In a large company, employees are often distracted by browsing the Web. At the same time, the abundance of tech news, educational articles, and trend reports do aid in advancing the knowledge of an organization.
Now that Google Reader is being shuttered come July 1, you might be looking for an alternative Really Simply Syndication (RSS) reader. These high-tech offerings are geared to busy employees who need to visit one site, catch up on the news and get back to work. In other words, they simplify news reading.
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1. Feedly: Easy transition from Google Reader
One of the best news readers available, this brilliantly designed portal takes the technical RSS feeds of other sites and curates them into a home page. The top stories at the top provide a quick glance into the trending news of the day. Employees can select a general category such as Business and see the feeds from sites such as GigaOm and VentureBeat. Or you can import existing RSS feeds from Google Reader. In fact, the site now lets you log in with a Google account and immediately see existing feeds.
2. Zite: Laser-like focus on employee expertise
Zite's main advantage is that it breaks the news into smaller bits. There are 40,000 categories. Select the topics you like the most and sync Zite with social networking services such as Facebook and Twitter. For example, if an employee is based in Minnesota and tends to follow businesses located in that state, Zite will cull stories for that preference. The app only runs on the iOS, Android and Windows Phone 7 operating systems.
Related: CNN Acquires iPad News App Zite
3. Skimr: Save on employee browsing time
Less is more with this news reader. Skimr removes all the complexity in "reading the Web" by truncating stories into simple one-paragraph boxes arrayed down the screen. The default view includes stories from popular sites such as TechCrunch and The New York Times, but you can also add custom domains. Unlike most readers, the simple design works equally well in a browser as on an iPad or smartphone. In addition, it's free. Finally, there are no unread article counters, so employees can focus on the top stories of the day with no distractions.
4. Fever: Run on your own Web server
One of the most interesting RSS readers in our lineup, Fever has the strongest feature set. While you pay $30 per license to access Fever, and while it still runs on the Web, you install it on your own Web server using PHP and MySQL. The reader then splits feeds into essential and non-essential. You can pick RSS feeds employees can't miss-say, database news or tech trend sites-that feed into hot lists. Conversely, low-priority feeds appear less often.