The Death of Feed Readers

I recently realized that I haven’t looked at my feed reader of choice in weeks, except occasionally on my Iphone. I was a big feed reader user. I tried several over the years, including Google Reader, Feedly and Netnews Wire among others whose names I can’t re-call. Each of these programs have their own plus and minus, but the one thing that all of them lack is real time notification. Increasingly, I want information coming to me in as real time as possible. Feed readers are just not made to be truly real time.

So If I don’t use a feed reader how do I keep up with the news. I use a combination of Socialite and recently Seesmic Desktop 2 Preview. Socialite lets me follow both Twitter and Facebook, while I use Seesmic to follow Google Buzz, which was recently added with the release of the API. I have divided my Twitter following into lists based on my various interest, including technology, ecology, local news and cooking. I add people and companies based on their knowledge to the appropriate list. The reason i don’t use Seesmic to follow everything is I prefer the way Socialite is set up. Socialite places the lists on the left hand screen and the messages flow down the center. There is a indicator next to each list with the number of unread messages. I can go thru each list individually, when I am ready. If there is a link that I am interested in I can either click on it to open it immediately or I can send it to Instapaper to read later.

I have been using this method for about a month now and I really like it. I doubt I will go back to a feed reader full time anytime soon. Do you use social media applications to keep up with the news, If so what do you use and how do you use it.