VBPL 2.0 -- RSS and Feed Readers (aka Why Google Reader is Awesome!)

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For Week 4 of our Learning 2.0 challenge, we have been exploring RSS feeds and feed readers, which has been pretty easy for me, since I already use Google Reader religiously.

So, I thought I'd write a little bit about some of the features that make Google Reader especially useful:

1. Easy Sharing:

If you look over on the right hand column of this blog, you'll see a box titled "Interesting Articles (Reviews, etc..)" This is a Google Reader widget. Now, when I'm reading through blogs on Google Reader, if I read a post that I think might be interesting to you, my readers, I click on the link for "share" at the bottom of that post, and it automatically gets added to that little box on the sidebar.

It is also easy to e-mail posts to a friend, by just clicking the e-mail link at the bottom of each post. (I often e-mail random articles to my boyfriend such as "16 Year Old Has Playstation Confiscated: Hires Hitman to Kill Parents")

2. Keyboard shortcuts:

I'm one of those people who will happily avoid using the mouse if at all possible. There's a whole list of them here, but I regularly use:

  • s for star
  • t for tag
  • n for next
  • p for previous
  • gt to bring up a list of all the tags

And last, but definitely not least...


This was actually only recently added to Google Reader, and is wonderful. So many times, I find myself saying "I know I read something about that somewhere." Now, I can actually find those article again (even if I didn't actually remember to tag them)

As a rather pathetic example, I was recently telling a co-worker about this one Unshelved strip about RFID, and I knew that I had read it in Google Reader and that I had starred it. So I simply did a search for "unshelved" within my Starred Items, and quickly found the item I was looking for. (I also used the search feature just now to find the above-mentioned article).

So, if you haven't already -- go check it out (and don't forget to subscribe to my feed!)


TadMack said...

:) Already on your feed -- but had to comment that the 'random articles you send your boyfriend' thing just made me shriek!! OBVIOUSLY 16-year-old boys that hire HITMEN have a bit too much time/money on their hands. I'd hate to see what Mr. Playstation's allowance was...

Sara said...

Seriously! I hadn't even thought about that!

Though if you read the whole article (which I only did after I sent it to Matt), the kid was apparently kicked out of the house and then he tried to hire the hitman. So, it was rather misleading.

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