This past Sunday, for the third time, I renewed my subscription for Feedbin, an online service that allows me to read and consume my favorite information sources. And I did it with a smile. At $50/year for subscription, it is not cheap. But it is worth every penny — it is one of the most used services in my life.
So, what is Feedbin?
As the name suggests, it is an RSS feed reader. However, that would be limiting its capabilities. Sure, I have subscribed to about 100-odd RSS feeds. Their words flow directly into my Feedbin account. And there are about 20 podcasts that hit my podcasts folder in Feedbin. But the most magical part of Feedbin is that it gives me a secret email address that allows me to subscribe to various newsletters.
I cannot underscore how handy this email address can prove to be in this era of email newsletter bubble. With the current newsletter boom, it has been a godsend. I can find all the good stuff flowing into a single location, and it gives me a chance to read them as an when my schedule allows. It also makes it easy to unsubscribe from newsletters as they start to atrophy or become too preachy.
I just learned that I could also follow my favorite Twitter accounts and Twitter lists, but it is not high on my wishlist. I think Nuzzel does a better job of aggregating and sorting readable (and popular) materials shared by people I like and respect. Feedbin also offers a feed syncing service and as a result, it works with all sorts of RSS readers. I don’t need them. And instead, I prefer to go to their website — mobile and desktop. There is a Feedbin app — you can skip it because the mobile site is that good.
I can add articles to my Pocket account. I can also save the links to Safari Reading List. It integrates very well with Bear App. I can also open all items in “reader” mode on Safari. In short, it works well with my read, save, and write workflow.
There are other great readers — Feedly, for example. However, that costs just over $12 a month or $8 a month if billed annually. The free Feedly is somewhat limited and doesn’t come with the newsletter email subscription option.
I prefer Feedbin, which costs $5 a month, or $50 a year. I also like the way it looks. It is just devoid of any frills and epitomizes the marriage of form and function. The app creator Ben Ubois is explicit in saying that the “primary goal of Feedbin is to provide a great reading experience.”
I am looking forward to another great year of reading on Feedbin.
Bonus Link: How to read RSS in 2020. This is a great primer by Laura Kalbag.