Friday, March 15, 2013

Update on Blog Readers

Thank you for all of the advice on my plea for a new blog reader.  If you didn't see the post, check it out here - but most importantly - read the comments - there is a stream of great advice.

If you didn't read it or didn't hear - Google Reader is shutting down on July 1st.  Google Reader has been a fantastic way to read blogs as it checks for new content, allows you to quickly scroll through blogs, put blogs into folders (ex. I have folders for such things as challenge blogs, company blogs, friends and miscellaneous), tag things, save things, etc.  My time spent in Google Reader is some of the best time of my day - maybe even more than actually making my own cards!!

I got lots of great advice yesterday, I've done a lot of research and I've played with a lot of apps.  I've already narrowed it down to a worthy (maybe even more than worthy) replacement to Google Reader.

First - a quick "lesson".  Many of the other blog readers out there may not be called Google Reader, but they are based on Google Reader.  They are only a front-end - they do not have the functionality of tracking blogs.  I currently used Feeddler Pro on my iPad.  It is ONLY a front end - so unless they do some major modifications, it will cease to work on July 1.  Any or all of these might do the modifications but from what I read it is no small thing so some will fall by the wayside, some may try and not make July 1st, some may succeed.

Second - I do have to suggest that you might look at bloglovin.  I did not study it all because my first criterion is that it work on my desktop and on my iPad and right now, bloglovin is desktop and iPhone.  For that reason, I didn't test it at all, but it looks very attractive and might be worthy if you aren't tied to an iPad.

My choice - Feedly.

I am truly loving what I am seeing and actually sort of wishing that I had found it earlier.  It is VERY attractive (but also very different from what you are used to seeing on Google Reader.)

HOWEVER - it is currently only a front-end, but unlike many others, they have already been working on the back-end functionality and are calmly and confidently saying that they can do it.

I have been playing with Feedly on both iPad and desktop and will continue to play.  I have already found some issues with the iPad, although nothing huge - and I have found some things that are different enough from Google Reader that I need to point out.

Next week, I will post a little Feedly tutorial for card makers.

But if you prefer to play yourself, here's just a bit of Feedly info:

1. Feedly works on desktop, android, ios (iPad and iPod)

2. Right now, they all connect through Google Reader - so they are all synced.

3. If you get it now, connect to Google Reader and it will bring everything over.  Their blogs says "When Google Reader shuts down, feedly will seamlessly transition to the Normandy back end. So if you are a Google Reader user and using feedly, you are covered: the transition will be seamless."   Their new version is a Pro version and, although no one has said said it, "Pro" usually means a cost - at least in the app store.

4. It is somewhat slow right now with the massive influx of users.  (Can you imagine waking up one morning and realizing your app has shot to #1 and you're rich!!)  Their blog post today  talks about how many servers, etc. they are adding - so they are on top of the problem.

5. They are VERY actively collecting user requests.  See here.  One of the request is to add direct sharing to Pinterest - yeah!! - if we cardmakers jump on the bandwagon, we could add a lot of votes to that request.  Vote here.

6. Just remember - it looks different - don't get too freaked out by that because it does the same thing!

There is definitely more that I want to eventually point out.

  • I am collecting a list and WILL do a tutorial in a week or so. 
  • If you are playing with it on your own - I would LOVE to have your input as a comment and I will add it to the tutorial.
  • There are definitely some problems on the iPad and some areas that simply aren't intuitive - not huge things but enough to cause a bit of confusion.  I will include those in the tutorial and any workarounds.  The desktop version seems a little cleaner.
I'd love to keep hearing from you on this issue!!  Comment below!

Feeddler Pro users: I know I have Feeddler Pro users out there as you commented.  One thing that you HAVE to know - Feedly does NOT handle unread the same was as Feeddler Pro.  If you mark something as unread in Feeddler Pro, it stays unread until you make a conscious choice to tell it you have read it.  Feedly works like Google Reader - you can mark it "unread" but the next time you scroll by it, it is GONE.  Don't find out the hard way and lose your unread items!!  There is a little bookmark on top right of the page. Click it!!  It works like a star and saves your stuff!!


snappy scrappy said...

Great info...Happy Birthday!!!

Jenny said...

Hi Kim, I read your post yesterday and must confess I have never used Google Reader as I just use the feed on my logger dashboard!!! After seeing your post today I found Feedly in the App Store for my iPad and installed it..... It's brilliant, clearly I've been in the dinosaur blog age as this is such a cool way to keep up with blogs.
I'd love to see a tutorial from you about it, I think I've worked out the basics but as it's all new to me I could be missing some things!!!
Love your ipad tips and techniques...I have Chronicle after reading your page about organising challenges :0)
Thanks for keeping us all informed.
Jenny x

Geri said...

Happy, happy to you!

Hope you have a funtastic day!

:) Geri

Stacey Schafer said...

hope you had a fabulous birthday, Kim! thanks for this're right, feedly looks great! i'm going to check it out:)