One great aspect of Twitter over RSS is that you’re always up to date on what’s hot. Personally, my RSS feeds tend to get neglected because it’s so time consuming to read through everything when I only care about 25% of the information I find.
Fever° is a self-hosted RSS solution for better management of your RSS feeds, helping you get to the hot topics and filter through your feeds to get to the important stuff. We’ll walk through the installation process and some of the great features of this outstanding RSS reader.
Fever° is a clever take on RSS feed reading, developed by Shaun Inman. Perhaps best described straight from Fever’s website, “Fever takes the temperature of your slice of the web and shows you what’s hot.”
I’ve always been wary of self-hosted RSS reader apps but this is one that’s competitive with other top readers. Aside from the great set of features and sexy interface design, the concept behind Fever is what really sets it apart.
Fever is priced like desktop software, at $30 per license, and you can’t try a demo before purchasing. This is a potential problem for some, but be sure to watch the video demo of Fever to get a good idea as to whether this is the reader for you.
I was hesitant myself to purchase Fever, even after the video demo, simply because there are already so many great free RSS readers available. However, I took the jump anyway and so far I’m very happy with it. $30 seems a little expensive for an RSS reader, especially a self-hosted one, but the price point didn’t bother me one bit after using it for a short time.
As noted before, Fever is a self-hosted RSS reader; as such, you’ll need to ensure your host is capable of running it. You’ll first head over to http://feedafever.com and sign up for an account.
An account is required to manage your licenses, download the software to check your host compatibility and install the Fever reader.
Once you’ve signed up and logged in, you’ll follow the directions in the Download column to check your server for compatibility. It’s a simple matter of downloading the files, uploading to your web host, change the fever directory permissions to 777 and navigating to the boot.php file.
You’ll have to setup a database on your host and enter its corresponding settings to complete the last step in the compatibility check. If you’re unsure how to do this on your host, contact your hosting provider.
Purchase, Activate and Install
Now that you know Fever works on your hosting provider, you can purchase and complete its setup. Click the “Feed it Fever!” link shown in the screenshot above, which will take you back to the Fever website and enter the Domain Name and Compatibility Confirmation details needed to complete the license purchase.
Once you complete the Paypal payment and checkout process, you’ll be given an activation key, accessible via your account on Fever’s website. Head back to your Fever installation and refresh the page to complete activation, entering your activation code.
Once activation is complete, you’ll just need to enter your email address and desired password to complete the installation. You’ll also be able to set your temperature preference at this point, though you can change this later via Fever’s settings panel.
Import Feeds & Install Feedlet
You’re now ready to get started using Fever! If you’ve been using another RSS reader, you can import an OPML file exported from the other app. Now would also be the time to install the Feedlet bookmarklet by dragging it into your browser’s bookmarks bar.
Once you click Continue Fever will process your OPML file and import your feeds and folders.
I won’t go through all the details and usage of Fever but I will skim over the basics. Once your feeds have been processed, you’ll be viewing your Hot feeds by default. As described by Fever, “Links from all your feeds are weighted by frequency and disposition of the linking feed, then ordered by temperature using the normal body temperature of 98.6° as a base“.
Viewing your Kindling feed category shows all of your “must-read” feeds, of which I clearly need to organize!
Viewing your Sparks feed category shows all of your non-essential feeds, which are also the feeds used to increase the temperature of links in the Hot view.
Fever will automatically update and refresh your feeds list, updating your Hot view and other feed categories. Fever is also built with drag & drop capabilities, enabling you to quickly move feeds into other categories.
Of course there are many other features such as search, display settings, update settings, etc. These days a feed reader wouldn’t be complete without a mobile counterpart, which Fever doesn’t leave out and includes a quite sexy interface.
When Fever is saved as an app on your iPhone it will display as frameless.
Fever° seems to be the app that will revive feed reading for me. I love it’s interface design, usability, iPhone optimized interface and overall concept of “Hot” feeds. I’ve been a long time user of Google Reader and haven’t quite found another web app enticing enough to permanently make the switch, until now.
For some people a self-hosted feed reader won’t really be an option, but I particularly like the fact that it’s self hosted because I have even greater control over it and who might be peering over my shoulder (ie. Google). Other’s might find the $30 price point, especially for an app you have to install yourself (not that it’s difficult), too high. After getting into the app, I can certainly say for myself that I am happy with the price point for what I get in return, though I can see that for many people a lower price point will be favorable. Overall, Fever° is a killer web-based feed reader that I’ll be recommending frequently.
I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions on Fever°, so leave us a comment below. Thanks!