If you have been using it to curate your favorite blog feeds, it’s time to start thinking about replacing Google Reader. On July 1, 2013, the popular service will be shutting down for good. As you can imagine, new readers have been popping up all over the place and ones that have been around a while have been re-energized. I’ve done some research, as I use Google Reader to help me organize content to share on my social media networks. Of the sites that I have investigated, I’ve found a few that meet my needs. Though I am still in the “testing” phase, I’d like to share with you my two favorites so far. I think you’re going to like them.
What I like about this service is that it has two purposes. First, I can add blog feeds that I like to read. Second, I can add my own website, verify it and add a button to my sidebar making it easy for others to follow my feed. When I signed up for the service, it moved all of my Google Reader content over for me. Very helpful, as I have collected a lot of content there over the years.
Another useful feature is that I can organize my content into groups. This makes it easy to find the exact content I am looking for as I follow craft, business and social media blogs. Additionally, there is a Top Blogs tab that provides suggestions of other blogs I may want to follow. From what I can tell so far…it is suggesting feeds that are relevant for me. I like that.
What is missing for me, as best as I can tell so far, is that all I can do with these posts from inside my bloglovin’ feed is Like them. There’s a little heart icon for that. It also doesn’t appear that I can read an entire article from the home page either. I have to click it, which opens another tab. I can’t see any other articles in the reader, so it requires me to go back to the other tab where then I can read and/or share the content. I personally find that annoying.
It also does not appear to have a Most Recent or Today tab, which will pull all the newest content together. I have to click on each blog name and see if there is fresh content there, but as there are no article dates, I can’t tell if something was writing today, last week or last month.
I’m sure I am missing some features here, but this is just a quick overview. I think my favorite feature is, again, that it provides my readers a way to follow my blog easily…though that is not a game changer as someone can put my RSS feed URL into any reader.
Feedly seems to be set up similarly to Google Reader, so there is definitely going to be less discovery time. So far, this is my favorite. I can organize my content into categories. Love that. At the top, there is a Today tab, so that I can see fresh, new content for all my feeds in one place. The Saved for Later tab let’s me bookmark right inside of feedly. Then there is an Add Content tab that opens a little pop up that’s kind of cool. That window has a search bar where I can do a feeds search by URL, title or #topic. Under the search bar are a collage of images with topic titles on each. When I click on a box, it makes suggestions for that topic. Set a timer for that…as you can probably get lost down the rabbit hole quickly! lol
Feedly makes it very easy for me to read and share content. If I go to, for example, to the All tab, it will list the blog titles for all of the feeds I follow. If I hover over an article, icons appear. I can open the content in a new tab or share to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or add to BufferApp. (and I LOVE BufferApp). I don’t have to open a new tab though. If I just click on the post title, it will uncollapse showing me the entire article so that I can read it before I share (which is advisable, btw). Just want to note, when I open the article two more sharing options appear. I can share to Google+ or email in addition to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and BufferApp. The BEST part about reading an article this way? When I am done reading and sharing, I can click the X to close it or I can leave it open and just scroll down to the other post titles. I never leave that one page. Very efficient.
So, these are my suggestions. If you use Google Reader and have not replaced it yet…don’t wait too long. Remember…you have to move everything before July 1st. Good luck!
Are you using a feed reader? What are you using? Do you have any suggestions for my audience? I’d love it if you would share it in comments below. Thanks!