Feedly Puts the Fun Back into Reading RSS Feeds

Other members of the Ignite Social Media team laugh when I rant about Google. “Great technology. Ugly user interface.” Google Reader is a great example of that, but now there’s a solution to get your RSS feeds served up with some design consideration and some added features. This is my review of Feedly, a Firefox plug-in that only works in Firefox 3.0.

Here’s a screenshot of my Google Reader list of social media marketing blogs. From it, we can conclude a few things:

  1. Mashable is a feed hog. Signal to noise ratio for me is out of whack; and
  2. It just looks like a chore to go through this feed reader, doesn’t it? No fun.

Google Reader (1000 )-2

Now let’s compare that with what Feedly does to the same list of feeds.

F | what's new?

They’ve basically wrapped a design around the feed list that looks very similar to the design of CNN.com.  They’ve got some featured content with images along the left hand side and a list of other articles down the middle.  Sources that are in your reader are along the right hand side, and you can easily click on to get articles just from that source.  When you do, it looks like this:

F | Ignite Social Media (p. 1)

Beyond the massive visual improvement, Feedly adds functional improvements that make it a better way to read your RSS feeds:

  • You can easily Tweet any article you find interesting. When you do, a box opens up with the title and the URL shrinks to a TinyURL automatically. Add a comment, or don’t, and hit a button and you’ve tweeted it.
  • You can recommend articles that you like, and Feedly serves content based in part on recommendations.
  • And you can easily email the article to a friend or coworker.
  • Apparently you can add an article to Del.icio.us easily too, but I’ve got to upgrade my Delicious plug-in apparently.

F | I Dare You to Get Healthy at Livestrong.com

Sound hard? It’s not. Set up takes about 30 seconds. Want it? Upgrade to Firefox 3, then install Feedly.  It’s not just Google Reader, either. Feedly works with MyYahoo, Bloglines, Netvibes, and more.  You’ll read more feeds, learn more and share more.

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