Saturday, June 10, 2006

Reader

So I have been reading blogs now for a little over two years. I know that this fact makes me a little tike in the grand scheme of the world wide web and this thing called blogging, but I feel that I have been around long enough to have some opinions on a couple of things.

When this adventure started, I was using Internet Explorer, and had this ever growing list of “favorites” that I would compulsively click through each day to see if the author or content provider had decided to put up something new. Toward the end of 2004, my school friends convinced me that I needed to give up IE and give FireFox a try. I was hooked on first download, and most impressed by the “live bookmark” feature, as it allowed me to check the blogs that I read only by hovering over the live bookmarks to see what was new. The downside to this is that you had to move your links with you from computer to computer, and sometimes the live bookmarks didn’t quite work the way that you would expect them to.

So, I tried various RSS aggregators and wasn’t pleased with the results as they all had quirks in them that I though represented compromises to the way I wanted to read “stuff” on the web. I had heard about some of the popular online RSS aggregators that were out there, but I’ll be the first to admit I am stubborn when it comes to signing up for a new service, so I didn’t.

The story gets interesting when Google first introduces Reader. It was around the same time that they were pushing Google desktop, and I was (and still am) disappointed with the idea that Reader and Desktop didn’t talk to each other as far as the feeds that they read, and dismissed both products in favor of the FireFox live bookmark.

Still, reading more blogs, and hearing about how Reader now has the ability to share, I decided to give it another go (no I still haven’t re-installed Google Desktop). This time around I have been completely wowed. It appears that the Google team has put a significant amount of effort into Reader since its conception. I am pleased with the way that it keeps track of my feeds, and very impressed with the ability that I have to share items with my friends. It really brings my blog/news reading to a new level.

When you get in there, you can take a look at my starred items, and also the starred items of my friend, Curtis. If you already use reader, and have a feed to share, let me know, I would love to see what you’ve been reading!

You too can harvest the power of feeds and sharing, give Reader a try today! If you still haven’t caught onto the great Google bandwagon and need an invite to get an account, I can help you out with that too.

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