geek google rss

google reader tryout

those rss feeds sure are yummyAfter reading this lifehacker article about using reBlog as a newsreader I got less satisfied with using my Bloglines account for reading and aggregating my RSS feeds.
The idea of skimming through new posts from all different feeds quickly and only marking those of interest that you feel like reading later seemed like a good and fast way to process the ever growing amount of information.

Bloglines doesn’t really allow this in a fast and easy way. I started looking for a way to do this, and the closest I got was to go through the feeds as ussual and “clip” whatever I felt like reading later on. This worked ok, but it’s mighty slow. Using the “Clip this” link opens a popup, loads a text editor as you can also blog from the same window, and then you have to click the “Save as a clip” button. Then it does a form post and then you can manually close the window. Too damn slow indeed.

Setting up a reBlog isn’t something I have gotten around to myself yet, but I checked out the Google Reader again and that seems to be pretty damn close to the approach mentioned above. So I exported all my Blogline feeds using an OPM file, imported the list in Google Reader, and gave it a shot.

You can skim through the latest feeds using the j/k keyboard shortcuts, and mark everything for later detailed reading by pressing the “s” key, and thus “star” it (like in GMail). Later on you can go back to the starred items, and start reading your selected articles and posts.

And it’s fast too of course, cause it’s full of AJAX-Google-magic powered sweetness.

Even nicer!

There’s some things I still need to work out though. In Bloglines I was a number of folders to store feeds I didn’t really read, or at least not frequently. Those show up in my feed list now with the occasional post, which I skip. I’m guessing those feeds don’t really belong there, and I should store them somewhere else, and pick them up from there if I have some spare time to read them.
I also had a “trash” folder where I stored feeds I used to read, but felt like they had more noise than signal to them. There doesn’t seem to be a way to excluded or deactivate feeds without completely unsubscribing from them in Google Reader, so I’ll have to kill those permanently now, and hope I wont be subscribing to them again in the future without knowing I already did that at some point.

And of course there’s tagging. You can tag posts (using some nifty ajax-magic again, try the “g-l” shortcut keys), and actually publish a new feed from a tag you selected. Now that sounds nice doesn’t it? You can even have the tagged posts emailed to people and all, but who still uses email these days when you have RSS right? Well I do, but lets not go into that. Anyway, I’m pleased with the Google reader actuallly, and I didn’t quite think much of it at first. It looked too damn simple, and actually that just where it power lies now.

I guess it simply doesn’t hurt to check back and reevaluate things now and then.

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