I spend no less than 45 minutes per day on Google Reader and have done this for almost 5 years now. Over time, I have become so comfortable with the user experience of Google Reader that it was almost impossible for me to consider another Reader. Like so many others, Google Reader is my personal newspaper. Google Reader allows me to subscribe to content that I personally want to read. Google Reader acts as a content filter to weed out the content I don’t want to read and bubble up the content that is important to me. When Google announced that Google Reader will be shutting down effective July 1, 2013, my initial reaction to the news was that of frustration. I can happily say that Newsblur is the best Google Reader Alternative on the market. This post will explain why I love Newsblur as a Google Reader Alternative and why you will love Newsblur too.
User Experience (UX) of Newsblur – Google Reader Similarities
Newsblur user experience is very similar to Google Reader. I can quickly organize my feed by unread articles and sort by newest to oldest. Newsblur is fast! The User experience of Newsblur is the same across different web browsers (Firefox and Safari) and devices (Mac, iPhone 5, iPad 2). The Newsblur subscriptions and folder options are set up similarly to Google Reader. When you login to the web version of Newsblur the subscriptions and folder options align on the left hand screen (see pic below).
You have 3 category options to select from:
- Global Shared Stories – All stories that have been shard by a Newsblur User (you do not have to be following these users)
- All Shared Stories – All stories shared by a Newsblur user that you are following
- All Site Stories – All stories that you subscribe to (blogs, RSS that you subscribe to)
Once you select a category, the subscriptions will populate under the category in a traditional file folder (parent to child) relationship. Content will be presented on a large viewing pane and organized from most recent to oldest from top to bottom. Here is a screenshot of the content viewing pane (below).
Within the content viewing pane, there are 4 options to view your content:
- Original – The original page that this content appeared on
- Feed – This is the default
- Text– More focused on presenting the text of the content
- Story – More image focused
Within the content viewing pane, there is an easy way to easily move on to the next unread item, allowing for efficient browsing. This is huge. I personally wanted the ability to quickly scan, mark content as read and read content that was interesting to me quickly. I felt like Feedly, FeedlerPro, Gwhizz and Zite don’t do an excellent job at that.
Newsblur for Mobile Devices (Apple iPhone 5)
The Newsblur app on the iphone 5 mobile user experience is identical to the web browser user experience. I wanted the ability to quickly scan my unread stories, read the interesting stories and have the ability to share content with one click to social media networks (Twitter, specifically). Here is what the Newsblur iPhone 5 App looks like (below).
Simply Migrate from Google Reader To Newsblur
When you create a new user account on Newsblur, simply walk through the “Getting Started” guide to 1) Automatically transfer all Google Reader Subscriptions to Newsblur, 2) Connect via Twitter to identify people you follow on Twitter that have a Newsblur account (discover new stories) 3) Launch! There are three payment options for Newsblur, $12/year, $24/year, and $36/year. I chose to pay $24/year and It’s worth every penny. You can always give the free version of Newsblur a try, but if you have been subscribed to many – tens or hundreds of news feeds in google reader, then you will want to go premium.
Newsblur was built to focus on what the individual wants to read first, then content discovery as a secondary option. In other words, Newsblur realizes that I, as a user,already know what websites, blogs, feeds, content I want to consume, while other readers emphasize content discovery first. Go download the Newsblur App today!
What are your thoughts on Newsblur?
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