I consider myself an average consumer of technology, so there are only a few moments in my life where I found myself truly wowed by the next new thing, moments when I realized that I was doing it all wrong, moments when technology answered questions that I didn’t even know I had. One of the most significant moments was looking down at the Nokia flip-phone in my hand after seeing Apple’s 2007 pro-mo for the first generation iPhone. And most recently, discovering Feedly.
I had to use Google Reader for a class in 2010, and I just didn’t get it. It felt like another email I had to check. When the class ended, so did my patience with Google Reader. But when, earlier this year, Google announced that they were quitting with Google Reader, I figured I ought to do something with the feeds that I already subscribed to, feeds that I wished I read more often. My husband mentioned Feedly, and said that all I had to do was click a button and everything would move over, I thought it was worth a shot.
The verdict: Switching over could not have been easier! and I love Feedly!! It is the answer to everything I disliked about Google Reader. I went from signing in to Google Reader every once in a while, to opening Feedly everyday. I never feel like I have to check Feedly; I feel like it’s always waiting for me. It’s there at my convenience, right beside my Google search bar. There are no more files and folders! Anything I’m interested in is clearly and invitingly displayed, all I need to do is scroll/browse through, like a magazine. I don’t have to stumble across new blogs and news feeds to find something new–I can search within Feedly and add & organize new feeds in a matter of nanoseconds. In fact, when I made the switch over to Feedly, I added at least 10 new blogs within minutes of loading the app to my phone. I love it when something works so well I don’t even have to think about it.
Feedly is really lovely in its design and function. The ratio of images to text is just right. It’s not busy, it’s not flashy, it’s just really clean and attractive. Everything I want to read is in one place. My news categories are organized in alphabetical order, so my cooking, writing, and window shopping blogs are side by side with my library, teaching, and healthcare-related blogs. Every time I open the app, I feel like I’m discovering something serendipitously (even though I know that I’m not; after all, I’m the one responsible for the content).
My favorite way to spend my lunch break is browsing through my Feedly either on my desktop or my iPhone. I love the yin-yang balance of seeing all my news feeds at once, yet in their respective categories. I’ll read something fun about finding great fried chicken in New York City, the next section will feature a story about a bookless public library in Texas, and the next section will feature world news from my NPR feed.
Feedly just made Feedly Pro available. It’s a $5.00 a month charge, and I’ll have to wait to see if I think it’s worth paying for. It will come with a handy search feature, which free Feedly lacks. Other features include one-click sync with Evernote and One-click Pocket, and premium customer support. The fact that Feedly wants users to start paying for a better platform makes me wonder if ads are on the way…in that case, I probably would pay $5.00/month to keep my Feedly looking the way I want it to.
There’s plenty of debate in the Tech World about the “death of the RSS feed. Some say that Google+ is Google’s answer to its own problem. Others argue that Twitter was always the answer, with news in real time. I can’t really provide insight to the on-going debate, all I know is that I find Feedly incredibly refreshing and I love that I have control over how I want to use it–something I feel is lacking in my social network life. I’d rather keep my news stories separated from friend’s new haircut update.
Feedly works for me. If you found something else to replace your Google Reader, we want to hear about it at Lister Hill. Leave us a comment!!