Feed aggregator choices

There are a bunch of feed aggregators out there. However, I haven’t used any of them, so I don’t know which ones work well and which ones work poorly. I encourage people to try them and comment here with their experiences. I can edit this post with useful information from the comments.

Web services

Below is a list of web services which will allow you to set up a feed aggregation.

  • Yahoo Pipes. Widely used. Pipes has a blog where you can learn more about it. Some people seem to find it hard to use. Others complain that it edits the RSS feeds that it passes along (for example, changing whether the links open a new window or not). The Scienceblogs Diaspora Feed runs on Pipes; you can clone and edit that feed (this may be a good way to get started if you find Pipes confusing). There is a review of Pipes which might be interesting.

  • FriendFeed. Another widely used one, and seems to be a better bet than Pipes (but comment here and say why or why not!). FieldOfScience uses this one. Commenter Edward says: “FWIW, I’ve done the grunt work with the Yahoo Pipes. You’ll need a Yahoo account, but once you have one you can simply Clone this pipe: http://pipes.yahoo.com/fieldofscience/full. With your Clone, go to Edit Source, then change the feeds in the Feed Fetch module to yours, and in the Simple Math module put the number of feeds you are combining.”

  • XFruits. Seems to be very feature-rich. I don’t know of anyone who is using it.

  • Dapper

  • FeedWeaver

  • FeedStitch

  • FeedKiller. Looks very easy to use; doesn't require a login; which means, I think, that the feed won't be editable later; puts a feedkiller ad on each post.

  • Feed Informer. Also looks really easy to use.

Software packages

If you have access to a web server and are able to set up a software package on it, you can run your own feed aggregator. Benefits: no ads inserted into the feed; you are in charge of the server and whether it is stable. Down side: you have to have some knowledge and a server.

Other tools

  • Feedburner. Once you have a feed, you can use Feedburner to make a new URL for it. This can be nice a) because Feedburner provides usage statistics, and b) in case your new aggregated feed has an ugly URL.

  • Feed Rinse. Filters feeds for you: “You can rinse your feeds by keyword, author, tag, etc, or filter profanity and more.”

Did I miss anything? I’m sure I did, but I’m happy to add more if you let me know what I left out.


  1. I've used pipes for about 2 years now to mixed success. I'm not a techie so I tend to use it only to create blended feeds and sometimes make text clouds to depict a "community discussion."

    I find the RSS capture features are hit-and-miss sometimes, I can't easily decipher the tutorial. (It could be me.)

  2. Do you use it for private use only or for other people to look at? I'd be curious to see what the text clouds look like.

  3. FWIW I use Bloglines with Firefox. My only complaint is that it recently started using human-readable confirmation to log in, making my RoboForm login no longer entirely automatic.

  4. JakeR: the terminology is unclear, but I was posting about "feed aggregators" that mash up feeds from multiple blogs and make them publicly available. Bloglines, so far as I know, is only a private "feed aggregator," for individuals to use to keep track of what RSS feeds they follow and which posts they've read so far.

    It's annoying that Bloglines doesn't work with RoboForm anymore! I use Google Reader and it has a similar problem. I have to type my password every time. I understand that it's more secure, but it definitely irritates me.

  5. Besides Pipes, I've also used MagpieRSS and Michael Tyson's aggregator script: http://atastypixel.com/blog/php-rss-aggregator/