As is apparent from my last article on 40Tech, I have been playing around with a multitude of Google Chrome Extensions since the official beta-door was opened, last week. Last night, I discovered Feedly, a social RSS extension based on Google Reader and Twitter that “organizes your favorite sites into a fun, magazine-like start page” (also available for Firefox). In a word, Feedly is awesome. In two words it is dangerously awesome, or, as the title states, dangerously useful– if you install it for either browser, make sure you set some time aside. You’re going to be there for a while.
I tried Feedly on a whim, as I have many extensions. It kept appearing in the Top-Rated section of the Google Chrome Extensions page and I was curious. As I was already logged in to both Twitter and my Google Account, I had very little to do in the realm of configuration — things simply appeared in a very easy-to-understand and navigate interface that was, as the slogan says, reminiscent of a very dean, functional, and pretty magazine. I then proceeded to scan the articles that appeared in the Digest page, clicked on a few and, when they opened in-line and allowed sharing with everything from Facebook to Twitter, FriendFeed, Tumblr, Posterous, email and more, I succumbed to several hours of feverishly reading and sharing articles from Lifehacker, Mashable, Problogger, and other sites I tend to interact with. By the time l was finally done, it was the wee hours and I felt like I had somewhat over-taxed my poor brain with information overload. Awesome!
I have been looking through the options a bit more today, and am pleasantly surprised at the amount of configuration available (and the fact that the configuration is painless and straightforward). For example, there are Amazon ads incorporated by default — don’t like them? Fine. In the preferences section you will find these words:
Should Feedly include an amazon module in the side area? Value can be yes or no. Default value is yes.
Easy. There are similarly simple options for everything from managing your sources, to “Tweet Gallery”, to Flickr Images, filters, email control, showing matching FriendFeed conversations and more.
If you are not sure what sources to use for Feedly, or are just bored with what you generally read and are looking for something new, Feedly has an explore feature that is a fantastic way to see what is being read by your friends and people who you read. There is also a search feature that can search by topic, @twitter-name, and by #hashtag. All kinds of ways to keep you busy — did I mention you can even interact with and update your Twitter-feed right from Feedly?
I highly recommend giving Feedly a try! Download it for Firefox here and for Google Chrome here, or just visit their website. Be warned though, enter into the world of Feedly at the peril of your sleep (or any other) schedule! Make sure you have a spare moment or two, first.
One small note of annoyance with the Chrome Extension: It appears that Gmail sharing is not yet integrated. The button is there, but the message says very clearly that they are sorry, "Gmail integration is not available in this platform". Boo. (Oh, and if you hover over your email address on the toolbar at the top of the page, it invites you to restart Firefox to sync your profile… that’s just one of those little funny oversights that make life worth living. :D)
Have you tried Feedly? What are your thoughts?