FeedButler is a new service that is related to services like Digg and Reddit, except it has an interesting spin to it. The service gets its stories automatically from feeds, not by users. Users can add feeds and upload OPML files to contribute to the news being fed, but they cannot submit stories. Think of it as a public feed reader that allows users to promote stories much like you would in services like Digg. I find this very interesting and wonder how successful a service such as FeedButler could be knowing that the feeds are in control of what the new stories page shows. You promote stories, but do you like not being in control of whats being fed to the service? Personally, I like it and feel that it gives everyone a chance to get some exposure because stories are grabbed automatically. I’m very interested in seeing what others have to think about this as well.

With FeedButler, you get a constant stream of news fed automatically from feeds. You start off by going to the “New Stories” section where you will find the latest news from the feeds FeedButler is aggregating. You can also filter the stories by category by selecting a category from the right menu. When you view a story that you liked, click on the gray bedge on the left of the articles title to mark it. The more marks a story gets, the more likely it is to make it to the main page of FeedButler. Each story also has its own permanent page that shows other users of FeedButler that has marked it but does not allow for comments, which I think would be a great addition. Just a note about marking stories. When marking a badge in Firefox, it marks the story but does not update the badge to the gold color showing you marked it. It does work in other browsers though, but would be great if it worked in Firefox as well.

I also found FeedButler to be a great source of news because of the categories. The categories seem to be automatically created, depending on the stories that have been fed. Because of this, the service has a wide range of categories but provides a strong stream of stories in each. There is a category for Web 2.0 and the stories that appear in it are great and range from all different kinds of websites and blogs that I do not normally read. Even better, you can subscribe to any page on FeedButler, so I have subscribed to the categories I am interested in an now have a steady flow of stories appearing in my feed reader.

Friends is another great feature that FeedButler has. When you view your profile, you will see a section titled, Friends. You go into the add friends section, search for a friend, and click add. Next time you view the Friends section in your profile, you will see stories that all of your friends have marked with stars on them. This way you have a page that are only of stories that your friends liked. Also as you view the main page and new stories of FeedButler, the badges will show stars on them if any of your friends have marked them to make them easier to spot. I really like the Friends feature because it lets your narrow down on the stories that only your friends approve of making it a much more trusting source of news.

Overall, I think FeedButler is great. The news isn’t user-submitted but rather grabbed from feeds automatically giving you a wide range of stories to read. I also find it very interesting because any feed can be submitted. Meaning, you can submit your del.icio.us feed, Flickr feed, or whatever feed you can think of. There were a few things that I think it could improve on, but for the most part, I really liked it. I would like to see a button or link in user profiles that will let us easily add any member to our friends list. I also think that pages should display more stories then it does now. Currently, it shows 6 stories, but I think maybe 10 or so would be better. Lastly, I think it would be great to include user comments to the stories making it a more social service. Other then that, the service works great (besides the marking of badges in Firefox) and I have found it very enjoyable so far. I’d like to know what you think about FeedButler, being how stories are fed automatically and not by the users.

View FeedButler – Serving the News (via Library Clips).

Update (1/29): First, sorry for the mixup with the address to this post as some feed readers had picked up the wrong address pointing to an invalid page. Secondly, the creator of FeedButler has gotten back to me and has fixed the mark error in Firefox and has also increased the number of articles displayed on a page. Love it. Great work!

2 Comments on “FeedButler: Serving the News”

  1. Mary-Ann Horley says:

    I like Feedbutler because I’m finding that Digg has started filling up with rubbish people are pushing for their own reasons, not because it’s interesting. The front page is still good, but I want more than that. Newsvine has too much going on on it’s pages IMO.

  2. pankaj basliyal says:

    i need a inviation for mabbar..
    pls send me.