Sunday, December 2, 2007

Google Reader is MARVELOUS

I enjoy reading blogs. I have friends who write blogs and blogs that cover my favorite interests - but I was never very good at checking them regularly. Often I would forget the url or just forget about them. I had known about RSS feeds and what they are and had heard of RSS Feed readers that allow you to subscribe to all sorts of RSS feeds and allows you the read them all in one place. But until I signed up my for Gmail account I had never really found a format I liked or wanted to take the time to set up. Then I found Gmail, iGoogle, Blogger, Google Documents and Google Calendar and was impressed - everything I ever wanted to do on the web accessible from one place. I can log into my Gmail from that page I can go to my Google Documents containing word and excel documents editable from any internet browser, and my Google Calendar where I can keep track of everything from one page online instead of trying to fight with syncing my iCalendar from my Mac to my online account. Well, one day I was exploring the many capabilities that a Google account has and found Google Reader. And now I am addicted. I have 223 subscriptions, and over the last 30 days I have read 12,286 items, starred 390 items, shared 6 items, and emailed 15 items. It is crazy. I have subscriptions to knitting blogs, friends blogs, rss feeds streamed in from newspapers, Facebook, and MSNBC. I am an avid subscriber to blogs about design, shopping, living green, fonts, fitness and health, Martha Stewart, gadgets, and more. And everyday, it seems I find something else I want to subscribe to. One really nice thing about Google Reader is that it frees up my email. If I can subscribe to an RSS feed from an enewsletter and read it from Google Reader instead of having it delivered to my inbox - I can save my email for communication to friends, family and work instead and rely on Google Reader for all my random newsletter subscriptions and news updates (well, at this the ones that have that capability). It saves time by allowing me to view all my favorite blogs from one webpage instead of having to visit 223 different urls I can see them all on one page. And I can star posts I like for future reference, email them with one click, or share them. While it saves time on one hand it also has created and ENORMOUS distraction for me. Instead of checking maybe 10 blogs every now and then, I now check 223 and I spend about an hour a day doing so. It is almost a game now, I see that I have 539 unread posts and I keep scrolling and scrolling through them all until there are none unread. It is an addiction I tell you! But I love it! It has brought the world of blogs and rss feeds to my finger tips and I find myself learning something new everyday and keeping more up-to-date on what is going on in the world.

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