poniedziałek, 12 listopada 2007

Google Reader and other Google toys - quick review

As most of people I am registering RSS feeds, when I have some time to spare and than usually not enough time to read them frequently. I am after a romance with RSS Bandit, which one of the best standalone RSS readers (in my opinion). Then I have tried to use RSS reader emedded in IE 7 and Outlook - what a creepy implementation it is (bleh). Now I am looking at Google Reader used by one of my friends and I must admit I am positively surprised.

The cool things, which I truely like about the solution are:
  • Very clean GUI - e.g. there is one box where you may add the URL to RSS feed or the keywords to look for
  • Very cool (un)read mechanism - e.g. after WATCHING the lead of news it is marked as read; when it happens the first time you are warned about it (!) plus there an info that it is just the default behaviour. Amazingly simple!
  • The real juice of the whole concept is the share button on the bottom of each news - it allows you to select news, which you may provide publically on your own, dedicated page (all provided by Google). It may look like this
  • Except the share thing there is also couple of other useful things on the bottom of each feed, what makes them easy to access and truely user-friendly

  • Trends - that is quite simple, but nice statistics module showing how much content is coming from which source
  • Good administration model - there is totally new section called "Manage subscriptions", where you can make a number of things, which you are not doing daily - set up the outlook of the whole service, settings and (the most interesting) import/export your feeds using all good friend OPML. Here finally I have found the description of the whole thing and all the answers for questions asked before.
  • Itegration with Google Blog - on the right side you may see widget, which was created automatically from Google Reader
Google vs MS - 2:0 (the first point earned, after the blog platform was chosen ;) )
BTW, I have rediscovered the Google Toolbar Button Gallery, which allows you to highly customize your Google Toolbar (if you do not have any it is the time to download it from here). Quite often I willing to search the particular phrase just in Wikipedia and the most popular Google Toolbar button does just this. There are also specific buttons for CodeProject, Google Books Search and big number of the others like Google Calendar.

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