Monday, 18 March 2013

What should I do now Google Reader is being shut?

Feedly vs Bloglovin

Google Reader was my first ever RSS feed reading device, back six or so years ago when I first discovered blogs, so I was pretty sad last week to discover Google had announced its closure. I've used it off and on for years, and although I didn't use it as regularly of late I still open it from time to time when I feel like browsing. 

Although it isn't oficially closing until July it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out some alternatives, and the two most popular alternatives out there appear to be Bloglovin and Feedly both of which I am signed up to, so I thought I'd share my views on them here.

Getting Started
Both Bloglovin and Feedly have the option to import your google reader feeds straight into them, which makes it a really smooth transition. I couldn't actually find a way to stop Feedly importing my google feeds in, as it looks like you need to sign in with a google account, so if you feel like dumping all your previous blogs and starting afresh this may not be for you. 

Overall I found using Bloglovin more intuitive and simple to begin with, for example you can look at all the blogs you follow in a list and add or remove them easily, where as to add/remove a blog from Feedly you had to actually go to the blog page, and it just felt a lot more longwinded. Bloglovin wins at getting started for me.

Feedly is very customisable, and has a really pretty sleek design. You can customise the layout of the blogs you read, and really personalise it, and it's the closest to Google Reader in terms of viewing all your blogs in one place. Bloglovin on the other hand is slightly more messy, but you view the blogs you follow in a window that means you still see the blog's layout, which is something I like. In addition because Bloglovin shows you the blog's layout, you can see the comments people have left too without having to open a new window. This is one of the things I like most, and encourages me to leave more comments myself. I think this is a toss up, but Feedly probably has the edge for it's clean design.

Apps and Mobile Sites
The winning App for me is definitely Feedly. The Bloglovin App and Mobile site are both very clunky, and don't seem to work well for me on my phone or on my tablet. Most of the time if I'm using Bloglovin away from my computer, I just visit the website in desktop mode anyway. The Feedly app by comparison is even prettier than the desktop version - it has a pinterest like mosaic look, but that's customisable of course, and it's just a much more enjoyable experience.

For Bloggers
Bloglovin feel very much designed for people to use who blog themselves - it has th option to 'claim' your own blog, set the categories it comes under, look at stats, and if you change your URL you can seemlessly reroute your subscribers to the new one. Feedly seems much more for consumers, rather than creators. It doesn't have any of the features Bloglovin has really. If you are a blogger Bloglovin has a lot more features for you.

Bloglovin has suffered from a number of technical issues over the time I've used it, and this weekend it had so many people moving over from Google Reader it suffered some major server overload! Feedly's not been without it's issues either, but both seem to have a really good technical team and respond quickly to technical issues and keep users updated. Feedly in particular seems to take into account users requests in their updates.

Overall I am leaning slightly towards Bloglovin, just because it's so easy to use, and lets me see the whole layout and comments on the blogs I read, but I do love the look of Feedly, and I am going to keep using both for a while before I decide which to commit to!

What about you - are you a Bloglovin or Feedly user, or something completely different?


char said...

I've never looked at either of them before, so I'll have to have a bit of a research..

Katie Frank said...

this is sick gfc is over! all followers are gone? oh god.
i just added you to bloglovin.

Maria Fallon said...

I need to use Bloglovin properly but Feedly does sound good too!

Maria xxx

Kimberlee said...

I just currently switched all my blogs over. A friend recommended NetVibes. It looks like a typical RSS dashboard. I honestly had issues and frustrations with Bloglovin' that it's going to take a lot to convince me to ever go back there. I'll try out this new one and see how it goes ;/

Hayley said...

I've just started the switch to both (I can't quite give up Google Reader!) I like Bloglovin' to follow the blogs (duh), but I like Feedly for my news sites, etc.

My Hideaway said...

I was already using bloglovin a bit, so now I just need to add the rest of the blogs there. It's super easy to import though, just have to get to it. :)

Anonymous said...

As I non-Blogger user I've never had to worry about GFC - Bloglovin' all the way :)

Laura Darling said...

Thanks for these directions! I use google friend connect but this all confuses me so much!

Lauren Glossary said...

Epic, informative post! I must admit, I just clink on my blog links when I have time. My reader was starting to overwhelm me. x