Firefox and RSS feeds in Google Reader

Update: Google Reader will be closed down at July 2013 so this article is quite obsolete - read the newer article "Why RSS Feeds and alternatives to Google Reader".

However, here is the old story:

Lately I explained RSS feeds to someone and wondered why Firefox is not behaving the same way as on my machine when subscribing to RSS feeds. I did not remember what I exactly did on my machine to get it to work because it is so long ago that I created my profile for new that I first started searching the internet. Interestingly I could not get it to work so - back home - I investigated my own settings. Interestingly they do not match what I found on the net so I think it could be worth writing this article.

Preamble: Google Reader is an online RSS news reader that is also available for Android phones which is very fine when you (as I do) use your phone a lot to read news (for example while on the bus or waiting for it). What you read on your phone is synchronized with what you see when you are back on your laptop or PC. What I show here is how to get subscriptions with Firefox:

  1. Newer Firefox versions do not show the RSS feed symbol by default any more. - Right click next to your tabs or somewhere between your toolbars and choose "Customize...". Look for the "Subscribe..." button and drag it onto your toolbar (I have it next to the refresh and abort button).
  2. Type "about:config" into your url location bar and search for "feeds".
  3. Change "browser.feeds.handler" to "reader"
  4. Change "browser.feeds.handler.default" to "web"
  5. Change "browser.feeds.handlers.webservice" to "http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s"
  6. You might also need to change "browser.contentHandlers.auto.application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.feed" to "http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s"
  7. You might also need to change "browser.contentHandlers.types.0.title" to "Google"
  8. You might also need to change "browser.contentHandlers.types.0.type" to "application/vnd.mozilla.maybe.feed"
  9. You might also need to change "browser.contentHandlers.types.0.uri" to "http://fusion.google.com/add?feedurl=%s"
Now when you are on a site that offers RSS feeds the "Subscribe" button should be active (sometimes, when there are many different RSS feeds available on a site they are available through separate links on the site while the main RSS subscribe button is inactive so you might need to dig a little for the RSS  subscription link) - however in both cases you should get the option to put the RSS feed onto your iGoogle page or subscribe with Google Reader then.

Related post: Efficiently following web news with RSS, Why RSS Feeds and alternatives to Google Reader.

1 comment:

Martin Wildam said...

Sadly, Google is closing down Google Reader with the end of june. They say, usage was going down over the years. I really wonder about this because in our information age I really wonder how other people keep the overview without RSS. Maybe people are closing the doors to the information because they already get too much. Unfortunately reducing information intake to just a few major sites often brings you very biased information only.

I am still searching for the best alternative to Google Reader and I will let you know when I decided. If you want to search for alternatives yourself - there are already plenty of related articles out there.