ED 655 – Emerging Tool 1: Feedly

Feedly

The first emerging tool that I evaluated was Feedly. It aggregates blog content into a single feed, making it easy to keep track of new posts from favorites. It also has the capability to create separate feeds by topic. Blogs are labeled with hashtags to help find similar content. Favorite articles can be pinned permanently to a board, and users can make multiple boards to keep content divided by topic. It offers the option to mark articles in a feed as “read” or “read and hide”. Recommendations for new blogs to follow are provided on each page.

For the typical internet savvy user, it would be quite easy to set up new feeds and boards and begin searching for content. It takes only seconds to create an account linked to either a google, facebook, twitter, windows live, or evernote account. The interface is clean and uncluttered without any advertisements visible. The basic free membership offers relatively few features, but for devoted blog readers, it is a centralized way to never miss a post from a favorite.

One of the obvious disadvantages of Feedly is that many of the best options are limited to a paid pro membership. It is not possible to share a feed or collaborate within an account without a pro membership. Also, the free membership is limited to three feeds and three boards per account whereas they are unlimited in the paid version. The paid version also allows users to integrate google keyword alerts, add highlights and notes, mute irrelevant keywords, and transfer content to Evernote. Unfortunately they did not offer a free trial on the paid version, so I did not get a chance to try out these features.

Here is an article explaining the features of Feedly from the creators: https://blog.feedly.com/get-the-right-content-on-your-feedly/

Personally, I have moved away from checking individual blogs each day (I used to have a rotation of about six I would check), so this no longer holds the appeal that it once would have for me. Now I prefer to simply follow the people whose blogs I read on Twitter and watch for tweets about new posts, but Feedly could be useful for students in schools where access to social media is blocked. Feedly also offers a companion mobile app that is very similar in appearance and function to the full web version, making it easy to take on the go and read blog posts in spare moments throughout the day.

Emerging Tool 2: Twiddla 

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