Welcome to July! This is a GREAT month in Northeast Ohio. The weather is finally getting good (and by good I mean: it’s warm enough to set up the kiddie pool in the backyard), we get to celebrate Canada Day (or at least *I* do – Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends!), and, of course, there’s the 4th of July!
It’s also the month that millions of people around the world
get to have to choose a new RSS reader. Actually, you probably should have selected one already. Google announced that Google Reader was shutting down back in March, but many people, me included, have chosen to ignore this until just about the very last second. i.e. Last night.
What can I say? I was a fan. Simple interface, a great way to manage my Google alerts… and free. Free is always good. It’s also my favorite because of the simple way it allowed me to keep track of nearly everything I cared about (both personal and business) in one convenient place. The announcement that it was going away and I’d have to find something else nearly broke my heart.
But change I must and so here I am, embarking on a new relationship with my Google Reader alternative: Feedly.
According to CBC.ca (hey, another shout-out to my Canadian peeps!), Feedly
Tripled its user base to 12 million between Google’s announcement and the end of May, and has been listed by a number of technology sites and media outlets as one of the best Google Reader alternatives.
I personally chose Feedly for a lot of reasons. Okay, I chose it for one reason. It allowed me to import my Google Reader feeds seamlessly and with next to no effort. But, I’m keeping it because, so far anyways, I really like the interface and some of the features.
1. Google Alerts
OK, so they aren’t really Google Alerts, but same idea.
Just enter the URL, title or #topic that you’re interested in keeping tabs on, and voila, Feedly pulls in anything they find.
Why you should care: If you’ve never used a Google Alert before, you’ve been missing out. They’re an easy way to keep tabs on what’s being posted about your brand (or your competitors’ brands) online, all conveniently pulled into one location so that you can view it at your convenience.
2. Feed Organization
I’m sure that probably every RSS reader offers some kind of organization, but I really like the drag and drop style of this. I’m still making myself at home here, but I can easily separate the feeds I have for work and for personal.
Why you should care: Let’s be honest – the amount of “noise” that can happen when you start using a feed reader, as opposed to visiting a blog at it’s actual URL, can become deafening, taking your reader from something that is helpful to something that is out of control very, very quickly. If you take the time upfront to organize your feeds into categories that are meaningful to you, it becomes very easy to find what you really want to stay on top of quickly. (And, it makes lunch breaks efficient too… You won’t have to wade through the work related stuff to get to your favorite food blog!)
3. Starred Items are Safe! (or at least they were when I imported… If you waited, you may be too late)
I used Google Reader like I used to use bookmarks way back when. And I was afraid that all would be lost! It’s probably not a unique feature to Feedly either but I was THRILLED when I realized that all of my starred items would carry over!
(So, I kind of like to save a lot of recipes that I’ll probably never make…)
Why you should care: If you’ve been using Google Reader basically as your bookmarking service, you’ve probably saved a lot of tips, tricks and other good industry information (or, you know, recipes). You might not access it often, but it’s just nice to know that it’s there and that you can find it again easily. And, if you’re a blogger yourself, you hope that people may have been hanging onto your posts. With Feedly, they’ll still have them!
What else do you like about Feedly or your other new RSS reader? How do you use it for business? Tell me in the comments!