About five years ago I decided to stay home with my son after going back to teaching for a year once I had him. At the time I was going to a Crossfit gym, but once I was a stay at home mom I couldn’t get away as often, so I decided to bring Crossfit to my home. I used an app that let me gather my gym’s feed for the workout of the day (WOD) as well as other gyms around the United States. I remember it being called an RSS feed, and I remember it being pretty simple to put it into this app and see all posts from all the gyms in one location, but I had no clue that an RSS feed reader applied to more than that.
Flash forward to now…RSS readers have come back into my life, but in a very different way. I’m actually pretty impressed with what they are capable of and I’m also astonished that I have not discovered them sooner. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication which is a fancy way of saying that it puts all of something in the same location for easier access and viewing. The “something” it is referring to are blogs, articles and in some instances social media. I found a helpful post on Zapier.com that can be found here which highlighted the top ten free RSS feed reader apps in 2018. It was interesting to see how similar, yet different each was. Volvovski (2018) claimed all the sites she listed were free, or offered a free plan, allowed for full read of the blog post, had web apps for the site available and were easy to use. As I read the highlights for each of the ten readers, I found myself drawn to two. The first was Feedly because of it’s simple, clean and sleek view. I like things that are pretty and up with the times and I felt this one really looked current with it’s aesthetics and layout. The other one I liked was Flowreader. This one not only allows you to house all the blogs that you follow, but also social media which I thought was fantastic. I have a Twitter, Tumblr, blog, and Instagram that I would love to house all in one location.
But there’s a catch, when they say social media, they meant Twitter, Youtube and Pinterest only. Also, I don’t like the aesthetics of Flowreader as much as I do with Feedly, but I was willing to use it to at least get my Twitter feed added to where all my blogs are. Then I ran into another problem. There was a blog that I really love and for some reason, no matter how I inputed it, it would not get added to my RSS feed. It kept telling me that no feed was found. I grew a little flustered and decided to sign up for Feedly and see if the blog would work with that site. Sure enough, it worked! As a matter of fact, all of my blogs worked seamlessly AND it gave suggestions for other blogs that were similar to the ones I uploaded into my feed. Both sites were simple enough to use and gave multiple views for reading your blog posts, but I still liked Feedly’s better.
In the end, I found that Feedly was the right fit for me. All the RSS reader apps had unique things to offer, but as an educator and librarian, I found that Feedly was just the right fit for what I needed.
On another note, I did look into RSS apps that were meant for social media only and discovered that all of them have a price. They all allow for a free trial, but it doesn’t last long and you can only house 2-3 social media sites for the free trial. I think it’s a great concept since these sites also allow you to post to your accounts via their site, but I’m not up for paying for it. If YOU are interested though, a couple of the popular choices are Hootsuite and dlvr.it. This post can explain more about social media and RSS feed readers.
Here are a handful of blogs I enjoy following (especially now that I’m a NOVEL librarian)!
- Mighty Little Librarian (Tiffany is real and honest and has great ideas for other librarians to use.I feel like what she posts is actually doable.)
- Renovated Learning (All things creative and Makerspace along with some other information sprinkled in. Diana is thorough with her ideas and also shares tips on management.)
- 025.431: The Dewey Blog (This blog is informational, but it’s also FUN. Let’s face it, Dewey Decimal can be difficult to remember and tedious to figure out, but at least they know how to have fun while teaching!)
- Teach Outside the Box (She has my heart with all her STEM and Makerspace ideas! Brooke has actual products like her STEM bins that come with everything an elementary librarian or teacher would need. She’s a timesaver for the rest of us!)
- Elementary Librarian (Lots of good info, including library managing tips. This site also has resources and lesson plans specifically for elementary librarians.)
Feel free to check out my new Tumblr account here!
Hope you enjoyed! Feel free to leave me comments or questions!
Volvovski, Vicky ( September 21, 2018). The 10 best free RSS reader apps in 2018. Retrieved from https://zapier.com/blog/best-rss-feed-reader-apps/.