RSS feeds have been around since Netscape was still a thing -- nearly 14 years since its official release candidate -- and they've managed to retain their relevance as the web has grown exponentially. The objective of an RSS feed is simply to pool articles from multiple desirable sources in one place, reducing the amount of websites you'd need to individually visit in favor of one content aggregator; the source for an individual feed can be a certain author, making it easy to stalk them across the web, a website, a forum, or even a photo gallery. The use of RSS as a framework itself has largely become irrelevant as web applications have become more intelligent in their interpretation of content, but feed reading and content aggregation is as alive as ever.
Until recently, Google Reader has made up a large portion of the userbase for feed aggregation, but the company announced just yesterday that they'd be shutting down the service officially on July 1st, 2013. The shutdown means many users are looking for web-based and desktop RSS alternatives to Google Reader -- this article showcases a few of those.
We'll start with two of the rising stars in the web space, then move to a simple desktop reader.