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As many of you may know, Flipboard has started to become a pretty reliable RSS reader. Over the last year or so, it has continually added features and gotten better. In their last update, they added a feature that I thought was pretty neat and really gives the user a way to make Flipboard even better: Flipboard Magazines.

Not only that, but they also added a button you can add to your bookmark bar so that when you are surfing the web, you can add content to your magazine that you make. Then, you can tweak the magazine online to your heart’s content. It just might be the perfect way to share the stuff you love online.

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As much as we all were sent in shock and general frustration/unhappiness with Google when they decided to let us know they were pulling the plug on Reader, there definitely has been some good to come out of it. It has shed light on other apps that are out there for RSS and better yet, it has given developers the opportunity to create something different and better than what Reader was. It has given people the ability to take a step back, think about what was good about Reader, and then create something that builds on that legacy.

MultiPlx is one of those apps. It is taking things that were good about Google Reader and then adding another layer to – hopefully – make it better. Currently, it is in beta, but there are doing some good things to make me believe that my RSS feeds won’t just go away when Google kills reader this summer.  Let’s take a more in depth look at MultiPlx and what it has to offer.

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Competition is always a good thing, right? At least I think so, and this “finding a replacement for Google Reader” scenario presents us with this opportunity. It is good to have choices, to find what we like and don’t like and settle on something that works for us. I bet you can get ten different tech nerds in a room and they would all have their own opinions as to why they like their favorite RSS reader. It’s the nature of the beast and that is okay, it pushes developers to make quality products and apps.

Bloglovin is one that is just a little different than some of the others that I have reviewed. For one, their focus is on reading blogs, but don’t let that turn you away from this web app. It is more than just reading blogs and it takes a fresh approach to the RSS feed reading situation that some may actually like. Let’s take a look at it more to see what it is all about.

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When Google announced that they planned to close Reader on July 1, the online community’s reaction varied from surprised approval, to shocked horror. Google’s decision was based on the flagging number of users who still use feeds in preference to social media.

But as any self-respecting RSS aficionado will know, flicking through your tweets, or browsing your Facebook timeline, isn’t the best way of finding interesting content. Until now, though, there have been very few services providing a halfway house between feeds and social media.

Rockmelt, which was once a socially-orientated web browser, has been reinvented as a social media-based, feed-reading network. But is Rockmelt‘s new course bound for being accepted as a great new way to read the news, or is it heading more in the direction of the doomed FriendFeed? Let’s see.

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I don’t know when it happened for me, but I got to a point in life where I truly started to enjoy reading. Maybe it was after I got done with grad school and I actually had time to read. I’ll admit that I don’t read as often as I would like, and now that I am back in school and a father to a two year old, that time has shrunk even further. But, that still hasn’t stopped me from finding books that I want to get to “someday”, as I know I will get to them eventually.

A year or so ago, I started to experiment with different ways that I could save book titiles that I was interested in reading so that when I did have some time, I could actually find a book to read. I defaulted to Evernote since I practically use it for just about everything these days, but about a month ago, I stumbled upon a web app called Slice Bookshelf. To be perfectly honest, the only reason why I even found it was the fact that I had been using Slice for other reasons. If you are unfamiliar with Slice, I did a review on their app a little while back and I still use it till this day. So, when I saw that they had a book saving app, I knew I had to try it out to see if it was worth it.

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When it comes to saving things from the web, there are a lot of different ways to do this. For me, when it comes to saving articles, I am a huge fan of Pocket for many reasons that I won’t get into here. But, now that I am going back to school, I find that I am having to save a lot more information from the web than I have in a long time. The main reason why I don’t use a service like Pocket or Instapaper for this is because I want a place where I can dump whatever I find into something temporarily. I don’t like to mix up the articles that I want to read or save for later with my snippets of research for my thesis.

I have used Evernote before for this purpose, but then I came along a web app called Dragdis, which takes a different approach to saving things online. Instead of saving articles or texts to a service, it lets you drag and drop what you want to save so that you can come back to it later. It is actually a pretty neat idea and with some help from HTML 5, this is a slick app to use. Let me show you more about what it can do.

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Yes, this is another post on another type of Google Reader replacement, but this one takes a little different strategy than some of the others that are out there. As you know, we at Web.AppStorm have been scouring the internet for replacements for our Reader fix. A little while back, I did a review on Taptu, which I actually do like and think it can be a solid replacement. But, as always the tech nerd in me is always searching for something better, something that can really meet all my needs for a replacement.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I will honestly find something on the web that will satisfy me unless it syncs with my iOS devices. But, the one that I am about to review today definitely got my attention, enough so that I actually decided to pay for the app. Yes, we have been spoiled with a free service like Google Reader, but in my opinion that is what led to its demise; Google just didn’t want to bother with a product that wasn’t going to make money. But I digress, time to switch gears and talk about Feedbin, a possible RSS reader replacement that you might actually want to pay for as well. Let’s take a look.

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I admire app developers that are willing to take a fresh look at what they have developed after releasing something for a while. It shows that they are passionate and believe in what they are building, not only for themselves, but for the general population as a whole. In my opinion, it takes a lot to be able to swallow your pride a little, take in user feedback and be willing to tweak a product or app so that it can better meet the demand for the user.

The reason why I am reflecting on this is that I have been using Kippt for the past couple of days and have been really impressed by what they have done to their app. They haven’t necessarily done a full facelift to it, but they were able to analyze how well the app worked and took user feedback to produce an even better product than before. If you are unfamilar with Kippt, we did a review on their old version a couple of years ago.

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As an educator who is obsessed with technology, I am always looking for ways in which my class and I can use technology to help enhance their learning. I am also looking for ways to utilize the web with students as much as I can because it usually offers two things that are great for education. One, with the web, apps are usually accessible where ever there is a browser available, and that means students have no excuse to be able to access it. Two, most times, web apps are low cost or even free, which with education, is a huge thing being that budgets are always tight.

So, when I got to play around with Padlet for a couple of days, I really got excited for how I could use this both in my personal life as well as with my students. Padlet takes the concept of a blank piece of paper, and lets you put whatever you want on it and share it with people. With the web, this takes this “blank piece of paper” concept and lets you do even more. Let me  show you more about what I am talking about.

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When I get to take time off from being a tech enthusiast and writer there is generally one thing I want to do — be in the woods and mountains. While my wife and daughter do not share this enthusiasm, my son at least does, and we head out for single and multi-day hikes.

One service I find indispensable these days is the web resource AllTrails, an app that could be described as the Facebook of hiking, and more. Let’s take a look and see if this is what you need to get you in the great outdoors more. (more…)

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