Despite (or perhaps because of) the many media consumption channels and tools available to us today, staying on top of everything can feel impossible. In addition to the major news sources that we have trusted for years there are now dozens of blogs for very niche and specialist topics. How can one stay up to date across current events, the stock market, the free agency moves of their favourite basketball team and the latest happenings in the Irish Road Bowling scene? The Feedly app allows us to bring it all together.
Here’s how it works:
What is an RSS feed?
RSS stands for “rich site summary” and enables live updates from websites that publish them. Looking at a raw feed (click here to view the Blrt feed) is complicated to almost anybody who isn’t a programmer, but RSS reader apps like Feedly convert all of that into a readable form. Rather than visiting your twenty favourite sites everyday to see what’s new, simply add their feeds to the Feedly app and their updates will come to you in one place even as they are published. Using an RSS aggregator is like having your own completely customised newspaper that is never out of date.
How to use the Feedly app
Feedly is easy to get started with, allowing you to use your existing social logins for immediate access. For those of you who would rather not tie all of your apps together, there is also the option to start a Feedly-specific account.
Naturally, your feed will be a ghost town when you first log in. Have no fear: your favourite sites are only moments away. Click the magnifying glass in the top right corner to start finding and adding them. This window will show you suggested feeds organised by topic areas, but you can use the search bar to find specific sites. Let’s use “blrt.com” as an entirely unbiased but inarguably brilliant example.
our this fascinating blog will display their most recent headlines. Clicking the “+” symbol next to the search bar will add the site to those that you follow. Now the humble brilliance of Blrt will be brought directly to you when you sign into the Feedly app. Just like that, your life is forever enhanced.
The look of the app is completely customisable, allowing you to toggle between three different looks for your feeds. Here’s three different looks at one of our favourite blogs, The Art of Manliness:
The Feedly app also allows you to turn off the lights for easier reading in low light:
One of the best features of Feedly is the option to read articles in a text-only format. The Feedly reader strips away everything but images within the article – no more advertisements or clicking through five different pages just to read one article. However, if you happen to like the look of a certain website (and we don’t blame you – one look at the Blrt app will show you we appreciate good design!) you can still view it as it was meant to be seen. Your viewing preference can be set for each individual site, allowing you to pick and choose how you want to visually consume your feeds.
Expand your horizons
The Feedly app takes the idea of a customised newspaper one step further still by using your feed subscriptions to suggest new feeds you may want to follow (as well as highlighting the most popular posts from the feeds you already do follow).
For those who have very specialised interests, a recently added feature allows you to see the feeds that subject experts are following. You can choose to follow all or some of them, or you can upgrade to Feedly Pro and share your own list to raise your profile in the community.
Sharing is caring
Sharing your favourite content in this manner is just one more way that the Feedly app can make your life easier. The RSS reader can be seamlessly integrated into your personal workflow, allowing you to save articles to read later (whether within Feedly or in another app like Pocket), archive them in the cloud with Evernote, or share them to your social networks.
Naturally, we at Blrt are partial to using Feedly in conjunction with our own collaboration app. Using the ‘copy link’ function allows us to easily port the webpage into the Blrt app and talk, point and draw over it…
Before sending it to friends or embedding it on a webpage like this:
Curating content has never been easier or more engaging. Get started now:
All in all the Feedly app is a powerful and versatile feed aggregator – there is virtually no limit to how deeply it can be integrated into your workflow. It is arguably the best RSS feed reader available today and is available for the low, low price of ‘free’ on iOS, Android, Kindle and via their web app.
Blrt helps you get your point across quickly by allowing you to talk, point and draw over images, documents and websites. The resulting video-like recording is called a Blrt.
Your Blrts require much less bandwidth than video and can be shared with anyone on mobile or desktop. This makes Blrt ideal for both collaboration and the creation and sharing of dynamic content, as public Blrts can be embedded into any webpage.
Once recorded, Blrts are stored in the cloud and are exchanged with others in a conversation-like fashion. A record is kept of the exchange, and new parties and media can be added at any time.
Blrt shifts time and place, allowing users in a conversation to participate in their own time. In an era where activity-based working and distributed teams are commonplace, Blrt is revolutionising the way people interact to get things done.