Feedly Adds 3 Million New Users in Just 14 Days!

The news of Google Reader being closed down on July 1, 2013 has turned out to be good for many RSS feed clients. One such service tasting success is Feedly. As Google Reader users are moving to find decent alternatives, Feedly through its blog post announced that over 3 million users were added onto Feedly in just two weeks.

Feedly – The unofficial heir of Google Reader

Feedly was launched in 2008 and has grown its user base to 4 million users prior. This was before Google announced it was shutting down Google Reader. Feedly has taken advantage by updating and launching Feedly Mobile client for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android phones and tablets.

It has also designed add-ons or extensions for browsers like Firefox, Chrome and Safari. Feedly claims now that they are serving upto 50 million feeds.

With the speed Feedly has managed to snag Google Reader users, it can be said that it is now fast becoming the ruler of the space being vacated by Google Reader.

Interest in RSS Feeds is back!

Digg too has recently announced a new project on building a alternative for Google reader. Currently Digg’s plans are still far from reality and it will probably take a few weeks if not months before they launch an a good feed reader product.

RSS feeds are getting more attention today than ever. RSS feeds will survive and thrive until Google shuts-down Feedburner. That will be a major setback but shutting down feedburner for Google will be tricky given its importance to the Blogger.com platform.

(via Feedly)

Paper.li – Create your own online newspaper from Facebook and Twitter

In today’s Social-Media oriented world, if a person can himself chose the content that he wants on a newspaper, one might prefer reading a digital newspaper over a conventional one.

Paper.li, is a useful web app, which can be used to create your own newspaper of Twitter and Facebook updates.

How to use Paper.Li

Paper.li is a service introduced by a Swiss startup called SmallRivers, which can make your Twitter and Facebook streams appear to be like a newspaper. All you have to do is connect to your Twitter or Facebook account and create your own newspaper within seconds !

You can chose the content you want on the paper by selecting a search term, and paper.li will search for all articles,videos and images that contain that particular term on Facebook or Twitter (Two different newspapers can be created for Facebook and Twitter).

You can create a paper for a Twitter hash tag, a Twitter List, or your own Twitter username.

About creating a Facebook paper, you can do so by entering a popular term, and providing keywords.

The newspaper can be given a unique name, of which you become the editor-in-chief, and the people who share the links to that particular topic become the contributors.

Here is a screen shot of a Facebook paper I created titled ‘Egypt’ alongside the #India Twitter paper. Click to enlarge.

As you can see, the paper.li app looks for updates of the particular topic that has been chosen. I really found the look and appearance of paper.li to be well designed and user friendly.

Some drawbacks

  1. paper.li allows the display of ads on the paper. Since its a digital newspaper, ads should be minimum or should not be present at all.
  2. You cannot create more than 10 papers per user. When you try to create more than 10 papers the following notification appears.
  3. Although you can tweet each article on the Twitter newspaper, individual articles cannot be ‘Liked’ on the Facebook paper.
  4. Paper.li is updated on a 24-hour basis just like real newspapers, so no real-time updates can be received on your paper.

Alternatives:

  1. Tweeted Times is a good web app which can be used to view any Twitter feed in the form of a newspaper. You can ‘Like’ all individual Facebook posts unlike paper.li.
  2. PostPost is yet another popular Facebook stream newspaper which has an amazing layout. All the content on your Facebook News Feed is displayed in a beautiful manner on postpost.

Do try out paper.li as well as the alternatives stated above. Would you read something like paper.li every single day? Dont forget to drop in your opinions 🙂

Link: paper.li

Feedly – Firefox add-on to view feeds

Being a ‘blogger’ means your day involves 2 main tasks – writing like a maniac alternated with reading like a manic. Though ‘subscriptions’ as a system serve as a major time saver, it also makes it quite mundane with a regular layout. This Firefox add-on attempts to reinvent that experience for you – Feedly. Its the perfect add-on if you are someone like me – following several blogs, subscriptions, alerts and thirsty for a clean layout to view these.

Feedly is a Firefox add-on which displays all your subscriptions in a magazine-like layout. You need to activate this add-on with your Google account, following which it automatically loads in all your Reader settings on one page. With neat tabs, and predefined groups that you may have created on Google Reader.

How Feedly works:

  • Download the Feedly add-on from here. After the pop-up opens, click Install Now. Restart your Firefox Browser.

  • When the browser re-opens, the Feedly home page will open automatically. Notice the green icon now beside the address bar.

  • At the Feedly Page, login with your Google Account (if you have multiple accounts, then the one you use to receive feeds).

  • You can now view all your subscriptions in an organized manner, with tabs like – Cover, Digest, Latest or predefined groups that you may have created with Google Reader.

Worth Noting:

  • Feedly is limited to Google Reader users.
  • Attaches a mini Feedly which permits easy sharing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Tumblr, etc.

I think Feedly does a good job at helping the specific market it caters to. I happen to be in that category of Google Reader and Firefox users so it did make following multiple blogs easier for me. What do you think about it? Do let me know what you think about it. Drop your comments below.

Link: Feedly

Feedburner has a new layout with more realtime results!

Feedburner has a new layout. If you log into your Feedburner account you will see an option that reads “Try out New Beta version”. Click on it and you are on the new Feedburner UI.

The first thing that struck me was that the information being shown about the feeds was a lot more. Also with the new interface there is more emphasis on the messaging system which makes it a lot easier to keep track of issues with your blog’s Feed.

The User Interface seems a lot faster and cleaner. It shows a lot of data which is almost real-time. Like in the old user interface I could check feeds for every day. With the new interface I can actually check the stats with time-line of every two hours.

I can also check for traffic from sources such at Twitter and other social networks.

I am not sure how important would tracking real-time stats on Feedburner would be. It might help schedule posts more efficiently. 😉

Keep track of webpage changes which does not have RSS

Some pages on the internet are made by people who do not really want to engage with other proactively. As a blogger you cannot image someone writing a blog or creating a website without any RSS feeds. Most websites which are popular absolutely support RSS feeds but sometimes some websites which I might feel important and want to follow changes to do not have RSS feeds. 🙁

This is where I liked Change Detection a website to keep updated about changes.

Features of Change Detection

  • Just enter the name of the website which you want to monitor changes to and also enter the email address to which the alert is sent.
  • Practical use can be to actually monitor a change of policy in a company or stay updated if a software you are using has newer version. 😉
  • It can also double up as Google alert but I have not tested it much. Still feel Google alerts works great.

Previously I had written about how to use Google Reader to create rss feeds of any page which can also be used to monitor a website and changes it has. Change Detection is better in the sense I do not need to your Google Reader! 😀

Do you monitor any website without RSS? Do let me know your views through your comments.

BlogRadio: Convert RSS Feeds To Audio

RSS Feed is a nice medium to keep yourself updated with the latest happenings of the world. But tracking and reading every feeds is sometimes becomes a tiresome job.

BlogRadio is an awesome application that converts RSS feeds into audio. Now you can listen the RSS feeds instead of reading it. Awesome, isn’t it?

Download and install the application on your computer. It runs on Adobe AIR platform. Add the RSS feeds. Wait for at least 8 hours to display the feeds on the BlogRadio desktop manager. That’s it.  Now you can play the RSS feeds by selecting your favorite sound character.

It provides you option to choose between various sounds (male and female). There are different characters: Mike- English (US), Rosa- Spanish (Mex.), Crystal- English (US), Alberto –Spanish (Mex.), Anjali- English-Indian Accent.

Adobe AIR is required to run the application on your computer. It works on Windows, Mac and Linux. This tool is free to use. There is an iPhone app also to read the feeds on your phone.

Download BlogRadio to listen your favorite RSS feeds and do let us know your views through your comments.

Google Reader stops offline support and recommends FeedDemon

Google today announced that it is shutting down offline support for Google Reader showing first signs of doing away with Google Gears. Google has also come up with changes overall to Google Reader and its privacy settings for sharing online.

  • Google Readers has stopped offline support and actually recommended Windows users to use Feed Demon. This is probably because either they find it Feed Demon has far too many loyalists who would want to migrate to an offline Google Reader. Also Google Reader might be concentrating on developing new ideas like Google Reader Play.
  • Google Reader also will have you choose if what you share with Google Reader can be made public or you would want it to be private.

  • Finally Google Reader has decided not to support older browsers which are IE6, Firefox 2.0 and even Chrome version 3.0 will not be supported.

I guess Google Reader is planning on newer and better options to keep it web centric and with new options for us to allow comments on shared items public and private I guess Google plans to make Reader into a dynamic social tool for sharing feeds and links very much like social networks. I guess this could mean life wont be easy for social bookmarking websites either.

What are your thoughts on where Google Reader will go? Do let me know through your comments.

Link: Google Reader Blog

3 great websites to create RSS feeds of links shared on Twitter

My Twitter time-line is full of my friends who are sharing links with me of things they find interesting and most importantly they also end up writing about what they are doing to cricket scores and which movie they are watching over the weekend. Some of these tweets are quite irritating as like many people on Twitter, I usually want to look up interesting links which are shared by friends.

Here are three websites which will allow you to create RSS feeds of only the links shared people you are following on Twitter.

#1. Sift Links

  • This one is very simple. Just enter your Twitter account credentials and you Sift Links will show you immediately all the Tweets with links by people you follow.
  • Sift Links can also create RSS links for you to monitor all the links shared by your Twitter friends.
  • Finally the good part is this service does not need any registrations. 🙂

#2. ReadTwit

  • ReadTwit is pretty similar to Sift Links but it does not display any links like Sift links does but creates a RSS feed directly.
  • Just enter the credentials on ReadTwit and you will get a RSS feed on only links.

Click here to read full review of ReadTwit on Devil’s Workshop.

#3. Twitter Lists 2 Rss

  • Sift Links and ReadTwit are great to create RSS feeds of all the links that are shared in your Twitter time-line but invariably we have Lists within Twitter and what about all the Links within the lists.
  • Twitter Lists 2 Rss allows you to create RSS feeds on specific lists on Twitter so you can narrow down the information you are looking for.
  • This can be very useful if you have a large number of people you are follow but have some important people who are listed and you want to absolutely follow.

These 3 websites I reviewed are probably great for someone looking to get information for a limited number of followers. Sometimes it is a little costly to follow people blindly as we do not know if the Tweets they share are too few or too many but glancing up and down a RSS feed is easier than looking up your Twitter timeline on a desktop app.

Do let me know your views on these websites by dropping in your comments.

Create full RSS feeds of short content with WizardRSS

As a blogger I end up subscribing to many feeds and one of the key issues I have with some websites and their RSS feeds is that the feeds only show the title of the page along with a short summary. This can be a little annoying as in many cases the post itself is not really interesting but title is quite interesting. This means you have to visit the URL for reading the complete post or article.

Here WizardRSS comes to the rescue.

About WizardRSS

  • WizardRSS is a great service where all you have to do is enter the RSS URL which show short content and with a single click you can get a new RSS feed for the same URL but through WizardRSS which shows the entire article.
  • A cool feature of it is that I did not even have to visit the WizardRSS website for creating the full RSS feeds. I could do it directly but adding something before the URL address.
  • For example, to create a full RSS feed of http://rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories just add www.wizardrss.com before feed address. Which means http://www.wizardrss.com/feed/rss.news.yahoo.com/rss/topstories will show the RSS feeds with their full articles.

I found this quite useful and it even worked fine with certain search results I had created RSS feeds or even checking webpage changes with Google Reader.

Do try it out WizardRSS and let me know what do you think about it? Do drop in your comments with your views and any new similar tools you might be using for creating long RSS feeds of short ones.

Create RSS feeds of search results with Bing

There is a lot that Google can do and it seems Bing Search is a poor cousin of Google when it comes to innovation. But I really liked this feature with Bing which allows your to save your search results as a RSS feed. (You can use Google Alerts for similar RSS feed of search results from Google)

How to make RSS feed of Bing Results?

  • This is quite simple. All you need to do is search for something with Bing and create a RSS feed buy clicking on the RSS symbol at the address bar. You can only do this with Bing and not with Google. 😐
  • Below is an image of how you can subscribe to the search Results as a RSS.

  • If you do not see the RSS Icon in the address bar, you can always create a RSS feed by appending the URL of the results page with “&format=rss” and a feed is created.

Why RSS feed for search result can be useful?

I like subscribing to search results mainly to see when exactly does Bing index a post that I have published. I usually search for relevant keyword within the blog url and subscribe to the result’s RSS feed.

It is also a great way to follow a trending topic or for that matter a tutorial. You can search of something specific and monitor it to see if something new is being indexed and sought after highly with Bing search.

So go ahead and try out making RSS feeds of your Bing search results. Also you can check out 5 Bing search tips you should know.

Drop in your comments with your views and any tips on how to make Google search results into RSS feeds?