Bundlr: Your Personal News Feed

I’m sure that I’m not alone in often thinking of a tremendous idea, one that could change the way we do something forever – before looking into it and finding it already exists.  Yesterday I had one of those moments.  Why isn’t there a website/app that allows me to bookmark articles and group them in a feed that I can share with people rather than having to Tweet or share via Facebook.  A little research led to me to find Bundlr, and I’m glad to say that it works almost exactly as I’d imagined.

It was a simple process to set up a Bundlr feed, or bundle as it’s known, to show the sites that you’ve visited and want to share with people.  First you set up an account on their site, which is easy enough but does have to be done via Facebook, Twitter or Google, something I’d rather not do.  Then you fill in a basic information form and you’re almost ready.  You can then install a browser extension (for Chrome) which will pop up in the top right, and when you click it the site that you are on will be added to your feed.   You can then share your feed with others, who can then follow you via Bundlr itself, or embed your feed in your site like I have.  It’s a simple solution to mass bookmarking articles.

I’ve started my Bundlr so that I can set up a reading list of articles for this blog, in case my posts weren’t enough for some!  This will include news articles from the sites I visit, opinion pieces from other writers and the odd piece of content I find interesting or amusing too.  This is a perfect way of maintaining a reading list without having to constantly check it or update it manually.

I’ve only used Bundlr for a day or so, but I’m very happy with it.   You can have as many bundles as you want, which is something I didn’t expect from the free version, and you can also collaborate with others to create a feed.  These features make it far more than just a run-of-the-mill app.

These features fulfil what I thought was a gap in the market, in that this allows you to create your own custom news site.  Back when RSS was still alive and kicking, it was perhaps a little easier in that you could combine the stories from different sites together to create your own personal feed, but it never offered the flexibility that Bundlr does in being able to pick and choose articles.

There are some small drawbacks, though, in that the free service doesn’t allow you to embed your feed without the Bundlr branding or have private bundles.   But, in saying that, I don’t grudge them the credit for their service and I find that making the feeds private defies the point of having them in the first place!

So if you want to check out the sort of content I’m reading online, head over to my Reading List page and you can browse through my bundle.

Bundlr is a fantastic service and it may well be small at the moment, but I think it might have a future.  I may not have been first to this fantastic idea, but when it works as well as it does that doesn’t really matter at all.

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