Nick mentioned Feedly in the comments of this Make Use Of article and the fact that it’s just a Firefox extension caught my eye. I checked it out immediately and I was pleasantly surprised. Feedly is like a browser start page – but it works from your local computer. It’s touted as a social and magazine-like start page and I must say it lives up to its name.
Once you install the Feedly Firefox extension from here and restart Firefox, you can load the Feedly start page by clicking on the Feedly icon on the toolbar.
What you’ll see is a neat page that asks you if you want to synchronize with your Google Reader, Twitter, FriendFeed and other web 2.0 accounts. If you ask Feedly to connect with Google Reader or Bloglines, it will then load a copy of your OPML file that contains a list of RSS feeds you read from there – you need not essentially subscribe to every one of them manually on Feedly. If you’ve got it integrated with Twitter, it lets you tweet about articles on your start page. Similarly, many other services can be integrated.
The cover page lists new and unread items from your subscribed blogs as you can see from the screenshot below. The page looks like a magazine cover. Fancy stuff to love.
There’s another tab called What’s New that lists items based on your reading patterns. Your Google Reader contacts and their recommendations are available from here too, and they rank higher on this page.
You can click on the tweet button near an article to share it with your Twitter followers (of course, you should have told Feedly about your Twitter account initially):
There’s a preview button you can click and the web page of that item opens in a page in popup, as you can see here:
To mark an item for reading later, click “˜Save for Later’. To share an item, click “˜Recommend’. You can also click on the “˜Annotate’ link to quote an item and share it on Google Reader, NewsGator online, etc.
There’s a search bar on top that lets you search and find articles from sites that you’ve favourited.
Oh and did I mention that by clicking on the screensaver link on the top right, you get a cool view of what’s new on your reading list. Articles appear and vanish one by one and you can click on the title to read/save it for later. Have a look:
Feedly is simply AWESOME. I tried it for about an hour, and it seems that I’ve fallen in love with the tool. It’s slick, fast and simply works out of the box, I found no niggles.
The fact that it integrates with many of my other accounts like Twitter, FriendFeed and more and being able to share items with my friends without being on Google Reader is making me love Feedly even more.
There’s a Feedly content API as well. What that means is that developers can easily build on top of the tool and make plenty of tools for the same (the cover page and the screensaver tool for Feedly exist due to the API). I’m waiting for something exciting from here.
What are your views? Did you try Feedly, or will you still stick to the traditional about:blank and Google Reader? Drop a comment and kick off a debate! ;)