I am sad to say that Google Reader is dead. Feedly hopes to be the tool you transition to. It provides a productive way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite feeds, blogs and news sites. Feedly offers a seamless transition from Google Reader.
Tag Archives | feeds
I use Facebook a lot, both for work and for play – so if there is anything I can do to make my Facebook browsing experience better, I am all for it. That is where SocialFixer comes into play. This is a fantastic extension for Firefox that fixes tons of annoyances with Facebook. You have full control over which ones you use and which ones you do not, so let me dive a little deeper into some of the tweaks you can make.
One more change to come in Firefox 4 is the removal of the RSS icon in the browser’s Awesome Bar (aka the Address Bar). I am guessing this was done to reduce some of the clutter when it comes to the default look and feel of Firefox 4. The ability that made RSS feed so easy to subscribe to is not gone though. It has simply been bumped down to being an additional button you can add to the interface.
If you use the built in feed reading capabilities of Firefox, the Live Bookmarks feature, you might be missing the fact that you do not have an organized list of new entries to go through like you would have in a traditional RSS reader. The Feed Sidebar add-on for Firefox is here to take your Live Bookmarks and display them all in your sidebar.
My RSS feed reading application of choice is Google Reader. I have been using it for several years now, and it has never let me down. Now, that is not to say it could not be improved though. Here are a few ways you can make your RSS feed reading in Google Reader even better.
The Google Reader Watcher add-on is handy to have, because it will check your Google Reader for unread new posts. You can use this to keep track of how many stories you have yet to read. Checking Google Reader with this add-on is much more practical than visiting the Google Reader web site several times a day, for those RSS feed addicts out there like me.
Sage was once one of the more popular RSS feed reading add-ons for Firefox. However, time went by, years went on and these days it is not making much news. However, if you still need a lightweight feed reader, there is now Sage-Too. This is a continuation of the original project to keep it up to date with today’s Firefox browser versions.
Some of the features include:
- Reads RSS (2.0, 1.0, 0.9x) and Atom feeds
- Feed Discovery
- Integrates with Firefox’s bookmark storage and Live Bookmarks
- Imports and exports OPML feed lists
- Newspaper feed rendering customizable via style sheets
- Technorati and RSS search engine integration
It also has support for the following locales: Argentine Spanish, Catalan, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Swedish.
As they say in their own words, “It’s got more of what you need and not much of what you don’t.” You can give it another shot, or take your first trip down lightweight RSS reading road by downloading it on the Firefox Add-ons web site.
Also, don’t forget to start your RSS feed collection with the best Firefox feed out there today, http://feeds.feedburner.com/firefoxfacts. Never leave your RSS feed reader without it!
To get to the Applications menu, you’ll want to go to Tools in the menu toolbar, then Options, then click on the Applications tab.
From here you can change just about any way that Firefox relates to any other file, application or task out there. Here are a few things I did to speed up my browser usage.
ARCHIVES: For archives (like .zip, .rar, ect) I set the action to “Save File”, that way I can skip Firefox asking me if I would like to open or save that type of file when I download it.
FEEDS: Since I am a Google Reader user when it comes to subscribing to feeds, I changed the Web Feed option from “Preview in Firefox” to “Use Google”.
MP3S: Another fix I like to do here is to set MP3 Format Found from the hijacking QuickTime (which like to take control of everything you do) to “Always Ask” cause sometimes I might want to stream it right there and other times, I might like to download it.
MAILTO: If you use Gmail a lot, you can also setup the mailto links to Use Gmail anytime you click a link that is formatted in that way.
I hope that handful of Application handling in Firefox is handy. Just one more way Firefox lets you have the ultimate customized web browsing experience, if you you know where to look.
How do you get Firefox’s live bookmarks to refresh faster? By default, the Live Bookmarks are set to refresh every 60 minutes to check for new headlines. However, if you want to get your news a little quicker, there is a tweak you can do to make the process go a little faster.
In the address bar, type in about:config, and then hit enter.
At the warning, click the button that says, “I’ll be careful, I promise!”. Now you are ready to do some configuration changes. We want to setup a new option though, so right-click anywhere inside of the about:config screen and then go to New > Integer.
For the preference name type in:
Now, for the value, you will need to add your time up by seconds. For example, if you wanted it to be reloaded every two minutes you would type in 120 (because there are 120 seconds in two minutes). The smallest number you can put in here is 60 seconds. If you put in anything lower, Firefox will slap you in the face – and then say, “Oh yeah, you wanted to put in ’60’ right?”.
You can also reload a Live Bookmark manually to by right-clicking it and choosing “Reload Live Bookmark”. However that isn’t nearly as fun as diving into about:config.
Is Feedly worth your time? As a new type of article for Firefox Facts, I thought I would weigh in on both the pros and the cons of this add-on and give you my final thoughts on if it is a keeper or not. Mind you – I am a very picky man.
If you believe the front page of Feedly.com, even Leo Laporte tweets, “My new favorite Firefox extension (and home page): Feedly.”. I have heard about Feedly for a while now (from several sources), so I figured it was time I gave it a shot. You can pick up the add-on for Firefox via the official Feedly web site or the Firefox Add-ons web site as well.
The Install of Feedly
The toolbar icon for it is automatically placed in your navigation toolbar, so I give it a click and it already has me signed in and has found my Google Reader account. That is pretty cool. Under social connections, it is asking me if I want to import Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Twitter or Friend Feed. I handed it Twitter, then watched it work. Ok, think this thing is up and running!
The Pros of Feedly
- I like the fact it works with Google Reader and Twitter (the only two I tried) right off the bat, with no problems at all.
The Cons of Feedly
- The ad box on the right of the web page layout is HUGE! (conveniently not shown in front page screenshot above). Here is the huge ad in question. You can click it to get the actual ad dimensions:
- The toolbar icon is ugly and has rough edges
- I had to resize my browser to larger than 1024×768 to see the page correctly (without a horizontal scroll bar). Should be a more flexible layout.
Final Thoughts on Feedly
I have to say, after spending a little ‘bit of time with Feedly, I just don’t get it. Why do I need a Firefox extension for this? Couldn’t they do it all as just a web site that imports things I plug into it? Now I understand all the social aspects, but it just does not tickle my fancy.
Agree or disagree? Let me know what you like about Feedly and maybe you might win me over.
Listen here Private, I am going to not only give you some tools to get your RSS editing and reading done. I am going to give you the best tools you can load into that browser of yours. Are you ready? Well ten-hut – and sound off.
Alternative and Different RSS Readers
RSS Ticker – watch as your live bookmarks and scrolls their entries across your screen while you surf.
Simple RSS Reader – When you need to get the news fast, Simple RSS gets you there faster.
With only a few clicks you get your favorite news in your toolbar.
Feed Sidebar – The Feed Sidebar is an extension for the Mozilla Firefox Web browser that displays the new items from your Live Bookmarks in the sidebar. It works well – as long as you don’t have many feeds to get through.
InfoRSS – The extension installs a small icon (looks like an earth) in the status bar. The headlines are displayed in the beside this icon in the status bar or in a separate bar (top or bottom of the screen).
Editing RSS Tools and Addons
RSS Editor – Edit your own feed with this extension. It delivers a simple desktop RSS editor for casual editing of RSS 2.0 files.
RSS Validator – Once you open the RSS feed into the browser window, you can right click on the page or goto the Tools menu and validate the RSS feed.
Traditional RSS Reading in Firefox
Wizz RSS News Reader – At first I didn’t like Wizz much (fighting the urge to make a joke about “taking” this Wizz anywhere) but it has improved with time. It is fairly powerful, feature rich, well supported and has comprehensive online help for all.
Sage – The oldest and maybe the best of the built in Firefox feed reading clients. It delivers newspaper feed rendering customizable via style sheets. It also does a good job at integrating with with Firefox’s bookmark storage and live bookmarks.
Beatnik – Simple but elegant news reader for RSS and Atom feeds. It is simple. If your looking for neat features and a “wiz bang” interface, this isn’t the extension for you. If you need a feed reader for a dozen feeds or so and you want it built into your browser, you might want to give Beatnik a shot.
NewsFox – NewsFox is an RSS reader for folks who like Thunderbird’s built in RSS reader, but they don’t use that E-mail client.
RSS Reading on the Web (along with some cool tools)
Google Reader Notifier & Google Reader Watcher – Two grade A addons that give you a way to track when your Google Reader updates with new things to read. Pick which one does the best job for you and stick with it.
BlogRovr – It fetches posts from your favorite blogs about anything you’re browsing, and shows you summaries you can open read posts without leaving the web page you were on.