Sunday, July 7, 2013

Goodbye Google Reader.....sniffle, sniffle (not really)

You know the old saying "You didn't know what you had until it was gone?"  Well, in the case of Google Reader it's more like "I didn't know what I was missing!"

When I found out Google Reader was being discontinued this month I think I had the same knee jerk reaction that everyone else did and I freaked out a little.  I read all the articles, signed all the petitions, and started to plan for the end of the world.  In retrospect, I realize I was more afraid of change than I was of losing my dear Google Reader.

To be honest, I never used Google Reader on my computer, only on my phone.  I never liked the layout on the computer and actually found it a little confusing and not very friendly.  The only reason I used it on my phone was because I thought it was the easiest option out there.

So when I realized a few weeks ago that the end was near I went in search of other options.  For those of you who are less tech savvy (like me), a reader is simply a way for you to get updates of your favorite blogs all in one place.  It seems that with the demise of Google Reader there are two front runners emerging, Feedly and Bloglovin.

I have been using both of them for two weeks now.  I have been trying them out on both my computer and my phone.  Please note that I am basing my thoughts about these sites solely on a layman's perspective.  I can't tell you about fancy tech things and if they are compatible with this or that, I am simply judging them on if I think they are user friendly and beneficial.

1.  Ease of switching from Google Reader

When I first started looking into switching all of my blogs from Google Reader to these new formats I found all kinds of directions for importing, exporting, and locating databases.  I should have just ignored it.  When I went to each site and tried to sign up it was easy as pie.  Bloglovin took a bit longer but each site had me up and running with just a few clicks.  

2.  Computer based layout

Like I said, I was never really a fan of using my computer for my reader because I didn't find it very user friendly.  Well let me tell you, I have a new best friend and it is Feedly.  Bloglovin and Feedly both have a clean, easy to use interface but I just enjoy the look and ease of Feedly more.  Bloglovin only has one way to view  you blogs while Feedly offers five viewing formats.  They even have one that looks just like Pinterest!  I think that a reader is only useful if you can find a format that is compatible with how you like to read and Feedly offers that while Bloglovin does not.  

3.  Mobile layout

Again, Feedly was the winner.  There are 4 mobile viewing formats with Feedly as opposed to 1 with Bloglovin.  I think that Feedly is more user friendly on the phone and it is more intuitive than Bloglovin.  Also, I have two big beefs with the mobile version of Bloglovin.  It seems like it takes forever to load my blogs and it does this weird thing where it grays some of them out.    I think it's telling me I have already read the post but instead it looks like the program is still in the process of doing something.  It's confusing.   Even as I am writing this I am having trouble testing some of the features on Bloglovin because it takes so darn long to load!

4.  The little stuff

Feedly has lots of fun little things you can do to change the look and feel of your reader.  Color changes, transitions, and how each post looks are just a few of the options.  So far, I cannot find any of these fun little quirks on Bloglovin.  

So I have decided to go with Feedly.  It just works better for me and you might like it too, but I urge you to get both Feedly and Bloglovin (they are both free) and see which you enjoy more.  I have posted a button to follow each one on the right side of my blog.  The nice thing is that both Feedly and Bloglovin have ways to find new and interesting blogs to explore.    You can never have to many blogs to read, right? 




2 comments:

  1. erin - thanks for this post. one question (i think just one :) ) will Feedly transfer our blogs we read now into it? or do we have to do it? (that's 2, sorry ) thank you! have a great, and awesome, and wonderful, and spectacular week - cause you deserve to do that!

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  2. Alice, when I set up Feedly, it didn't even ask me to set up an account. It was three clicks and done! I think that's because you have to give it permission to access your reader and it transfers all your account and blog info at once. When I opened it up all my blogs were there just as I had left them on Google. The one complaint I hear about both Bloglovin and Feedly is that if you have your blogs categorized in folders on google the folders don't transfer so you have to redo it on the new reader. Didn't seem like a big deal to me.

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