EdTech

Why I like Feedly

Feedly is a Firefox extension that allows you to create a magazine like start page for your Google Reader subscriptions and while the  magazine style does add a nice look and feel to Google Reader, that isn’t what I like about Feedly. What I like about Feedly is that it  allows me to find content I am searching for from my trusted sources (in this case, my Google Reader subscriptions) without changing my current search process. Feedly does this by extending my general Google search to my Google Reader subscriptions, and adds matching results to my Google search results page.

Search results augmented by Feedly

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Let me give you an example.  This morning one of my students emailed me a Globe and Mail article about copyright, bloggers, big media and republishing rights (Gatehouse, NYTimes settle copyright suit). I wasn’t familiar with this story so, after reading it, I wanted to find out a bit more, like who is Gatehouse Media (an aside – if the Globe would have included a link to the company in their article this step wouldn’t have been needed). Over to Google I go and search for GateHouse and get my standard set of results that I can begin sifting though.

But wait – what is this? Because I have Feedly installed, there is a list of matches from my sources showing up. Feedly has searched my Google Reader subscriptions to find matches and is presenting me those results in the regular Google search results page.  Here are incredibly relevant results, vetted by me from my trusted sources. This immediately gives me a much richer and accurate set of search results than if I relied on a standard Google search.

Now, if you are a Google Reader user you might be saying I could do the get the same kind of network result if I just started my search in Google Reader using the built in Google Search engine, which is true. But what is nice about Feedly is that I don’t have to take that extra step of doing my search in 2 places – Google and Google Reader. Feedly slips right into my current workflow unobtrusively and without the need to repeat myself.

This concept of searching your network is something that I touched on briefly in the current SCoPE seminar Scott Leslie is doing on Open Educational Resources. The question posed there is how do you currently find open educational resources?  Increasingly we are going to have to rely on our personal networks. We need to find those sources we trust (which is something we have been doing for a long time) and find simple ways to mine their collective intelligence in order to effectively find what we need. This little feature of Feedly helps me do that.

CC BY 4.0 Why I like Feedly by Clint Lalonde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Profile Picture for Clint Lalonde
Wrangler of learning technologies by day, Dad, cyclist, soccer fan and, lately, home roaster of coffee by night. INFJ. I am the Manager of Educational Technologies at BCcampus, working primarily on open education projects. This blog is a personal blog and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BCcampus.

Comments

  1. Yeah, that was a nice little extra that I just saw with a Google search. I didn't much think one way or other about the new reader page because I kind of like categorized lists as per the standard reader. However, this personalized and vetted layer of results first in my list is a very nice little benefit.

  2. Thanks so much for this! I checked out Feedly last week and didn't quite see how it would help me so I moved on to the distraction. Now I'm gettin' it I'm gettin' it! 🙂

  3. yeah, I expect you are correct about the number of delicious links it returns, my experience has been that they throttle their results, which can be problematic in trying to use it as the backend to different services

  4. Nice on Clint, this is exactly the sort of thing I was hoping for when I was asking folks why they liked feedly. It did seem to me to change my workflow, which is a tough thing to do, but one I am more willing to do if I can see the benefits. Thanks for pointing this particular one out.

    1. Thanks, Scott. I just added the RSS feed from my delicious network and am now getting my network bookmarks also showing up in the search results.

      The one thing I am wondering about the search integration is how deep does it go? I think I am only searching on the last 50 bookmarked items from my delicious network, which is too bad. I hope that it will go deep. If it does then I have a nice custom search engine for 2 of my most valuable network tools – delicious and Google Reader.

      But why stop at delicious? I could also add in RSS feeds from anywhere and, theoretically, create a basic custom Google search that will pull info from YouTube, Flickr, insert whatever social network tool that has an RSS feed. Subscribe to the RSS feed in Google Reader and you have a very custom Google RSS feed search engine.

      This could turn out quite useful.

      1. Hi. This is Edwin. I am one of the contributors to the feedly project. I like you idea of expanding the capabilities to other services which offer personalized search result. The challenge is to do it in a non intrusive way: one of the reasons people seem to like the integration of the feedly search results is that it is a small amount of real estate and blends visually with the rest of the search results. Interesting problem to try to solve. Will talk about this with our designer. Would you be interested in review some mock-ups when we look into this in more detail?

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