For the latest in the ‘Team Organic Tries’ series, we tried out feedly, the RSS feed aggregator that makes reading large volumes of content a whole lot easier.
Since everyone at Team Organic shares, reads and browses content on a daily basis, having a platform where all our content sources are collected nicely together just makes good, neat sense.
In the desktop version of feedly, the most striking feature is the cleanliness of the user interface. The neat boxes for all your feeds stand next to the main stream of content, making everything easy to read.
As soon as you log onto feedly on your desktop, you’re welcomed with the hottest content of the day from each of your topics, so you get an overview of what you need to know for the day ahead. For a content writer always looking for fresh ideas, this daily rotation is the perfect feature to ensure you see the most important stories.
The desktop version of feedly also allows you to easily navigate between topics. You also have the option to view a feed from a single publication, which can be useful for checking your favourite feeds.
The only issue with the desktop version of feedly is that sometimes irrelevant content can creep into the hot topics of the day if they’ve had enough views.
On mobile, the layout is similar to the desktop, although things do get very ‘swipey’. To view your content, you simply swipe upwards to see what else there is. This will still allow you to browse all of the hot topics in your feed first but in a more mobile-friendly format.
Feedly makes your hot topics the priority, as you must swipe through all of these before you can access other content. This can get a little old if you’re looking for a specific feed or article.
On mobile, saving reads for later works in the same way as it does on desktop. If you catch something you want to read later on your daily swipe, simply click on the article and choose the ‘read later’ tag, which will save the article so you can pick up where you left off. However, it would be easier if this function was available from the headline page rather than having to click on the article.
Feedly has recently upped the ante in the features department, bringing in plenty of new ideas to their free service to lure more users in. Here are just a few that we’ve found particularly useful in our experiences with the platform.
Boards: The biggest feature feedly have recently released is their boards. Boards work by allowing teams to access the same content. This is great for content teams (like ourselves) who use regularly share content for ideas and news updates that may be relevant to the industry.
Boards also integrate with Slack, so each time a story is saved to a board a message it can be sent to your team in Slack. Each member of the team can decide whether they want to follow a board or not, so they don’t have to sift through content that isn’t relevant to them.
These boards can be useful for projects, tracking industry conversation or developments on a particular story. Even better, the feedly ‘save to board’ extension for Safari, Chrome, Firefox, iOS and Android means you aren’t restricted to saving the content in your own feeds in the board – you can add any interesting article you come across to a board and share it with your team.
Mute filters: Along with boards, feedly released its mute filters. These allow you to select specific words you do not wish to read about. These work in a similar way to Twitter’s muted words, which were released earlier this year.
Notes and highlights: You can now get interactive with the content you read on feedly by annotating and highlighting passages. This can be useful if you’re using the content for research or to study. If you want to bring the attention of a paragraph to your team, you can highlight it and add it to the team board, perfect for new ideas!
Feedly vs Pocket
One of feedly’s biggest content platform contenders is Pocket. Our very own Phil has written in the past about his experiences with Pocket and using it to collect content, so trying out feedly definitely came in direct competition.
In comparison to Pocket, feedly is stepping up its game. Many of Pocket’s paid features are offered as part of feedly’s free version, which for some is enough to have them making the switch.
Feedly’s new board feature brings the competition between the two platforms even closer as it closes the gap on the features Pocket provided that feedly didn’t.
However, Pocket are stepping up their game by combining forces with Mozilla to form a platform that allows users to “save, share, and consume the content worthy of their time and attention.” So, who knows what’s in store for the future of both platforms?
It will take a lot of new updates from Pocket in their combined forces with Mozilla to match up to feedly’s recent successes.
Have you tried feedly? Did you love it or loathe it? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!