Tuesday, March 19

Feedly: A Review in a Post Google Reader Blogosphere

If you use Google Reader, or if you read a blog at all (which you obviously do, hardy har), then chances are great that you already know about Google Reader's upcoming demise. Chances are also good that you, like most of us bloggers, freaked out a bit at this announcement and immediately started contemplating alternatives... 

My first thought was Bloglovin', which I have tried out in the past but was frankly never all that impressed with. Then I started seeing posts by fellow bloggers mentioning both Bloglovin' and a service called Feedly, a Google app. Of course I was curious (and not all that excited about Bloglovin') so I was pretty quick to check it out. And really, I have been surprisingly impressed with Feedly! Since Bloglovin' is clearly taking the lead as a Google Reader alternative, I thought I'd give Feedly some love and do a little review for all you wonderful bloggers and blog readers out there. :) 

Don't worry though, I'll be back with an overview and review for Bloglovin' later this week, and I have grown to appreciate Bloglovin' much more the more I've worked with it. 

Now, the first thing I did was download the Feedly app on my (Android) phone. And let me tell you, the widgets for this app are gorgeous!  I love the way it looks on my homescreens (unbelievably more beautiful than Google Reader's widgets). 

Look at that! So lovely. I'm all about the aesthetics, people. ;) 

Now on your computer, you need to install Feedly into your browser. It's super self-explanatory from the feedly website, I promise. Plus, Feedly fully integrates with your Google Reader settings. Any folders you had set up in Reader, all the sites you were subscribed to, all your "starred" posts -- all of that will transfer into Feedly. Not bad, eh? You simply sign in using your google info. Again, it's self-explanatory. 

**Click the photo to enlarge**
The Feedly "homepage" looks like this. There are different personalization options as well, which of course I appreciate... The aesthetics! You can change the theme colors (similar to gmail settings), and the layout of your feeds has a number of options. This is the "magazine" layout. 

You can see along the sidebar that you can organize your feeds into folders (DIY, Eats, Lifestyle), which makes flipping through categories simple. Another neat feature is the ability to "tag" read posts! My list of tags is underneath the category folders (To Feature, Craft Idea, Recipe, etc.). I'm loving being able to label my saved posts. So easy to reference later! The little green heart with the numbers at the bottom of each post description shows you how many people have "saved" that post. Pretty neat, eh?

**Click the photo to enlarge**
When you click on a post in your home page, it "opens up" as shown above. I like the sleekness of it, and that it doesn't just look like a blog post turned to plain text somehow. 

By clicking the "preview" button to the above right of the post title, you will open a pop up of the actual blog page that is still within your reader window, like this:

**Click the photo to enlarge**
This is something I really appreciate, because as a blogger, I know how much effort we put into our blog layout. So much of that goes unnoticed in feed readers, and I really enjoy looking at others' blog designs! :) Plus, I think it's nice to look at a post just as the author intended, in the context of their overall design scheme. Plus, this lets you comment on a post without really leaving your reader! 

I'm not saying that Feedly is perfect, but I am saying that I think it's awesome, ha! I'm really loving it, and wanted to recommend it to everyone quickly jumping ship to Bloglovin' (which certainly has good points of its own). 

In a sense, I'm not that sad about Google Reader biting the dust anymore. It's been a great opportunity to weed out my numerous subscriptions, reorganize, and try out new reader options! As a blogger, I highly recommend that other bloggers check out as many reader avenues as possible, to understand how your readers are viewing your content. I actually "subscribe" to my own blog on different services so I can make sure my posts are showing up okay and working in different platforms! 

Well, how do you think Feedly looks? Have you tried it out yourself, or will you? 

I look forward to your thoughts! And please, if you follow me on Google Reader, consider switching your subscription to another service soon! :) I've included easy follow buttons at the bottom of this post, as well as on my blog sidebar! Thanks in advance! 

P.S. - I'm still looking to fill out my sidebar with lovely craft & lifestyle blogs similar to my own. If you'd like me to add your button, shoot me an email at monmakesthings[AT]gmail[DOT]com or leave a comment! :)

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  1. I like the style of feedly too. But on my phone there's no icon when a new feed is there. So I need to open the app to check that. That's something I don't like. But as soon as they fix this I'm back on Feedly again.


    1. Oh interesting, do you have an iPhone? That would be a bummer. :( Hopefully they fix it soon!!



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