Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WotW: Feed me... a fairy tale... about feed readers?!?

It's Feed Me month here on Wednesdays on the Web! You can read last week's introduction to RSS and Feedburner here. Today we continue talking about web feeds with a modern web fairy tale...

Goldilu and the Three Feed Readers

Once upon a time, there was a blogger named Goldilu. In her blogging, she spent lots of time following other bloggers and being inspired by their creativity and wit and enlivened by their vivacious personalities.
One day as she wandered in the blogosphere, skipping gaily from blog to blog, she thought, "There has to be a better way! I can't spend all of my day checking each blog I follow to see if there is something new. Visiting each blog takes my whole day, and I have other things I need to get done! I just can't live without my blogs though... What ever shall I do?"

It was then that Goldilu discovered a feed reader (sometimes called a blog reader or feed aggregator). A feed reader is a program that pulls all the updates from chosen blog feeds to the same place. Now that Goldilu had discovered feed reader-ing, she could see all of the new material from all of her favorite blogs, all in one place! It was the perfect solution -- and many feed readers are FREE!

But which feed reader to choose?
As Goldilu wandered the menacing forest of feed readers, she was overwhelmed. "So many feed readers! So many options... How will I ever decide?" 

A known fan of all things Google, Goldilu decided first to try Google Reader. And she liked it -- all of her blog updates in one place! She could put her feed subscriptions in groups like crafts and news, star important posts, and share posts with her friends. It was easy to subscribe to a new feed when she found a blog and fell in love (which happened often). It integrated perfectly and automatically (no extra sign-ins!) with her other Google lovers online services, like iGoogle and Gmail.

But Goldilu was kind of a blogho -- she liked to spread the bloglove around and so she followed lots and lots of different blogs. "This feed reader is too basic." she thought, "Even though good ol' GR isn't complaining and is still performing admirably... maybe there is another feed reader out there that will be better for all of these blog subscriptions and have more bells and whistles."

As she searched for another feed reader, Goldilu discovered something amazing:  some feed readers were online and web-based, and other feed readers were desktop feed readers, programs she could download right to her computer! "Those sound fun!" she exclaimed. "And possibly just what I'm looking for!"

Goldilu decided to try out FeedDemon: "That sounds powerful..."

So she downloaded and installed the program. FeedDemon pulled all of her subscriptions from her Google Reader -- just like that! "Practically magic!" she thought. And she liked FeedDemon just like she had liked Google Reader -- she could still group, star, and share her posts, and she could even save all of her favorite tutorials right from FeedDemon to her delicious account -- Google Reader didn't do that.

With FeedDemon right on her desktop, Goldilu could read her blogs without opening her web browser and risking distraction by those other online temptations, like email and YouTube. And FeedDemon had the bells and whistles -- but it still wasn't quite was Goldilu was searching for.

"This feed reader is too plain!" she cried. Both Google Reader and FeedDemon were wonderfully functional, but oh-so plain-looking. "I like that they are so easy to use," thought Goldilu, "but if only my feed reader looked snazzier. I love functionality, but if I can have snazz and functionality... that's what I want. I want to have my feeds and like looking at them, too."

So off she went on her search for the perfect blend of snazz and functionality. And after many days, her search was rewarded! She discovered feedly {insert angelic choir here}, the answer to everything she'd been looking for in a feed reader, and more!

feedly was functional -- integrated with Goldilu's Google Reader subscriptions and delivering new updates quickly -- AND snazzy -- the "magazine-like start page" was just what she had been dreaming of!

And feedly made Goldilu happy beyond her wildest dreams -- not only functional and snazzy, feedly was easily integrated with her browser (Firefox) and her delicious bookmarks. And she could note certain blogs as must-reads to be sure that she always saw and made time to read the posts from her favorite sources, a must-have for those days when she only had the bare-minimum time to catch up on blogs.

A match made in heaven, Prince feedly Charming and Goldilu lived happily ever after...


Aww, wasn't that a sweet story? Have you met your feed reader Prince Charming?

If you're still looking for your feed reader happily-ever-after, you might try one of the readers in Goldilu's adventure or one of these also-free readers:

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of one squirmy boy and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.


Tammy said...

I love your story...if only I had time to read in a reader...maybe I will have to try this to see if it would help. :)

Tricia said...

Great job Lu. Thanks for doing all of my homework for me.

nottwins said...

Wow, I thought Google Reader was pretty cool, but now I'll have to check out this feedly thing!

Brandy@YDK said...

hahhaha. this is so clever and informative.

Vodka Logic said...

sounds complicated.. I loved your added art work.. great.

opit said...

My once favourite - while it lasted - Pageflakes is gone. So is the old standby Bloglines. Oct 1 pulled the plug on support with 3 weeks prior notice.

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Sadly, I still don't understand. That's how tech-illiterate I am. But I love the post . . . as always!

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Great post, Lorene! Amazing story and pics! I'm definitely checking out feedly. Thanks!

Julia said...

i tried using google reader, but i fell soooooooooooo far behind that i gave up on it. maybe i should try categorizing my faves and must reads. thanks for the tip!

Julia said...

ok, i just installed it, what do i do now??? how do i see all the newest??? help??

Amy said...

Lu, I think I have a blog crush on you. Feedly is fabulous! I'm only a bit said something above about using one of your readers without being in a browser. Can it be done offline as well?