I read a lot of blogs. A lot. I love to read blogs. (And I don't trust bloggers who don't read other blogs.)
So when Google announced that they were getting rid of Google Reader, I panicked a little. I use Google Reader daily, almost exclusively through the Next Button, which was probably my favorite invention of all time.
I put off finding a replacement for months, but last week I started to look around. With deep, annoying sighs I tried out the two options that kept coming up as the best alternatives: Blog Lovin' and Feedly.
Here's what Feedly looked like:
Prettier, but not all that different from Google Reader. Like the modern, Ikea-version of Google Reader. When you click on a blog or post that you want to read, it looks like this:
Feedly was fine. I wasn't particularly overwhelmed. For those who don't want to learn anything different, it's a pretty and easy platform to replace Google Reader.
UPDATE: After a few tips from Simple Mom, I experimented with Feedly a bit more and realized that when I changed it to "cards view" I was so happy! It was pretty (and I'm seduced by pretty), but more importantly, I can click "mark as read" quickly.
BUT Feedly mobile drove me about bonkaroonies. You have to swipe to mark a post as read and doesn’t always work right. Is it my phone or my fingers, I don’t know, but I have to swipe it multiple times which drives me bananas and makes me want to just close the app and do something else. Stymied.
Originally, against everything I thought I knew, I fell in huge like with the Blog Lovin'. I mean, it's a silly name. But it's totally different from the Google Reader experience.
It looks like this:
I can choose to read from one of my organized folder or I can just read all of the blogs at once. There's a stream, sort of like a facebook stream, with all of the unread posts and you just scroll through. It gives you a preview of the title and first image. If you can tell that it's not a post you're all that interested in, you just click "mark as read" and keep scrolling. If you want to read the whole post, you click on it and it takes you to the site.
If you're used to reading only in Google Reader, this will seem like a lot of extra clicking. But if you, like me, were addicted to the Next button, then it's the same amount of clicking, but actually goes faster because it doesn't load whole pages just for you to know that you don't care about that particular post.
If you want to read something but want to do it later, you just scroll past it and don't click anything and it just stays in the queue. There's also an app, so you can do it from your phone or ipad. I almost never used to read blogs on my phone, but with Blog Lovin' I do.
UPDATE: After several weeks, I've shifted my opinion a bit. With as many blogs as I read, it’s a little annoying that the Bloglovin’ feed is one single column. That’s a ton of scrolling. They also make it easy to “mark as read,” but when you do want to read the full post, it clicks through to the actual site. This is a plus and a minus, depending on how you feel about it. In the interest of time (and reading as many posts as I can), this is currently (for me) a minus.
BUT the Bloglovin’ mobile is so easy. I can scroll and mark as read quickly. The only thing is that it won’t let me view my posts by category. When you scroll to the left to bring up the menu, it brings up the individual sites, but not the categories.
So it came down to where I plan on reading more blogs. If I am primarily going to read on my laptop, Feedly it is. It’s too pretty and changing the layout to all photos and a blurb (one of the things I originally loved about BlogLovin’) made the experience a lot different for me.
If I'm primarily going to read on a mobile device, I much preferred bloglovin’. I’ve thought about it, and since I’ve decided that I’m trying to stay off my phone a little more this summer, I will probably be reading mostly on my laptop. So, for now, somewhat begrudgingly, I’ll be trying out feedly.
I’ll let you know if I change my mind. (Again.)
For the blogs I absolutely do not want to miss ever, I subscribe via email. I do this with under a dozen blogs, and I change that up every now and again.
Just this week I changed the way HH arrives in your inbox if you subscribe via email. I switched from Feed burner to Mail Chimp, which means the emails are prettier and you can choose between receiving emails on the days I post, or receiving them once a week as a digest.(If you already subscribe to HH via email, the switch will happen for you automatically.)
I consider my email subscribers to be some of my most loyal readers. If ever there were to be big news or extremely special offers, I would let my email subscribers in on this first. But I also fully understand that people don't always need more stuff in their inbox. Still, If you'd like to join that list you can do that here: