Good thing Feedly is here to help
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and many websites have one (including IT Babble). At any rate you can take the RSS feed and add to an RSS reader like Google Reader, and that way you have one place to read all the news, blogs, and information that interests you. There are a ton of readers out there you can even find a free one for your computer, but I find there are a couple of problems with them. One, they are not very appealing to look at. They are all pretty organized and easy to navigate, but not easy peruse the articles to decide what you would like to read or pass on. The second reason, if you miss a few days and then open it up it could look like this.
DEAR GOD! Who has time to read through 1200 articles? That’s right those numbers to the right of the folders is how many unread articles. Take a look at what the list looks like when you click on the folder list. What do I read or pass on? I wish I had a picture that goes on with these and I wish that some of those 1200 would be passed on since they are pretty old. I just don’t have time to view them all.
Well, there is a way to turn that image up there to this image down here. To this image down here. Thank you Feedly.
Feedly is on an online service that takes the RSS feeds in your Google Reader account and turns them into this nice and easy to view layout. If you don’t have a Google account, you will need to get one. It’s pretty easy, painless and having a Google account will also give you access to other great features like Google Docs.
The first thing you need to do is go to Feedly’s website and download the extension for your browser (Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari). The extension is free so go ahead and install it.
Once installed it will either add a an icon to your toolbar (Firexfox and Safari does this) or shows up as an App in Google Chrome. To access Feedly, all you have to do is click on that icon and it will take you to your Feedly account.
Once it is installed it will take you to your Feedly page and ask you to log in. If you have set up Google Reader it will automatically start pulling those feeds and making the front page for you. If you have categories, it will see that and you can navigate through those categories as well. It’s pretty great.
If you need to add feeds or delete them, well that is very easy as well. Many people don’t know this, but an RSS feed is a different address from the website address. This is not a problem with Feedly. All you need to do is click on the plus sign in the upper right hand corner. Can’t find it, check out the picture below.
This will bring up a new window (well it’s actually kind of a banner) at the top of the page. From here all you need to do is type in the website’s url and hit enter. For this example I typed in ESPN’s website (what? I like sports AND technology). As you can see Feedbly found different feeds for me to add.
To add one (or all) I just click on the plus sign next to the description. Once that is done a new window will pop up and ask me if I would like to add the feed to one of my current categories or make a new category for it. You can even leave that option blank and Feedly will just call it whatever the website is.
Organizing your Feeds
There will be times when you will want to organize your feeds (especially if you have a lot). Click on the Edit button in the very top right hand corner.
This will take you to the edit page where you can add, unsubscribe (delete) feeds from your Feedly page. As you can see there is a big space to add new feeds and you can clearly see my three categories and ESPN and a place to create a new category.
If I wanted to move say Rotten Tomatoes to my tech news category all I have to do is click and drag it. Pretty simple huh? Also if I wanted Movie news on top all I have to do is drag it in front of the tech news category.
On the far right hand side you will always see a panel that gives you navigation options. Pretty nice huh? Now I know there are other options out there like the mobile phone app Pulse (You can see what I wrote about that here), Net News Wire and others, but I like this one. It will sun across most browsers (sorry Internet Explorer people) and they have apps for your iPhone, Android phone and iPad. If you’re traveling and using a friends or trusted computer, go ahead and install the extension (it’s less than 1 mb people) and login. Guess what all your favorite feeds will pop up.
So if you’re like me and having trouble keeping up with all your RSS feeds, give Feedly a try. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.