During the last day, I’ve been playing with a Firefox extension called “Feedly.” The home page for the extension is at feedly.com. As the extension describes itself:
Feedly is a new kind of RSS start page which weaves Google Reader, Digg and Delicious into a more fun, magazine-like user experience. The integration with Twitter, Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Friendfeed and Delicious makes sharing a breeze. You can get up to speed quickly by importing your existing Netvibes, Bloglines or MyYahoo accounts, your bookmarks or an OPML file.
What it does is act as a new way of viewing your feed content for those of us who read a lot of blogs (I scan at least 200, though some of those only update once a week). It uses Google Reader as its backend for accessing your feeds. For me, this is very convenient because I was already using Google Reader. This means that it reads my existing reader subscriptions, including folder organization, and presents views on it. When I mark items as read, save them for later, or share them, this is reflected on the Google Reader site. This makes it perfect for me and very easy for others to try if they are already playing with Google Reader.
Feedly offers various roll up views of top readers for blogs or other Google Reader information. It also allows you to use the “River of News” model for reading if you want to do so. One thing that I appreciated is that you can tweak a couple of different settings on how it presents feed contents to you. In the view below, I am using a short summary view with a small picture on a roll up page for one of my folders (personal-blogs). This gives me the first few sentences of each item and a picture. If I click on any item, it will expand in place to show me the full feed item. I can click on it again to collapse it or to choose options to save it, etc.
The only problem that I’ve run into so far is that it occasionally loses its synchronization with Google Reader so I see some of the same feeds or it offers me feed items that show as read in Reader if I go to it directly. This has only happened a few times but it is something that the software needs to work on. As a whole, I’ve found it to be a much friendlier way to use Google Reader and I plan to keep using it.
I’m not sure what the business model of the feedly.com site is for this but I expect that the search box at the top of each page may play a role. I haven’t noticed any ads or similar on pages yet. They do have a blog available and seem to be doing regular updates for the overall software.
This is for Firefox 3, only, of course. :-)