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I keep all of my RSS feeds in Google Reader/FeedDemon/Feedly but generally keep them closed most of the time to avoid distraction. However, I have a few important feeds that I need to keep track of.

Can anyone recommend a really tiny RSS reader/notifier for keeping track of just these important feeds. It is essential that it is able to alert me when new items are posted. I'm on Windows (XP, Vista and 7). Ideally it should be light; i.e., it shouldn't be a resource hog if possible.

I used to use an RSS-to-email service (can't remember the name now) which was absolutely ideal, but that went defunct. So, a free RSS-to-email service would be a good solution, if one exists. Update: it does now.

Failing that, can anyone share any strategies for managing this situation? Surely others must suffer the same sort of RSS overload and have need to keep track of a few essentials? Is there perhaps a feature, or add-on, I've missed in Google Reader/Feedly that can email me when certain feeds are updated?

Many thanks.

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closed as off-topic by Nifle, DavidPostill, Tetsujin, Kevin Panko, Raystafarian Apr 14 '15 at 17:55

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Out of curiosity, what do you use finally ? – Gnoupi Aug 10 '09 at 14:11
Feed Notifier or, increasingly, IFTTT. – Charles Roper Aug 8 '13 at 8:46
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Feed Notifier

I wrote an app specifically for this purpose, it's called Feed Notifier. It's a Windows application that resides in the system tray and displays pop-ups as new items are found in the feeds. Check it out.

Note: Feed Notifier is now open source on Github.

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Michael, that's awesome, thanks. – Charles Roper Feb 4 '10 at 13:16
Glad you saw my answer even though you asked several months ago. :) – FogleBird Feb 4 '10 at 18:24
+1 excellent app, thanks for it. I can't seem to add a gmail feed, though, any ideas why? Using, I get "the URL entered does not appear to be a valid RSS/Atom feed." Is it because I'm using a proxy? All other feeds I've tried work fine. Thanks. – Mark Sep 2 '10 at 18:25

UPDATE: Friendfeed shut down, this solution does not work anymore, obviously.

For the "RSS to mail", as well as the "Tiny notifier", I could propose making a Friendfeed account dedicated to this.

I explain. In Friendfeed you can add "imaginary friends", and associate to them the RSS feeds you want to follow. Then, all updates will be on your friendfeed page. This is not what you need, but i'm getting to it. You can also set friendfeed to redirect all updates to an email address, or use their notifier (which would make a little popup on the bottom right).

I thought of this solution because I had the same problem, I use netvibes for feeds of news, but I don't read all of them. But for some feeds, I want to have all updates, so I used this functionality from Friendfeed.

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Great strategy Gnoupi, I'll give this a try! – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 15:10
Argh! FriendFeed is blocked by our corporate OpenDNS. Foiled!! – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 15:11
Hang on, though, I could set it up at home and the emails should still get through. This could work after all. – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 15:12
Yes, you don't need to access Friendfeed at work, if you get it by mails, though I guess the notifier won't work. – Gnoupi Jul 29 '09 at 15:14

The checked the link and it is different from above. Google has their own reader notifier app that'll sit in your system tray and give you alerts. What's better is that you can configure it to only notify you of certain tagged feeds, so you don't have to duplicate the feeds in a separate program, just tag the ones you want in your existing lineup.

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That's not an official Google app either, it's just hosted on Google Code. It looks promising, though. I'll try it. – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 17:04
Here's the official homepage for this notifier: – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 17:05
Sadly, it doesn't work through an ISA proxy and hence doesn't work for me. Nice suggestion otherwise, though. – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 17:15
Hmm, any way to hack it to connect via SSL? That's how I get past things here at work. 8^D – Dillie-O Jul 29 '09 at 18:13

In my original question back in 2009(!) I said an RSS-to-email service would be ideal. Well, that service has come along and is, frankly, awesome. (If This, Then That) provides (among many, many other options) the facility to send an email when an RSS feed updates.

What's more, the email can be sent only when a certain keyword or phrase is found in the RSS feed ('release announcement' for example).

What's more is that updates to an RSS feed can trigger updates in many other web services, like creating an entry in Google Calendar, pushing the post to Pocket or sending you a SMS text. Check it out:

(That is just the RSS feed channel btw, have a look at the other channels too to see what's possible)

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You can use some Firefox plug-ins

Tiny Tiny RSS Notifier


Google Reader Notifier

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Thanks Krish, but it's kind of made not tiny by virtue of the fact that it is a Firefox extension. An interesting option, though, thanks! – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 14:58
And it doesn't seem to be compatible with FF3.5 – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 15:00
Tiny Tiny RSS Notifier is support Firefox: 1.5 – 3.0.* but google notifier support FF3.5 – joe Jul 29 '09 at 15:04
Yeah, unfortunately Google Notifier is no good because it notifies me of everything in Google Reader, which is exactly not what I want, plus there seem to be some seriously derogatory comments about it on the add-ons page, claiming it serves ads. – Charles Roper Jul 29 '09 at 17:01

I have two decent options for you.

I use the built in RSS client in Mozilla Thunderbird. It works nicely and is not a distraction like it can be in my second option below.

Sage is the second option. It is a plug-in for firefox.

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While I did not state this in my answer. I consider Thunderbird RSS a light solution because I am already running it all the time as my mail reader. – Axxmasterr Jul 29 '09 at 15:02

I use an RSS feed reader I wrote myself for tracking all my feeds. But, for my critical feeds, I actually use Outlook. If you weren't aware of this, and use outlook at work for email, it's a simple solution that will enable you to easily track and be notified of feeds. No extra software running, or other web service signup required - it works great, assuming you're like me and have your email open all day.

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