I know, I know – apparently this debate is so 2013. There are dozens of articles debating the pros and cons of various blog readers when everyone was up in arms about the disappearance of Google Reader. I’ve been blogging since 2011, so I remember when it happened, but I can’t say that it shook my world. Apparently I had a Good Reader, but I never used it. No, I used to obsessively frequent my favorite sewing blogs to make sure I didn’t miss out on any of the latest news. Which, to be honest, isn’t the most efficient use of time. My blogging has taken a bit of a backseat to real life stuff over the past few years, and I haven’t had as much time to check out other blogs that I’ve enjoyed reading. I really miss seeing what everyone is up to, and I miss being more participatory in the online community with other bloggers. I realized I needed a more efficient way to keep up with all the news, so I decided to try out a few different blog readers.
The first reader I tried was Bloglovin’. It was easy to search for all of the blogs I had been reading, and add them to my list. I also really liked the look of the app on my phone, and it was pretty easy to navigate. Additionally, the support staff was incredibly helpful and moving followers of my old blog to my new site, so bonus points for that. I also really like the feature of being able to save blog posts to different categories – very helpful if you want to find a tutorial later. However, the one thing I didn’t like was that I felt like I was missing a lot of stories I wanted to read in my feed. I was getting a lot of advertisements, and the more news-ish sites and very popular fashion blogs kept popping up, as well as articles that everyone was saving (useful to find a cool article, but annoying when the same story pops up 12 times three days in a row), but it seemed like I was missing the stories from the sewing bloggers I most look forward to reading. I know I can look for those sites in my list of blogs, but it still sort of defeats my goals in having a blog reader. Additionally, the need to either read or mark each article as read was a bit daunting, so I have hundreds (if not thousands) of unread stories in my feed that I have no real desire to look at again. I was also, on occasion, having issues posting comments while inside the Bloglovin’ app. On the one hand I really like Bloglovin’s look, features, and support staff, but on the other I’m not sure if it is the most efficient way for me to find, read, and comment on the posts I’m most interested in reading.
Being not 100% sold on Bloglovin’ I went looking for a different option. Enter Feedly. Feedly essentially does the same thing as Bloglovin’ – enter the site you want, save it to your feed, stay updated on the news. What I really like about Feedly is the ability to categorize your blogs by type – so I can group together my favorite sewing blogs, other sewing blogs that I’ve newly discovered, craft sites, food blogs, geek news, etc. This is great because it allows me to more easily find the information I’m looking for, grouped together in a logical way. I can more easily check my favorite sites in a grouping, without having to search out individual blogs. I also really like how the app works – a bunch of articles can be marked as “read” with a single swipe, which makes it much easier to sort through large amounts of information in less time, and see when new stories pop up. Unfortunately there is no “save article” function like there is with Bloglovin’. There is a bookmark feature, but this seems to be more for temporary bookmarking as opposed to long-term categorization and saving. I can always email myself the article, then bookmark it with the rest of my tutorial or inspiration posts on my computer, but it does add an extra step. Probably worth it, though, because then all of my information will be in the same place. I also have had fewer issues posting comments while using Feedly, so that is a big plus for me. On the whole, Feedly seems to have less features, but it also seems to have a smoother workflow. I feel like I can get more information more quickly, and more easily find the stories I really want to read.
So, as of right now I think I’ll be utilizing Feedly, though I know a lot of other sewing bloggers use Bloglovin’. Do you all have a blog reader that you prefer? Which features are the must haves and which are not as important? Am I missing some key functionality in Bloglovin’ that is preventing me from having a more tailored feed? Or am I just hopelessly behind the times, people picked their platform in 2013, and I just need to stay more abreast with modern technology? Feel free to tell me your thoughts in the comments!