Why Feedly is such a great Feed Reader #Feedly

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If you use Firefox (or derivatives) as a browser and Google Reader as a feed store; then I would highly recommend you consider using Feedly as feed reader.

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Why do I use it?  I use for the following reasons:

1. The UI

The magazine format really works for me.  Simple easy to read and easy to navigate. It comes in the following formats:

The cover page

As the above picture shows, a quick splash of images, headlines and latest news from each your feed categories.  Easy options to configure settings to show more or less, or how many days it should retrieve from etc.

The Digest

This is my browser home page….

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This provides a quick snap shot of which feeds to read, placing a couple of articles in a prominent position at the top, based on which feeds I’ve marked as favourites  The right hand column shows all feeds in their categories with the number of unread articles.  It shows hot topics on Twitter and the people you are following in Google reader, so you can quickly access their shared items.

Part way down is the video gallery, showing articles containing video media content.

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As in browser based reader, the images and rich media content are just so well crafted into the lay out of the reader; for instance video media content plays seamlessly inside the blog article surrounded by the author content as they intended it to be.

 Reading each Article

Here’s an article from Graham Chastney’s blog: Where’s the Whiteboard?

This is minimised/’digest’ view showing:

  • Title and first part of content of the article
  • Any image or rich media content in the article
  • The date published
  • Actions to share, star(save), mark as read/hide

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By clicking on the ‘title’ portion you get the full expanded article and Feedly also shows:

  • More info on published date and author
  • Actions to share, star(save), mark as read/hide
  • Action to tweet, email, share with a note, share on facebook, bookmark on del.icio.us, keep unread, use the calais overlay, preview the article in full as intended by the blog within Feedly or copy the link URL to the clipboard
  • Clear action bars at the top and bottom of the article to minimize it again
  • Access to comments posted against the article, to be views in line

 

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 Keyboard Controls

 Feedly has a good set of keyboard controls that I need to become more accustomed with. This make navigating through feeds and articles much easier.

2. Integration

This is something that impresses me every time I use Feedly.  Obliviously it integrates or builds upon Google Reader, so where you interact with articles or feeds in Feedly they automatically update back to Google Reader. Which is great for other readers which also use Google Reader as the feed source, I use Viigo as my mobile feed reader which integrates well with Google Reader too and supplies a good range of additional services.

Search Integration services

When using Feedly to view information or explore for more information on a topic this is where it comes in really handy.

This is search result returned for ‘comic relief‘ by Feedly.

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The search results come from:

Twitter, Amazon, YouTube, your feed sources, news sources, other web sources, del.icio.us and Flickr… how’s that for bringing multiple sources into a single pane on a browser!

This is how Feedly interacts with regular searches in Google, popping in relevant links from your feeds into the search page.

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Browser Integration – adding Feeds

Adding feeds into the reader is easy:- the ‘+f’ icon appears when a feed is available in the address bar.

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The Feedly Mini

The feedly mini is a great thing have available as you surf the web.

It will try to provide you, in real-time, interesting metadata related to that page and offer you in context a set of sharing tools to help you spread more easily the content you find interesting.”

 

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Here it is appearing on the bottom right-hand corner of the page while I browse the BBC Home page.

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Calais Integration

Calais is a Thomson Reuters initiative to bring semantics into web use.

Calais is a rapidly growing toolkit of capabilities that allow you to readily incorporate state-of-the-art semantic functionality within your blog, content management system, website or application.”

As you read an article with the calais overlay active you can easily find out more on key words or terms that are referenced through calais.  When you click on those links, again Feedly will display results from all relevant sources.

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Annotating Articles

The last thing I want to mention is annotating, not because it’s a poor feature, but it’s not one I’ve used much.

However, to do it, just select some text, right click and annotate.

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You can quickly find any articles you’ve annotated and re-visit as you need.

So that’s my round-up of why I think Feedly is a great feed reader, if you use Google reader and Firefox and aren’t using Feedly what your excuse/reason not to?

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  1. Posts on Feeds & RSS - is it really time to say good bye? « TACTICS

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