Tuesday, December 23, 2008

One of My Favorite Things: Google Reader

Google Reader is a program that checks all the blogs that you tell it to and lets you know which have new posts. It will show you updates to anything with an RSS feed. If, for instance, a blog is private, it doesn't have a feed, so you have to check those manually. Otherwise, Google Reader is awesome!

You simply log in to Google Reader and you come to a page with a listing of your blogs, with highlights on the blogs with new posts. You can either read them in Google Reader, or go to the blog itself to read it. (Sometimes authors only allow a snippet of the blog post on readers, and you have to go to the actual blog to read the post in its entirety.)

Google offers a tour of Reader HERE. From the Google Reader tour:

Stay up to date
Google Reader constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content. Whether a site updates daily or monthly, you can be sure that you won't miss a thing.

Simplify your reading experience
Google Reader shows you all of your favorite sites in one convenient place. It's like a personalized inbox for the entire web.

Discover new content
Millions of sites publish feeds with their latest updates, and our integrated feed search makes it easy to find new content that interests you.

A basic explanation of a feed reader (like Google Reader) from Life Hack:

One of the core technologies behind the Web 2.0 “revolution” is RSS (Really Simple Syndication). Most websites that are updated with any sort of regularity have feeds of at least their headlines, and usually of full articles. Some sites also have secondary feeds listing their comments, videos, links, and other updates as well.

Because RSS is so common these days, keeping up with the rush of information that shapes our lives has become pretty easy (”really simple”, even). Instead of jumping from one site to another, you can keep track of all the content of the sites you visit regularly in one central place.

Why Google Reader?

While there are desktop applications that collect your syndicated content, reading RSS feeds is one task that justifies the buzz around “Web 2.0″. For reading news, keeping up with blogs, even tracking packages, little can compare with Google Reader — its easy to add feeds, easy to read them, and easy to organize them.

Google Reader offers several advantages over stand-alone desktop feed readers. First of all, it integrates tightly with both Firefox and IE7, making it simple to use. Second, you can access your feeds from any computer, and keep your reading in sync between them. Finally, you don’t have to worry about upgrades or performance issue — bug fixes and new features are added “behind the scenes” with no action on your part. And it’s free.

If you already use any of Google’s other services — Gmail, Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Groups, or whatever — you are already signed up for Google Reader; just log in with your existing account information. Otherwise, go to Google Reader and create a new account.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

1 comment:

  1. I love this idea! I think Im using Google reader with my blog- or something close to it. Its been a life saver for those of us who want to keep up with every one but don't want to have to click on each individual blog to find out who has updated and who hasn't..thats a nightmare.