Google Reader Update
I first started using Google Reader as my main Feedreader soon after it first came out. My reasoning for first using it was because I used two laptops and a PDA to read my feeds. Before that I used the free program Omea Reader. Of course with offline software it doesn’t synchronise whereas via Google Reader it’s updated online, the feeds are stored online (so no disk usage on my part) and the feeds are checked throughout the day (at a guess). Since using it I’ve found a few more reasons to use it which I thought I’d share, perhaps help give anyone who’s considering using it a bit more info.
The first feature is the look, the style of it. This can be controlled by you, if you have the time and knowledge. Using the Firefox extension Stylish, you can create your own CSS stylesheet for it, change the way it’s laid out, change what is displayed and hide anything you don’t use etc. Alternatively I highly recommend Jon Hick’s stylesheet for it, which can be found at UserStyles. This is a really nice change in the design in my opinion.
Google has recently added some new features to the reader, such as a search box, allowing you to search the feeds for specific information. It’s not something I’ve used or would necessarily use, but it may prove handy in the future. You can also star/favourite a particular post for future reading which is handy as I see some posts that look good but I may not have time to read and pay attention there and then!
A new feature that I really like (which may not be new but I’ve only just found it!) is that you can just display your unread posts. You can display all posts from a feed if you want to, but if you only have time to look at say a couple of feeds then you can read those and happily close the browser down. When you return it will know what you’ve read and only show you what you’ve not seen. This was always a problem for me before as I’d get a build up of posts for a particular site, and start reading the first few. If I closed the site down I would lose my place, so I’ve often leaving the browser open for up to a week, with the reader undisturbed, allowing me to try and catch up (and often just hit the Mark All Read instead!). Now I don’t have to worry about this which is fantastic!
Of course you have standard features such as organising into categories, renaming feeds to suit yourself etc. If you’re considering trying it out then I honestly urge you to. It saves so much time, looks good and is great to use.