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Ask HN: Review my app – Sbscribe, a social RSS feed reader (Google Reader alt)
38 points by OliverJAsh on July 8, 2013 | hide | past | web | favorite | 13 comments
Hi everyone,

The people who use RSS today are power users. By the general user, Twitter is used as a replacement service for RSS by allowing people to follow websites. Twitter was not designed for this.

Briefly: Sbscribe is as easy to use as Twitter, but powered by RSS and tailored for discovering and sharing content in one interface.


For all the content you currently discover and monitor using bookmarks, RSS feed readers like Google Reader, and social networks such as Twitter — Sbscribe offers the same experience, in one place.

This is an idea I had three years ago when I realised the value of socially curated news through platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. At the same time, I noticed my non-technical friends were 'following' websites on Twitter. Sbscribe really aims to separate these two concerns — you follow people, and subscribe to websites. It has been in development since January.

I'm planning on launching a private alpha of Sbscribe in August some time (shortly followed by a public beta in October), and I've got a slew of ideas for how I can improve the "subscription graph", as well as plans for a mobile web app. I've gotten to a point where I would really appreciate some feedback on improving the concept and UI. It's also a good time to spread the message with the recent shutdown of Google Reader.

FYI: The service is backed by Node.js, MongoDB, and Redis, and on the front-end I am using Backbone.js and Marionette.js. It would also be great to talk with other developers familiar with this stack.


Looks great!

A couple things:

- Instead of saying "subscribed" and "following" say "unsubscribe" and "unfollow" and change the colors (Twitter does it this way). That way I know what that button is going to do when I click on it.

- The top bar seems unnecessary except for search. If your avatar/username are linked to your profile, all of the buttons would be duplicates. Not saying that will work in the long run or be totally discoverable, but I think it could help. You could move the search box to the left hand pane or something if you got rid of the bar.

Thanks. I'll take both of those into account :-)

Looks great! I think you've found the right balance between RSS readers and Twitter.

Just for clarity, Sbscribe is a self-contained social network? One follows someone else's Sbscribe profile, not their Twitter profile?

Thank you! And yes, that's right.

Any plans for adding tags for items which a user favorites, or could you talk a little about how the favorites work? Can I share my favorites? Are they public/private?

Wonderful! I was looking for such a Google Reader alternative. Looks great too!

I'm interested. Sign me up for the Alpha/Beta/whatever!

Bet you bootstraped all the design. Looks fantastic. Is it 2.3.2?

I didn't use Bootstrap, but I quite clearly took a lot of inspiration from Twitter.

Wow. Why that? You could build around Bootstrap anyways without any harm. I got tired of doing a new framework each time I start a project.

wow, this looks amazing! If you need any more beta testers, I'd be glad to join in.

Looks very cool. Great design


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