There are few small business tools as beneficial as the simple, yet, powerful feed reader or feed aggregator. I was just recently turned on to feed readers and I am sore from kicking myself. I should have been using these things for years. I don’t know what was wrong with me. But no more excuses (this will be a link someday).
What is a feed reader or feed aggregator?
Compiles or Aggregates your favorite blogs’ posts in an easy to read and navigate environment. So, instead of you saying… “Oh, I gotta go see what thebloggess.com has posted”, or “I must go comment on easyfood.tv cause it’s been awhile.” You can actually go to your feed reader, read the bloggess, laugh, go to easyfood.tv, make your comment, include your back-link, read a couple more, etc etc. Bam! Awesome. This should be one of your primary small business tools. There are a few reasons I love feed readers.
- It encourages interaction, which leads to increased authority – If the sites that you visit and interact with (comment on) is of high quality you should begin to develop a (good) reputation. You should develop a reputation as an authority. Be sure to provide back-links to relevant information in the comments. Be sure to be helpful to the audience at that site.
- It provides legit, organic, back-links – I will never support going to thousands of sites and just dropping back-links because you can. That isn’t real. It isn’t sustainable. I will never ever use any sort of spam bot to do it for me either. I hate getting those stupid spam comments.
- It provides education. If you aren’t learning from the site that you are reading then they aren’t worthy of following or commenting on
Which Feed Aggregator
feedly.com is my favorite feed aggregator or feed reader. This one has proven it’s worth. (It’s free by the way). It is very simple and clean. It offers a couple of different color schemes for your own taste. You have the option for many different viewing styles. List view, thumbnail view etc. And a really cool feature of feedly is you can send an article to buffer for sharing. Read about buffer in a different article.
Digg Reader is also a great option. You can give a post a DIGG thumbs up right there in the reader and can share it on other social networks. I was a wee bit disappointed that you can only share to twitter and facebook. There are others you know DIGG. Get on board.
Newsblur.com is pretty extensive. There is a ton that you can do. The reader has a split screen that allows you to see the unread posts below and of course read the selected post above. You can sort by tags and categories like video, podcasts, etc. It is a bit overwhelming to me as feed aggregators go. There is a lot. You are only allowed 64 feeds and then it requires a membership of $24/year.
The old reader is a decent feed aggregator but it appears to lack in social sharing. It doesn’t appear that you can share with any social media sites at all. It seems like the old reader is trying to be it’s own social network. You can share your articles with others with the old reader. Not a big fan.
It really only gets worse from here.
To sum up. There are a lot of tools out there that you can use to get your favorite and most important interactions to came right to you. My favorite is Feedly. What’s your favorite?
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