In a Nutshell
Fever is a self-hosted feed reader with a unique approach. It’s easy to install and doesn’t need much maintenance. It’s not free but relatively inexpensive.
What it’s all about
It’s 2012 and the death of RSS has been claimed time and time again, but still, it’s everywhere. In case you weren’t aware, even your Facebook profile has its own RSS feed. And while over the years once blooming feedreaders have whithered and disappeared, there’s still a few thriving ones. The most prominent is probably Google’s Reader, a webbased offering which is free and has all the bells and whistles. Too many of those, some might say, especially after its redesign and close integration with Google’s social Network Google+.
Which leads me to Fever. Created by Shaun Inman, it’s a self-hosted feedreader, which fortunately features a rather uncomplicated installation process and a very prominent specialty: Fever, as the name implies, ranks stories from your feeds by hotness. How does that work? Well, if you’re a fervent feed-reader (ha!), you’ve probably got about a hundred and upwards feeds in your reader. Fever takes these, looks for multiple occurences of stories and ranks them accordingly.
This works like a charm and makes Fever a compelling web-based alternative to Google Reader. It is, admittedly, not as social as Google Reader, and tie-ins with other services are more of a manual than an automatic affair, but they still work.
Fever also sports a minimalist design that doesn’t get in your way. As another plus, it sports an interface optimized for mobile browsers, so you can enjoy your feeds on the go as well. I still wouldn’t mind dedicated mobile apps, simply because I like the added functionality apps usually provide.
If you’re not sure whether your server supports Fever, simply run the provided server compatibility suite to check. Once you’ve got Fever installed, it’s up to you to decide when and how your feeds are updated (e.g. via CRON jobs).
Unfortunately, Fever does have a price tag (although not a hefty one): You do need to feel comfortable parting with 30 of your hard-earned dollars. Which I think is quite a steal, considering that all updates to the reader come for free.