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How Google Reader changed my life

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by Phoenix, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Melodramatic title I know, but in a way it has

    As many of you are aware, I am a strong advocate of the use of RSS, and I use it heavily myself
    lots of users still trawl the web for news, updates, etc, I had to explain what RSS was to our in house IT manager and IT team the other day! whilst progressive companies are using RSS internally to keep staff informed of things, our IT team didn't even know what it was!

    I actually found this site via RSS, all those years ago, via a tool I used back then called Klipfolio, of coruse even on a 30" monitor klipfolio got a little unwieldy with more than 20 feeds added to it, since then I have used a few different tools like RSSOwl, Outlook 2007, Vienna, Feed Demon and finally Google Reader.

    Whilst initially sceptical of a web based reader (I had used one or two previously) I had watched a brief video of how Robert Scoble used Google reader to stay on top of thousands of feeds, and figured if he could manage that, I could manage the few hundred I have

    To put it bluntly, Google Reader has changed the way I use the web, I find a site I like, I hit a button and i'm subscribed, I never really need to go back to that website, I never need to remember a URL or bookmark a front page
    By using Google Reader and not a desktop app things are synced wherever I am, leave in a hurry in the morning and have unread stuff, cool I can catch a few on the train with the iPhone Google reader interface, then finish it up on the mac when I get to work

    If i find a article of interest I can star it, or share it, every one with a Google reader gets a google 'shared items' feed that they can give out to people, and anything you share, is added to your own feed that people can subscribe to, I use Robert Scobles 'Link blog' as he calls it to find out what he finds interesting, as its usually interesting to me, and I have my own shared items feed which is viewable directly or via a facebook news feed which a bunch of my peers/friends can see without being 'in the know' about RSS

    Most importantly it has increased dramatically the way I digest information from the web, news comes to me, in real time, I dont go looking for it in batch jobs at various points of the day
    using a combination of Google Reader and twitter I know instantly when things happen, when Vista SP1 RC became a public download, I knew, when VMWare 3.5 went GA, I knew, a whole day before VMware sent me the email!

    and with the added benefit of del.icio.us for online social bookmarking, I have lost the tether to a single machine that I used to have, sure I often had the same apps in various places, but with it on the web, its always in sync, its always accessable (its RSS, u couldnt use it much off line anyway, but Google Reader has Google Gears integration, so you actually can) :P
    The great thing is you don't actually need to read everything, I've really increased the speed at which I can spot read an item, work out if its worth actually reading, and move on the next article (Google reader has shortcut keys, J moves to the next unread item) I wouldn't do that on a web page, as each page may only have a few new items, and I'd have to change tabs / open new tabs to see news on another site! omg how ancient that concept is

    As it uses googles simple tag concept I can have feeds in multiple 'folders' by tagging them accordingly, and I have a tag for 'must read', things I know always have very good info, and are specifically related to my life/work, its easy to read the must haves then if your in a hurry, or on the train using a tiny browser ;)

    I know some of you use RSS a bit, I hope some of you use it as heavily as I do, When people who work with me realise the amount of stuff I process they think I'm some kind of machine, but its really just about making the machine work for you, not the other way round
    I implore anyone working in technology to make it work for you, you may not need to be subscribed to a few hundred feeds, but if you want to stay on your toes without chasing round the web, start using RSS, start using it well, and find a decent reader to make the process a pleasure more than a grind, in the last 30 days I have 'processed' (remember I don't read them all) over 10'000 items according to my trends page on Google Reader, I would of never even of found 1'000 things to read when I was using the old 'hunt and click' method of browsing, even with my old bookmark lists!

    I hope this gives some of you a bit of insight into the power of RSS, and those of you already using it, a bit of insight into the power of Google Reader

    And that's how Google Reader changed my life! after all, the Web IS a considerable part of my life :)
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Good article.

    I have RSS feeds by google reader its good that it notifies you of new blogs or posts on forums without having to trace back through posts that may have been missed.

    Just to add I recently got the new real player beta so when video blogs I am interested in appear I can watch and/or download them and watch at a later time.
     
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  3. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Exactly GBL

    I personally use iTunes for podcasts/videocasts as the stuff goes straight onto the iPhone from there

    for video blogs Google Reader plays them fine as most of them use .flv (Flash Video) streamers to display it
    I can even play Technet Radio inside Google Reader :)
     
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  4. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I don't use Itunes but for anyone who interested in computer gaming there is a show on the net called good game, its an ace 20 minute show once a week you can get it by RSS as well.
     
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  5. fortch

    fortch Kilobyte Poster

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    Just started using GReader :D
     
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  6. nugget
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    nugget Junior toady

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    Thanks Phoenix. It sounds like it's definately something to look at. :thumbleft
     
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  7. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I wish I had the time... :blink:oops:
     
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  8. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    if you get it, you dont have watch or read everything you subscribe to you can go back at a later date. Also as I said if you get the new real player beta it allows you to download any videos that you have sunscribed to so they can watched at a later time 8)
     
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  9. greenbrucelee
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    Phoenix, have you tried any other RSS readers?

    I use google reader at the moment as you know but was having a look around and there seems to be loads of them now, some look like they can do more than the google one and provide better security against spam.

    I use Firefox as my browser and was wondering if the firefox rss reader was any good or perhaps if anyone else can let me know.

    just to add I use miro which has free channels, it is a free podcast downloader
     
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  10. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I've used loads mate (a few listed above)
    depends on the features your interested in but none come close to practical for the amount of info I digest and the way I do it, there's a new development in the works that a couple of the web 2.0 advocates are all over, I'm awaiting a beta invite for it
    its called fav.or.it and its looking to be a pretty nice web based platform, I think they killer feature for me is the seamless use between platforms/places.. i can do it anywhere, and its all in check, I CANT do that with a desktop equiv
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    cool cheers, I will look in to that :)
     
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  12. Finkenstein

    Finkenstein Kilobyte Poster

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    Awesome post Phoenix! I used RSS for a while up until about a year ago when I got bored with a ton of clunky interfaces. I'm going to give Google Reader a try. From what you are saying, it seems to be worth it!

    Cheers!
     
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  13. ManicMonkey

    ManicMonkey Kilobyte Poster

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    just subscribed to it and added CF as my first rss feed :D, not sure how this will work for me as i have never used rss feeds before so this will be entertaining (and hopefully a learning curve)
     
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  14. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Me too, I just subsribed to Google reader. I never used RSS feeds before, but it's never too late to try. Great review Phoenix.
     
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  15. BrizoH

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    Sounds good, think I'll have a look this afternoon.

    To follow on, anyone got any favourite RSS feeds?
     
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  16. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Just in case anyone is interested I use miro its a Free and open-source rss media player, you can pick from lots of different channels from education and new to computer games and the latest music, if your lucky enough to be able to watch HD on your comp there are HD channels too.

    Theres a brilliant austrailian computer game show on there called good game and a mental web based polic drama called port city pd.

    well worth a download :)
     
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  18. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I use Miro too mate, it used to be called Democracy and is much better (I think) than Joost, joost is way to exclusive at the moment, although it does have some big name backing so perhaps it will get better :)
     
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  19. wizard

    wizard Petabyte Poster

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    I've been using Google Reader for about a month now.

    I was using Bloglines for quite a while then I got fed up of it, because it was continually telling me I had new items to read, when I got to the them, there had only been a minor update and even then I couldn't tell what the minor update to the article was.

    I've still got 400+ unread items on Google Reader.
     
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  20. greenbrucelee
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    I haven't looked at joost, I like the way though on miro that it downloads automatically new episodes of channel you subscribe to and you have full control of it. The only issue I have with is its quite slow and whenever I launch it I get an illegal operation plug in message but everything works, so I don't understand why I get the error message :blink
     
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