Feed me, Seymour! Feedly feed reader offers magazine-style layout and improved user experience

Posted by maggie.hunsucker September 24, 2009

Feed readers make it easy to get your daily web digest, but they’re pretty bare bones.  You sacrifice the on-site experience for the convenience of having all your news in one place.

That’s were Feedly comes in.  It’s a Firefox add-on that displays all your news feeds in a very readable magazine-style layout.   Instead of a never-ending feed stream, Feedly articles are grouped by source and ranked by the number or subscribers.  Articles are further enhanced by thumbnail images, comments, and retweets, so you get many of the benefits of being on the actual site.

Top articles are featured prominently at the top of the page, while a column on the right explores the world beyond your personal reading list and offers up top recommendations from other users, YouTube, and Twitter.  It might be easier to just show you Feedly in action:

feedly feed reader magazine google reader

Feedly doesn’t stop at just an improved user experience.  It has some pretty nifty features of its own – particularly the search functionality.  You can drill down within the current page or all your sources – or – explore the most recent results from other blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Amazon, and more.   It’s a great way to incorporate new sites in your diet and if you’re like me, a great source for further news on a topic of interest.  When you find something you like, you can subscribe with a single click and add to your Feedly reader.

I’m neglecting the best part too.   Feedly automatically syncs with your Google Reader.  There’s no need to populate feeds by hand or import a file.  After installing the Firefox plug-in, Feedly had all my old favorites ready and waiting.

You can easily toggle between different Feedly views. If you prefer the old feed reader style, there is a view for that. You can also view articles from you friend's shared list. Feedly also integrates with your personal Twitter, FriendFeed, Delicious, and YouTube accounts.

Feedly is definitely on to something here. As both a daily feed reader user and feed publisher, I've been vexed by the poor user experience - articles are often choppy, images appear out of place, and you have to click over to the real site to access all the content.

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