Mark has written about the new features introduced in Google Reader, the significance of them was the ability to share and comment on posts with your friends. But if you feel that the Google Reader interface lacks pizzazz, you should be using Feedly instead. I am in love with Google Reader’s social features (here is my shared feed) and Feedly makes it even better.
We have covered Feedly before here on MakeUseOf. Since then, it has improved and kept up with the new features introduced in Google Reader as well. Feedly works only with Firefox at present, but an experimental version for Safari is already out and support for Chrome is round the corner. Want to see what other users are saying? See the feedback from users on Twitter!
Organize with the Dashboard
You should use the Dashboard to organize your feeds to get the best experience. From the Dashboard, you can:
- Create and rename categories
- Drag and drop to move and organize feeds in categories
- Identify and delete feeds you haven’t read in a long time
- Mark your favorites so they come up on top in the different views
Note that categories in Feedly map to folders in Google Reader, so any changes in Feedly will be reflected back in Google Reader automatically.
Start with the Cover Page or Digest
The Cover and Digest views are the most popular start pages, both offering different layouts of the following:
- Featured articles from your favorite feeds at the top
- Selected list of unread articles from all feeds
- Your latest Twitter stream, Twitter mentions, and Karma (more below)
- A view of your Friends, Twitter trending topics, etc.
Categories with unread articles appear on the left navigation bar, which also contains in-built views like Latest, Friends, and Comments.
Read and Share Articles
When you read an article in Feedly, you can easily email it, and share it on several social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Delicious, etc. The experience is much smoother than sharing in Google Reader.
Feedly also shows you the number of times that article has been Tweeted, shared on FriendFeed, number of Diggs, and comments on the original post.
Discuss in the Comments View
If you follow a large number of people in Google Reader, viewing the shared items feed can get unwieldy. Feedly makes it simpler as you can mark your favorite friends so that their shares are featured prominently in Feedly. Using Feedly’s preferences, you can set favorite sources to be featured in the Cover and Digest views. Use the Friends view to read their shared articles, and use the Comments view to engage in the discussion surrounding them.
See Your Karma
This is the most unique and exciting feature I am sure you will love. How do you know who is reading the articles you share on Twitter? How many times do people click on the links in your Tweets? The Karma view attempts to provide this insight, which can be invaluable feedback towards learning more about your Twitter network.
Feedly Mini: Power at your Fingertips
Feedly Mini shows up at the bottom of your browser window when you’re browsing the web, even when you have not opened Feedly. It combines the power of multiple bookmarklets in your browser toolbar and doesn’t waste precious toolbar real estate.
As you can see in the above screenshot, using Feedly Mini, you can Email, Tweet, Share and Star in Google Reader/Feedly any article on the web, even if you are not subscribed to that page’s feed. It is incredibly powerful compared to the Google Reader bookmarklet.
Will you use Feedly instead of Google Reader to read your feeds? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
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