Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Thing #69: RSS After Google Reader

Another month, another Thing. This time it's finding an alternative to Google Reader, or just plain finding an RSS feed "reader." (Anything in quotes is new terminology for me.) Once upon a time, I figured out how to add RSS feeds to my Internet Explorer browser window. But I have to go to a drop down list and pick just one source, which isn't so bad because I can skip the ones I'm not interested in at the time. But I keep hearing about the loss of Google Reader, and I'm getting to the point where I think I need to be a better consumer of news and current events. So, I'm ready. I'm ready for a reader. And I decided to try Feedly.

Why Feedly? Because:
  1. It was among the 10 in the Thing-recommended article 10 Google Reader Alternatives That Will Ease Your RSS Pain;
  2. In the comments to the aforementioned article, many individuals praised and lauded Feedly;
  3. The video tutorial was embedded right there in the Thing write-up.
What happened when I followed the link from Thing #69 to Feedly? Nothing! I'm an Internet Explorer user, out of habit, I guess. Since I have had issues with some websites before, and since it was suggested I try out Firefox, I gave it a whirl, and voila! There it is, Feedly.

Time to log in. What? I need to have a Google account? Is Google playing nice with Feedly? I'm so confused. I wasn't even trying to export Google Reader feeds to Feedly. Why must I use a Google account? Oh, well, it's not that important for me to know why, I just need to jump through the hoop to get to Feedly, and it's one less username and password I have to remember. That's fine with me. I didn't finish watching the tutorial, by the way. I was just curious if the host had to log in using Google and I stopped there.

Now, off to my blank slate. What to add? Off the top of my head: local and state news, New York Times bestsellers. A little bit later, I realized this Thing had come to my attention via the NCompass Blog feed on the main page of the NLC site, so I added NCompass Blog. These I searched for by name. The Omaha World-Herald had several entries, so I guessed and picked one with the most "subscribers."

Now, off to my drop down list. Hmm, what to move over... I decided to try Pew Internet. I went to the website, and then entered http://www.pewinternet.org/ in the search bar on Feedly. Oops. No feeds found. Oh... I need the feed URL, I bet. My bread crumbs: http://www.pewinternet.org/ --> I see SUBSCRIBE in the upper right of the main page, so http://www.pewinternet.org/Subscribe.aspx --> Next, I click on Subscribe by RSS and go to http://www.pewinternet.org/Subscribe-by-RSS.aspx --> I select Reports, and come to http://www.pewinternet.org/RssFeed.aspx?feed=reports. Now, I enter THIS in the search bar in Feedly. It worked!

Along the way, I created some categories of my own: Nebraska news, books, library. Enough to get me started.

Okay, now to the important part. Getting Feedly on my iPhone 4s. I search "Feedly" in iTunes and all that comes up are podcasts. I somehow remember that on the Feedly website, there was an icon and link to download Feedly to my iOS device. So, I go to the website and click on the link. It pops up right away in iTunes and I install it.

Next up, go to the app and log in. Yes, I do need to re-enter my Google username and password. When I then accept the terms, this pops up:

Multiple attempts yield the same result. Here's my emoticon in reaction to the unhappy cloud face :-/

I'm off to other things, other work, so will now wrap up this post. If I have time, I'll come back and post an update as to what happens next on the iPhone.

Back to Firefox. I'm pretty pleased with some of the features of browsing items. "Today" looks like it's organized by my subjects, and then oldest to newest entries. "All" and my subjects list the items, it looks like they are grouped by source and then most recent to oldest entries. I can change how I view the entries (layout) toward the top of the page. I prefer the second layout, with pictures to the left and a short blurb to the right. I'll try that for awhile.

Time will tell how often I use Feedly. If I make the effort to open the app (once it starts to work) or open up Firefox (only to use Feedly and a couple of other sites, most likely, unless I become a Firefox convert), and make it a habit, perhaps I will become a more well-read individual and more in tune with current events and subjects of interest to me. Perhaps I'll be inspired to blog more.


Michael Sauers said...

I've ended up moving to Feedly myself and haven't had the same troubles you have had. Lucky me I guess ;-)

Anj said...

I've had some of the same problems with Feedly you've had. It asks for my Google login every couple of weeks. And lately, just the last week or so, blocks of items items that I've marked as read show up as unread the next time I check the site. Things like that frustrate me a bit, but I still haven't seen another Google Reader replacement that I like better.

Christa Burns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christa Burns said...

Like you, Kathryn, I had slacked off on my RSS reading. For me it was when Bloglines died. I imported my feeds to Google Reader, but I never really liked it, so stopped keeping up. The impending demise of Google Reader made me look at RSS again, and for whatever reason, Feedly got me back into my RSS feeds. :) It looks like you had a not too difficult time getting into it - I hope you do come back and keep using it.

I've also had the same issue that Anj has. I just chalk it up to a new, possibly overwhelmed, service and keep scrolling till I get to more new content. I do like Feedly, so a few issues with it is better than being out of the loop, I figure.