A little over a month ago, Google announced that they were killing their RSS feed service, Google Reader. In the time since that happened, I've tried a number of Google Reader alternatives. I tried a few software-side readers like Vienna, but they were too slow and lacked the instantaneous refreshes of a web-based reader. I use Flipboard and Zite for leisure reading, but the magazine-like layouts aren't ideal for heavy web consumption, where I need the newest information first. It seems that Feedly is the most popular of the Google Reader replacements to date, but again, it lacks a certain seriousness. I can't absorb as much information in a single glance with Feedly that I'd like.

So I've basically got my options narrowed down to two choices: I like The Old Reader because it looks exactly like Google Reader did back when Google Reader was at its best. But I've found it to be occasionally unreliable. I attribute a lot of those problems—outages and periods when the Reader doesn't update very often at all—to lots of Google users checking out their remaining options. But I need my reader to work whenever I'm at work.

So for the most part, I've been using NewsBlur. I paid for an account—$24 for a year, and I consider $2 a month to be a steal for how much I use an RSS reader—and it's been totally reliable since then. It lets me view the whole of one story while still keeping an eye on all the unread stories beneath the one I'm looking at, it's been lightning-fast for several weeks now, and it constantly updates. I haven't messed around with the social features, for the most part (I never much used Google Reader's social features, either), but it's the most reliable, Google Reader-like experience I've seen. I'm curious to see what Digg comes up with, but right now some of the dust from Google announcement has settled, and I'm perfectly content to work with NewsBlur every day.