And the prize goes to… @Feedly!

I’ve been on a long search to find a replacement for Google Reader – which, coincidentally, was shut down on my last day as a banker. (Google Reader was one of the few “social” websites that wasn’t blocked at work, so I took it as the Universe being kind to me.)

I have tried several alternatives, including NewsBlurCommaFeed, Feedspot, digg reader, the Old Reader… but found each of them lacking in some way. I’ve finally settled on Feedly, mostly because:

  • It’s fast. Not necessarily fast in the sense that it pulls in feed updates quickly, but in the sense that it doesn’t lag when I toggle between feeds, which I do frequently as I have 500+ RSS subscriptions. 
  • It’s organized. One of my gripes with the old Google Reader was how slow/difficult it was to organize/re-org my feeds. Feedly has a virtually effortless organization UI (drag-and-drop between folders).  The index is super helpful in seeing all the feeds you’re subscribed to, especially if you’re a power reader.
  • It’s well layed-out. Feedly was the only RSS aggregator that gave the option of viewing the RSS posts as titles, “magazine”, cards, or full articles – all of which utilize screen space very well. I also like how the sidebar auto-hides when I’m reading a feed.
  • It incorporates discovery. Categorizing feeds in broader interest categories, Feedly can help suggest new feeds to follow.
  • It has a mobile app!

Some additional thoughts:

  • Would love to see how they can make this more social. One Google Reader feature that I really miss is the ability to add specific posts into a customized feed. Posts that I like would then be used to create a feed for others to follow my interests / what I’m reading.
  • A use/dis-use function, in which feeds that I rarely read or interact with could be suggested for unfollowing.
  • Twitter started grouping tweets that are in a conversation – I wonder if there is a way to group blog posts in that way. Would be cool to see how writers / columnists are responding to each other’s thoughts, but not sure if an RSS aggregator can do this, or even if it’s the place for that.

What’s your default way of getting / reading news?

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