Remember Digg? You know, that website that caused a monumental uproar when it first came out? Digg was set to change the world baby! For the first time ever, users could submit a website link to the system, and then the community of users would vote on each story to determine where the link would show up on the page. To be honest, I miss that old Digg – it was such a cool website. A gamechanger that ushered in the era of social sharing. Of course, Reddit has now since replaced Digg as the de facto destination to share and vote on links. Not to mention, Facebook, which has almost crushed the open internets into an oblivion, but I digress… For now we’re here to talk about what Digg is still great at, and that is Reading RSS feeds, let’s check it out!
The Need for RSS Readers
There was a time when we had all the RSS consuming tech we needed in the form of Google Reader. Well, that service has since been shuffled to the heaps technology ashes. It’s really a shame, since it was such a great service. These days, we need a replacement. There are a million and one ways to consume our content now, with untold numbers of startups vying to be the one to provide that service to you. Consider apps like Feedly, Inoreader, NewsBlur, Reeder, RSSOwl, Taptu, Scoop.it, SkyGrid, NewsMix, and more. That’s too many options friends. For example, maybe you just want a way to keep track of your favorite virtualization blogs. If so, keep reading.
The Need for Simplicity
With our challenge presented to us, that is, find a better way to consumer our content – there is a desire for simplicity. Did you happen to notice the myriad of services we just listed above? Do you really want to learn the ins and outs of every single service and try to figure out it’s strengths and weaknesses and so on? I don’t! The one standout for sure is Flipboard. Flipboard is such a slick service. On the iOS platform, it’s the way to go. On the desktop however, the Digg Reader is a favorite.
Digg Reader is Simple
Apple is the king of simplicity. Witness this graphic to explain that point! The best products use simplicity to their advantage. Too many bells and whistles will crush the user experience.
Now check it out.
Just by looking at the previous image, you know exactly what the call to action is for each scenario. In the first UI, you know to touch the device to interact with it. In figure 2, it is clear you will search the internet. Now what are you going to do with UI 3? Hint: (visit the ads manager if you expect any reach whatsoever).
The Digg Experience
So we can see now what makes a good experience for the user. Simplicity, effectiveness, and clear navigation. The Digg Reader fits this bill perfectly for us. Let’s be honest, we’re not flying rockets to the moon here, we just want a way to easily organize our favorite sources of content for easy reading. We can break down the Digg Reader Experience into three simple steps
1. Log in
First off, you’ll head on over to http://digg.com/reader and log in. You can see by the image here what your choices are.
You’ll need either a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account to sign in. Say What? You don’t have a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account?! Blasphemy! Go sign up with one if you want to use Digg Reader. 🙂
2. Add Feeds
Next up, just go ahead and click the Add button to add your favorite feeds. It looks a bit like this:
3. Choose Sort Options
Once you have added all of the resources you want to keep tabs on, you can sit back and watch the reader populate with your favorite stories on the web. This is where the simplicity is. In this example, all we do is choose between the All option, or Popular option. All just shows each new item as it is published in real time. If you’d rather have the power of the Digg Magic Black Box Algorithm choose for you, simply choose Popular. There is an option to choose by diggs as well, but the first two seem more useful.
There you have it, easy as one, two, three.
Speaking of Diggs
Is it still possible to submit your own links to digg? It turns out you can, and it is on the homepage, though you’d never know it. All the way down at the very most bottomest of the page, is a submit link. In addition to it’s location, it’s kind of in a muted text style, so you can barely even see it. Anyhow, if you did want to submit a link, you can at this url http://digg.com/submit
<!– built with love by amateurs! –>
A final bonus of the Digg Reader Platform is that the folks that built it are cool. If you like web design and development, you’ll know that the trend of the day is to hand build everything with Love (by experts, and so on)… The software developers of the Digg Reader however, proudly proclaim their Amateur Status in the source of the HTML. If you happen to view source of the Digg Reader App, you will notice this snippet at the very bottom!
<!-- built with love by amateurs! --> </body> </html>
How awesome is that?! Friends if that is not enough to convince you that the Digg Reader is awesome, I don’t know what is!
You may like the Digg Reader, you may not. It says this is a Digg Reader Review in the title of the article, but really, it’s just the RSS Reader I’ve been using as of late, and this is just to share some experiences with the software. 5 stars!
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