Thursday, September 16, 2010

Following and organizing blogs on your iphone

At the office, we try to surround ourselves with technology and systems that support the ability to increase the scalability of an operation, whatever it might be. Just because a company of 10 people can support 50,000 customers doesn’t mean you should need 100 employees to serve 500,000 customers. You want to be able to serve exponentially more customers (or process more data, or handle more subscriptions, etc) without an exponential increase in resources.

I try to do that personally as well and there is always so much to learn about how to do things more efficiently. Take blog subscriptions for instance. I follow dozens of blogs to keep up to date on what is happening with blogging, technology, entrepreneurship, health, and personal interests like cooking or American Idol. I use Google Reader to manage my subscriptions online but I am finding that even that is getting to be too much. I caught myself wanting to subscribe to a blog the other day but didn’t because I didn’t want to add one more blog to my reader. That’s when I realized I needed a new process, not less information.

One of things I haven’t been doing until now is reading my blogs on my iPhone. Just never got around to setting up a system. Rather than miss out on keeping up with another great blog, I decided to do a bit of research and find a useful iPhone app to help me. After checking out a few options, I went with Reeder, a $2.99 app made Silvio Rizzi. There are lots of free reader apps out there that I’m sure are just fine but I actually don’t mind paying a few bucks for an app that has additional features that I really care about (like social media sharing or enabling offline reading). If it turns out to be a dud, then I’ll share my thoughts and maybe help a couple people save a few bucks. But so far, it’s been pretty cool.

Reeder pulls all my subscriptions and folders from Google Reader, lets me download and cache so I can read offline, and has a ton of sharing options (you can share just a link or the whole post). This is a screen grab from my phone. Reeder pulls my folders - Blogging, Entrepreneurship, Personal and Technology (thanks to TechCrunch, I have a bazillion updates to read). Its easy to read, well-organized, pretty lightweight and does everything it claims to do. I could not find any user documentation but it was easy to figure out once I played around with it

The icon options at the bottom let you mark as read, star a favorite, tab through multiple posts, and share. The image below is what a post looks like - this particular post is from Danielle LaPorte's blog, White Hot Truth.

As you can see below, there are a ton of sharing options including Twitter, email, Delicious, Instapaper, etc.

The only disappointment was its integration with Delicious. I have been using Delicious for years and would love to be able to tag and bookmark blogs from Reeder but it only integrates if your Delicious email address is NOT a Yahoo address, which mine is. So that was a bummer.

What do you use to follow your favorite blogs on your mobile device? If you use a tool you'd recommend, tell us about it here. I'm always open to suggestions and ways to be more efficient.

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