tool for those who want to ensure they are getting the best from their favorite sections of the Internet “

But they did want to try something else. Thus the betaworks owned company tried to build an alternative of the Google Reader. A service that would not only replicate what Google Reader once offered, including its API platform, but that would also better reflect the way we find contents.

Digg GM Jake Levine says that Digg Reader is for those “hyper power users including the Digg team who want to do a lot of work to customize their reading experience.”

These are the people who is often the first to spot interesting stories to go viral, and they’re also often the first to share them.

Jake Levine says  “There’s a problem with reading on the Internet, As more and more people shift their reading time over to digital, there is such an enormous supply of amazing content, and so few tools that help you get through that, and identify what’s most important to you, and the networks and people that you care about.”

Digg Reader helps you solve this problem by showcasing  the best from a pool of contents.

The new Digg Reader has the sign up facility using Facebook, Twitter or Google accounts.  Import form Google Reader is another available option. When the import completes, Digg will inform the user via email.

Since the archived documents in the Google Reader are stored in such a way, that the user may lose the order which he used to save data in folders,  the imported stuff saved in Digg Reader will continue following the Google Reader’s archive pattern.

Digg Reader looks very similar to Google Reader in appearance. It has folders and feeds on the left, unread item counts, a “favorites” section and then scannable headlines and time stamps on the right.

Digg Reader uses the same keyboard shortcuts (j/k to move through feeds, Shift + j/Shift + k to move through folders) used by Google Reader.  To save items, a bookmark button is there. An arrow is used to share contents with Twitter and Facebook. To subscribe to a new feed, users can click on the “Add” (+) button at the bottom. From the Settings, users can also configure a “read later” service button.

Like the Google Reader, a user can “Mark all items as Read”, can “Switch between the lists” and can “Expand the view”. Users are allowed to edit folder titles, drag n drop feeds and unsubscribe from feeds that one doesn’t want to follow.

A “Browse” button makes the user able to find the feeds by category. There’s a “Popular” section which will connect the Reader to the social networks to find the most popular item among the user’s friends and is based largely on sharing data. The sharing data that Digg Reader uses is not entirely based on volume, but is more personalized to user. In order to rank individual items throughout the user’s feeds, Digg uses “one, two, three” dots.

Unlike its alternatives, Digg reader had enabled a special feature for its users. While reading through interesting contents, users can simply tap “d” key on their keyboard and it will be “Digg”ed. A user can keep track of the items that he “Digg”, ie., the user can choose whether it should be public or private.

However, Digg reader misses two important functions, “Search” option and the “Notifications”.

Digg has introduced its iOS app, but the Android version may be late. Company says that both apps will be bundled to the Digg.com’s mobile application.