Monday, April 15, 2013

Alternative to Google Reader

I'm switching gears with this post from fibers to reader apps!  As you've probably heard, Google Reader will cease to exist on July 1, 2013.  This was not welcome news to me as that's how I organize and read all of the blogs I follow!  And since I have 512 (as of today) readers who access ArtThreads through Google Reader, I imagine a lot of you are also wondering what to do with your blog lists.  I've been trying out several over the past week and have decided to start using feedly.

Feedly works very much like Google Reader - only a little better, in my opinion.  There is a list of unread blog entries you can click on and get caught up.  That's what I was looking for!  And there are some top feeds of the day they think you may be interested in - sometimes yes, sometimes not so much, but they're easy to ignore.  The only complaint I have is that if you read my post in the feeder instead of clicking to go to the actual site, the photos don't line up right and the print is pretty small.  But I have a feeling that happens with quite most feeders - so if you want to see what I really put together, click through to Artthreads!

One of the top features that makes it easy to recommend feedly to all my Google Reader followers is how extremely easy it is to begin using it.  If you sign up before July 1, you will have a seamless transition - you won't have to re-enter all of the blogs you follow by hand.  I'll walk you through to show how easy this is:

1.  I went to and this is what I saw.

2.  I clicked on Connect to Google Reader and a box came up asking if I wanted to download the Firefox App.  This is also available for iOS, Android, Chrome, and Safari.  I clicked yes and my Google account information came up.  I clicked on it and the screen asked me if I wanted to allow access to my Google Reader.  I clicked Allow access.

3.  I clicked Install and then, as prompted (sorry - I didn't get screen shots of those two pages), restarted Firefox and voila!  I had a reader page up!

4.  I had three blogs that had new posts since I last looked at Google Reader this morning - they're listed in the upper right corner under "In My Feedly."  You just click on one to bring it up.  To read it, click on the entry and to skip it click the really giant check mark.  Clicking the check mark then takes you to the next new blog post in your feed.

5.  Okay - I'm going to return to the main page I first got.  It's tiny, but if you notice in the left hand column, under All it has the number 3.  WHATT!!!????  I have a lot more than three blogs, what happened to them?!  No need to panic - it only lists the number of unread blog feeds you currently have.

6.  Click on the little lines next to All and you get all your blogs.  Makes sense!

7.  Now notice those icons in the upper right hand corner on the above screen shot?  Those give you the choice of how you want your feed to look.  You can have it all in script like above, you can have a photo, the title, and a few lines like this,

8. You can have the same thing arranged a little differently - they call them "cards,"

9.  Or you can have large previews.

10.  When you click on the blog title, it opens up the entire post for you to read and also gives you a little bar at the top with icons to click for sharing to some popular social media sites.  Clicking on the blog title again opens up a new window to the actual blog website.

There's probably a lot I'm missing that one can do to play with this - I'm just happy to have solved my blog feed problem!  If you want to read more on making the transition, the feedly blog is here.  They've been adding apps for different browsers and platforms, so be sure to look at the newer posts to see what's now available.  And if you read all the comments at the bottom of the page I linked to, don't worry.  A lot of people are confused about what will happen when Google Reader goes away.  The short answer is, you'll log onto feedly that morning and will read your feeds just like usual!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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