Tag Archives: Google Reader

Sharing is caring: Google Reader

I’ve written about Google products before, including Google Docs and Google Presentations. I haven’t had much to say about Google Reader since until recently I used either Thunderbird or Bloglines Beta to pull in news and feeds from various websites. I switched to Reader for three reasons.

First, I noticed that some nice people had written Firefox extensions to customize the GReader experience. I found Thunderbird to be slow and Bloglines Beta OK but a little buggy (it is a beta, after all) and I liked the idea of tweaking things here and there to improve my experience.

Second, I heard that GReader’s mobile interface was very good. Thus far I feel that it is much faster than the Bloglines mobile site. There are still some feeds that contain images that don’t load properly on my admittedly old mobile device.

Third, GReader allows me to share with others. I can selectively “fling” certain articles that I like, with my own annotation, into a publicly viewable queue. Google displays this shared queue of information in a few different ways. First, there is a Google URL just for your shared items. This can be viewable to the whole world. They also give you code to publish a little “badge” on your own website. Lastly, my friends who also use GReader can click “Rick’s Shared Items” in their own feed list to see what I’ve added.

You can see the GReader badge, among other things, on my personal website. Notice the middle part that says “Rick’s Shared Items”? That list dynamically changes as I share new things in GReader.

Let me know if you already use Google Reader and I’ll add you as a friend.

easy ways to read internet news and blogs

Patrick and I were talking yesterday about the “types” of people who want to read news and blogs on the internet. Nearly everyone uses the web to go out and read articles, so even if they don’t know it they are gathering feed-based information. This most basic method of information hunting-and-gathering is just fine, but there might be another way that fits your personal work patterns better.

Here is the breakdown as I see it. People will tend to do one or more of the following:

  1. go out to multiple websites each day and read articles, columns, journals, and news on their own “home pages”
  2. use a web-based service (Bloglines, Google Reader) to collect, or aggregate, the information on a single web page
  3. use a program (like Thunderbird) to collect articles from favorite news sources and treat them like e-mail

I personally like getting my news alongside my e-mail using Mozilla Thunderbird. I check my e-mail quite frequently and tend to fall behind on reading my favorite websites. By getting a message every time a new article is posted, I can keep up with things better. This is solely a factor of the way I like to work, not a choice based on efficiency or “correctness.”¬†

We at IT¬†expect other people feel the same way, so I’ve prepared a quick guide for any Thunderbird user who might want to try out gathering feeds in this way. Let me know if it helps!