Goodbye Google Reader. Hello Feedly!

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One of the weirdest things about living in Australia and using social media is that a lot of things happen while you are asleep.  There have been a few times that I have woken up to find that pretty big things in the world of publishing have happened while I’ve been happily dreaming away in the Land of Nod.  Examples of this include: whole sock-puppet thing, Random House and Penguin merging, and, most recently, Amazon buying Goodreads.

I’ve never been a particularly big fan of RSS feeds.  I hate the way that the text ends up looking and the formatting generally hurts my brain.  I always forget to go and check various feeds and half the time I was never able to work out how follow the sites that I really wanted to follow.  I’d tried a few different ways to use it, then had just decided that it wasn’t for me.

As you can imagine, when I woke up last week to hear about the end of Google Reader, I wasn’t exactly in tears over it.  I’d tried it (a couple of times) and it had never really worked for me.  Most of the blogs that I follow come through to me via email – either individually or clumped together using BlogLovin’ – and that has been working for me so far.

Then, amongst the tweet stream of people bemoaning the loss of Google Reader, came a few suggestions to try Feedly.  Having never heard of Feedly (and super afraid it would just be another Google Reader for me), I trotted on over to have a look.  And now, just a week later:

So, why do I love it so much?

  1. It is really, really easy to sign up to follow different sites.  Just type in their web address and hit follow.  Done.
  2. You can categorize your feed if you’d like.  For the first week I didn’t bother, but now that I’m checking it daily and adding more sites, I’ve decided that this is a good option.
  3. It is super easy to save posts for later.  This is giving me a great list of sites to tweet about.  Everyone wins!
  4. You can layout your feed however you’d like to to appear.  I’m really visual I so I like the ‘Magazine View’ which shows pictures, words and still leaves plenty of white space (and so is good for the eyes!)
  5. Once you’ve read something you can mark it as read and make it disappear.
  6. You can get it as an App. Yep, you can check Feedly on the run!
  7. I can clear out my email inbox -unsubscribing from getting lots of individual or clumped together blog updates, I can just go to one spot and see all the posts that I want (beautifully formatted and complete with pictures, just like going to the blog myself and in some cases, even better!)

Quite frankly, it takes a lot for me to be this smitten with a website and (in case you haven’t worked it out already) I totally recommend that you try it!  Start off by adding two of my favourite bloggers about self-publishing: The Creative Penn (www.thecreativepenn.com) and Catherine, Caffeinated  (www.catherineryanhoward.com)

I’d love to know what you think – have you got Feedly fever too?

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