Feedly, Chromium , and Google Reader

Feedly

How many of you use Google Chrome or Chromium and have more than 10 active feeds in Google Reader?  I’m sure that most of you raised your hand…well, maybe not physically but a mental raising of the hand I suppose.  How about 20+ feeds?  30+?  Is your (virtual) hand still up?  Mine is.

I’m plugged in…maybe too plugged in.  The “mark all items read” button received much use in my RSS reader.  I found myself skipping more than I actually read.  Google reader is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but it is a bit simplistic and plain…which is fine, it does its job well.  I’m informed.  But I often times find myself trying to sift through the cruft that is my various feeds.  I have wordpress design feeds, freelance feeds, Linux feeds, sports feeds, business feeds, inspirational feeds, youtube feeds, feeds about feeds, and feeds feeding those feeds.

Feedly

Feedly, RSS on Steroids

I wanted to get more from my news/RSS.  Enter Feedly.  Feedly is a way that my feeds become VISUAL.  Instead of line by line by line, I’m given tiles and mosaic patchworks in an easy to read format.  I have variety.  I have images.  I have screenshots.  I have thumbnails.  I can see my feeds.  I can see what they’re describing.  I can see what people are blogging about.  I started using Feedly a mere 4 days ago and I have completely caught up on my reading.  Before I started I had over 3000 articles and was many, many days behind on my reading.  I’m completely caught up now with a manageable 200  articles to read.

Does this mean I’m reading thousands of articles with Feedly?  Not by a long shot.  But I’m finding what is important to me faster and thus being much more efficient.  I’m still skipping many articles…but at least now I know WHAT I’m skipping.  I’m not just marking all read so that I can catch up.  Feedly allows me to peruse my feeds in almost a catalog fashion which speeds up my reading times and focuses my attention on the things that catch my eye.

Feedly is free by the way.  I use it with Chromium/Chrom (works with any web browser though, just head over to their website) and you can too.  Install it as a web application in the Chrome web store.  Once installed, synchronize it with your Google Reader account…things you mark as read in Feedly will be marked read in your Google Reader account and vice versa.  I also use it on my Android tablet.  Make sure to check out the settings page in Feedly to configure the right layout and colors for yourself to make things easier to read and fit your workflow.  I guarantee you will find yourself reading more interesting articles…bookmarking links more…and paying attention to what matters to you.

The New Planet Unity

Some of you may have noticed that Planet Unity got a face lift recently. I took a page from Linux Mint and their planet page and grabbed Gregarius which is a feed reader that aggregates your feeds into a central feed and has some really nice display options including tags for individual feeds.

advanced search

advanced search

This gives us a great opportunity to organize our developer blog feeds and developer resources for the end readers to drill down to the information that is important TO YOU. You’ll be able to search through feeds using the search function on planet or click on tags to display similar content.

So not only is this a new look, it’s a whole new set of features and functions:

  • Supports RDF, RSS, ATOM feeds
  • Imports and exports OPML
  • AJAX powered tagging of feeds and items
  • Supports themes and plugins
  • Search in your feeds
  • Basic i18n support
  • Committed to web standards: renders XHTML/CSS
  • Gregarius is FREE software and is released under the GPL

Now not all of these features and functions matter to end users, but they do give Unity Linux developers an opportunity to provide you with a good planet experience…that is, getting the most information in the least amount of time with the least effort!

Look for more great improvements soon!  We’re working furiously all the time to make this the best Linux core out there!

Linux Blog and Blogbridge Link Winners Announced

In February, I asked for submissions for you favorite linux websites and offered up a link from Yet Another Linux Blog as incentive for those submissions. I’ve selected a few blogs to include not only as a link here, but also as a feature Linux site for inclusion in the Linux Expert Guide at BlogBridge.com.

How it Works

Someone downloads Blogbridge. During installation, it asks them what they are interested in. If they say Linux, the BlogBridge expert guide feedlist is given to the person. This is quite a nice thing for an up and coming blog or even an established one. Congratulations to those selected:

Read more

Get a Link from YALB, Become a Featured Site at Blogbridge.com

I previously blogged about how your website/blog (or one you know of) could be a featured blog for BlogBridge.com. For those of you unfamiliar with what blogbridge is…it’s a program that allows you to manage all your RSS feeds that is cross platform.

This ‘featured’ list is a default list for the “Linux” feed that users can select after installing. If they don’t want to add their own linux feeds and would rather use the “expert feed” built in function, they’ll download the Syndication list I’ve created for blogbridge. Sound like something you would like to be a part of?

The response to my initial post was a bit underwhelming…remember, this could be just a blog you read on a daily basis. If you have a linux website you can’t do without and it has an RSS feed, let me know about it! If you don’t feel like doing that, let the authors of those sites know that they can submit their site. Remember, those I choose will get a direct link from this blog to theirs…which is pretty valuable considering I’m in the top two results in google for search term “linux blog”.

So, if you’d like to be considered or would like a favorite website of yours to be considered, please drop me a comment here with link to the site. I’ll check it out and announce the selections in approximately 2 weeks.

Become a Featured Blog at BlogBridge.com Linux Topic Guide

Would you like to have your blog about Linux become a featured blog on the BlogBridge.com Linux Topic Guide? How about a front page link in the “Blogs I Read” column on Yet Another Linux Blog? If this piques your interest, read on.

I’ve been a BlogBridge user for quite some time since discovering it with the version 4 release. It has consistently been the best RSS feed reader I have used since that time. I accept no substitutes. They offer the BlogBridge service for free which allows you to publish feeds on BlogBridge.com publicly and share feeds/tags of posts. You can also download Topic Guides to hit the ground running with pre-populated feeds. I am an author of one of those feeds.

Previously, when I reviewed BlogBridge, I was asked to be the Linux Topic Guide at blogbridge.com. Specifics on how this works: I keep tabs on various Linux centric blogs and publish my feeds to blogbridge.com. Then, when someone installs Blogbridge, they may select the Topic Guide that I publish with pre-populated feeds of interest. If you’re a BlogBridge user, you can also track down the linux feed or visit the Linux Topic Guide page at Blogbridge.com to see what sites are featured there.

In these past few years I’ve been doing this, many Linux sites have come and gone. I’ve changed jobs, states, and distributions. Since all of these changes have taken place, I’ve missed the launch of some great Linux blogs and websites. Therefore, I’m asking you, the reader to help me find new and exciting blogs and sites that I can feature for BlogBridge.com :)

Read more

Google Reader, You Suck

UPDATE:  Google Reader has changed their behavior as of late.  This post no longer applies as the behavior I wanted has been integrated.  Thanks for reading Google! :)

When I’m not using BlogBridge (that is, when I’m checking my feeds from someone elses computer) I check via Google Reader. It’s been quite nice for me to check out what’s happening in the world of Linux while away from my standard feed reading environment.

Recently though, they have changed the default behavior. Now when I want to mark an entire feed read (feeds with a large number of unread feeds), an annoying confirmation dialog box pops up and I have to confirm that I truly do want to mark all of my feeds as read (in true Microsoftian-esque style mind you).

Whoever enabled this needs to be sentenced to a life of annoying popup dialog boxes. Make their primary desktop be Vista and make them turn on the UAC and make them do their normal job. Sentence them to an entire year of stupid annoying popups. I despise popup dialogs…the demon brain children of the department of redundancy department… (a department google must now have created…and here I thought Microsoft was the only company that had one of these!) more than anything in computing.

Please google reader, take out that stupid dialog! Or at least give us a checkbox option. This type of behavior is frustrating, redundant, and lame.  I cry suckage google reader >:|