Monday, November 19, 2007

The Awesomeness of the Reader

Don't mind the mess: a screenshot of my Google Reader

You know how most websites have that little button that has "Subscribe Me" written all over it? well, I'm addicted to it. I have no problem whatsoever with admitting that and using the Power of RSS. 

What the heck is RSS? In geek speak for the masses it translates to Really Simple Syndication. It lets bloggers, websites and just about anybody who publishes on the Internet to "broadcast" and say "hey, you, we've got new content! Care to read?"  

What does it got to do with Readers like you? A couple of months back, I blogged on Netvibe and Zeitgeist.  While I like the whole desktop away from home look that netvibes gives and lets you just like Yahoo and iGoogle a command-center-look at everything all at once, I've found myself gravitating back to Google Reader for my RSS-fix. Sure all those web-apps lets me know the weather and the condition of the stock market and feeds to me daily rss news from my favorite sites, it just gets overwhelming looking at it all at once. 

Google Reader has a two pane-window in the same vein as Windows Explorer. One on the left side, you've got the list of websites/feeds you've subscribed to and on the right side, you've got the specific feed. You can configure Reader to let you see only the sites that have updated and how many you've read. You can configure the reading pane to let you see only the new items. 
The power that I like with Reader is that it lets me share with readers like you what i've found interesting without actually
  blogging about it. If you look at the sidebar to your right, you can see The Good Stuff box (or to your left for a snapshot of what i'm talking about).  Google Reader lets me email specific articles that i like and share it with my contact list.  Like I found l33t from xkcd to be awesome funny, so i sent it via email to a few friends before posting a blog about it.  It doesn't matter anymore if you've updated once today, or once in a week. Every update is piped through and I nor you don't have to miss a thing. 

I'm a voracious reader. For me, the amount of information flowing through the pipes of The Interwebz is both a boon and a bane. There is just too much interesting info to keep in touch with, and Google Reader lets me keep up with sites that interest me, like National Geographic or news from the world of Archeology from Discovery Channel. It keeps me in the loop when friends update their blogs and i can easily read their work without having to open webpages. Google Reader lets me know if there are interesting articles like Race, genes and Intelligence from Slate or if Mahalo Daily has a new update or if Wallstrip has a great video, or what's new and funny from Fake Steve Jobs.  It lets me share what I like with friends by clicking on the share--- which is piped to this blog or good old fashioned emailed. That is the Awesomeness of the Reader. 

And yes, if you're reading this then you're pretty awesome as well.