Why I Jumped to Feedly As My Reader Alternative

I’ve long touted the wonderfulness of Google Reader. While it wasn’t a service that was perfect, it did what it did very well: it pulled content from web sites and plunked them down into a list for me to see. From there, it was only one click to send article to my Pocket, where I could read them whenever I wanted.

I loved Google Reader and used it for the past 5+ years. So you can imagine my disdain when I learned that they were shutting down the service.

I’ve never really “bought into” any other RSS alternatives. There’s always some kind of problem that prevents me from liking it. Flipboard almost won out due to its great interface, but I couldn’t mark stuff as “read”, and I didn’t care for its organizational features (or lack thereof). Pulse was another great option, but it had the same problems.

So I finally crumbled and moved everything over to Feedly. Feedly certainly isn’t perfect (adding a feed can sometimes not work properly), but it did have some key features that are causing it to grow on me:

  • I can look at all my updated feeds at once and clear them out with “Mark All as Read”. This is my #1 feature. I need to be able to do this. It keeps my feed reader clean, and then I only focus on what’s new. It keeps me efficient.
  • My favorite Reader plugins are built right into Feedly. I can click a button on any site and add it to Feedly (when that button works). I can add any article to pocket with a couple clicks on the web version and one long-press on the mobile app. I can read an article within its site with one click of the “Preview” button. These are all killer features that keep me comfortable with Feedly.
  • The interface is really nice. Seems like a banal statement to make, but I don’t need or want a complicated interface for browsing my content. And actually, Feedly gives me plenty of options so that I can browse how I want to browse.

So yeah, Feedly is definitely winning out. I’ll miss Reader, but at least we have a service that is going to be updated occasionally by a company committed to keeping RSS alive.

Don’t really know what RSS is? Prefer to get all your content from Twitter or Facebook? This article explains why you really ought to use RSS instead, and what keeps Twitter and Facebook from being “real” replacements.

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