I’m guilty of cheating on Google Reader with Feedly. I can’t help it. Feedly is practically everything I could want in a feed reader (waiting on Google Chrome support and/or a Feedly Adobe Air app). From the team behind it to the application itself, Feedly is an amazing web-based RSS Reader! What separates it from other RSS readers on the desktop and the web is the peace of mind that Feedly provides when it comes to consuming content from the blogs I subscribe to.
Wait, did she just say peace of mind? Get real, right? I am! First, let me state that I love sharing stuff in Google Reader. Since I can’t blog a response to every article that I enjoyed or leave a comment on all of them, I can press Shift + S and share it. My Google Reader Shared Items is my way of saying thanks.
Lately, Google Reader has become more like a torture device. I’m not alone in this thinking either. It’s a never ending cycle of (1000+) unread items, after only 30 minutes of clicking “mark all as read”. Here’s the real problem: it’s not all about the numbers. While seeing 1000+ unread is a sure way for me to hit “mark all as read”, Google Reader is just plain boring for me to look at period. I don’t blame those who don’t care about RSS if they have to sit in Google Reader all day. Google’s simplicity just doesn’t cut it for me when it comes to constantly sifting through the diverse content that I subscribe to.
This view was great when first getting started, but became very boring to see everyday once my subscriptions started to pile up.
As my feed reading habits have evolved, Google Reader has taken away from my feed reading experience more than it serves to enhanced it. When it comes to features, Google Reader is lagging behind the competition tremendously. There’s no way for me to selectively share some of the content I’m reading to Twitter unless I use a greasemonkey script. Even with that script comes another problem: it doesn’t use Bit.ly as a link shortener and I want stats. See where I’m going with this?
Unlike traditional desktop and web-based clients, Feedly is packed with features for the most casual RSS readers to power users such as myself. I can twitter anything I’m reading or watching, share it to my Google Reader shared items, participate in any Friendfeed discussions that might be taking place, and get stats on the links I share. There are tons more features than the aforementioned that has made Feedly a one-stop feed-reader for me.
Now this is more like it! (Feedly Digest View)
Feedly has made me more enthusiastic about going through my feeds, or at least I don’t dread 1000+ unread items. In fact, I never seen anywhere near that number in Feedly. With Google Reader I felt forced to focus on the amount of content I was about to consume. Feedly takes a different approach by fitting the content I’m consuming, instead of forcing that content to fit the application. I’ve learned to use the various layout options that Feedly offers to digest my feeds more quickly and efficiently, while adding to my feed reading experience. In doing so, I don’t focus on unread counts or even the amount of subscriptions I have. Feedly keeps my focus on what I’m consuming.
It doesn’t hurt to have an awesome team behind you too. The team behind Feedly has represented a team that understands what a user should be able to do in a feed reader. Understand that it’s not just about the features people. It’s about the overall experience that these features create independently and when combined. Quite frankly, Feedly is just a lot better than what I’m seeing in Google Reader everyday. How has your feed reading experience been lately?
Note: If you’re wondering why I still use Google Reader from time to time, it’s because I’m able to process large unread items quicker with Google Reader since I’m used to its interface. Also, Feedly requires Firefox and I no longer use FF as my default browser.