It's wild that in 2023 we're still talking about Google Reader. But my journey with RSS started there and I remember the thrill of not only being able to follow blogs and sites and have content delivered to me much like an email inbox, but also being able to share that with others like my wife and friends. Like most things Google touches they decided to shutter it and I was left looking for an alternative. There's a great article from The Verge that speaks more about the death of Google Reader (again, wild that such an article would even be written 10 years later which I think speaks to how great of a thing it was).
For a period of time I used a self-hosted application called Fever that was developed by Sean Inman, but he decided to stop supporting the development of it which left me yet again searching for alternatives. I wrote about this 5 years ago when I started running Tiny Tiny RSS on my hosted space on Reclaim Hosting.
Tiny Tiny RSS has been great and while there's been plentying of handwaving about the death of blogging and RSS I have turned to it consistently to keep up with a lot of great people and their writing. Unfortunately while it started as a pretty simple application to run in cPanel, the upgrade path had turned to using Docker and I had let things go pretty stagnant on keeping it upgraded. I should be clear as anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm no stranger to using Docker and diving in on complicated paths. My deadline for needing to upgrade was being pushed further along as PHP versions were being decomissioned and I was having to run insecure older versions to make it work. Maybe I could spin up an instance on Reclaim Cloud and keep it going? Maybe.
Well then Reddit shit the bed and I was determined to double down on RSS as my way of consuming content on the web and decided to start looking more seriously not at just upgrading tt-rss but what the broader landscape of RSS reader applications looked like. I had heard about Inoreader years ago but never really dove in so I started there and was surprised by just how slick it actually was. I wouldn't be able to self-host, but honestly that wasn't a huge deal breaker. I started with a free account and started pulling in my feeds. Not only could I import an OPML file from my previous reader (one of the best things about RSS is how portable it all is) but I also used this moment to start following a lot of other things, content I would normally turn to Reddit, YouTube, and other places for.
In Inoreader you can follow standard sites with RSS feeds like blogs, news sites, etc. But you can also link it up to your YouTube account and it pulls all your subscribed channels in as well (you do need a paid account for that but I found very quickly that I was happy to support the developers and use the premium version of Inoreader). I'm also following at least two different Google News monitored keyword searches. It can follow Reddit stuff but I won't give them any more traffic. There's a ton of other great features too like offline support, bookmarklets for following sites and saving articles for later, great mobile apps for reading on the go, and apparently even some social features like following other people and broadcasting stuff too them (though I don't really know how you would find those people).
All in all I'm about 2 weeks in and already a big fan of Inoreader and if you're in the market for a new RSS reader it's well worth playing around with! You can compare the free vs paid features at https://www.inoreader.com/pricing.