Blog Tip

Why do you use Google Reader?

I’ve been reading a lot of comments in the last couple of months raving about how good Google Reader is, and how it just beats Bloglines hands down.

From a professional bloggers point of view, what’s all the fuss about?

Author: nickw

16 thoughts on “Why do you use Google Reader?

  1. Dave, I must agree with your last paragraph. Reader is always open here on its own Firefox tab, right next to Gmail. So why do I want a second tab with Reader? However, given that it’s still in beta, hopefully this behaviour will change.

    But nevertheless, the speed and ease of use of the product are knockout.

  2. Nathan,

    Re: AJAX is nice but is still buggy.

    Yeah, sometimes, not often, it doesn’t down-date the count of unread feeds in a subscription. I do a browser page refresh to sort that particular issue.

  3. I really like Google Reader for a few different reasons, but it has pros and cons

    pros:
    1) Feels like gmail. Can’t beat that.
    2) easy to subscribe and/or unsubscribe
    3) sharing
    4) speed

    cons:
    1) some feeds simply DON’T work. I haven’t figured this one out yet, but some feeds just don’t update.
    2) it doesn’t report feed stats to feedburner which makes it hard for bloggers to track how many people are using it to read their feed
    3) There’s no way to use it to publish your subscriptions. My readers have expressed interest in knowing (in real time) what blogs are on my list of daily reads. Unless I share every story, that’s not possible with GR.
    4) the AJAX is nice but is still buggy.

    IMO, it’s still the best reader, but you do have to deal with the bugs and some negative features.

    Nathan

  4. @Torley: you can embed Google Reader in GMail. I love GMail, too, but found Google Reader’s flow annoying. It doesn’t show me enough of a text snippet to make using it worthwhile for browsing hundreds of feeds daily.

  5. Google Reader is simply amazing because of,

    1) speed and functionality,
    2) ability to share my choice of interesting readings with others, and
    3) ability to go home and continue reading where I left off.

    Simply put it saves me a whole lot of trouble and time. My thanks go to all the developers involved.

  6. I like Gmail a lot and wish I could view my search results like I do threaded conversations or feeds in Google Reader; I still use Bloglines because I prefer the layout of their headlines-only view. This could be subject to change, however. As of late, Bloglines sorting feels a lot easier to use than it did before.

  7. Yeah, I was pretty impressed by the “It only marks feeds as read when you scroll past them (you can unmark)” feature as well.

    I’m probably going to switch to it soon but still using bloglines for the moment. Too lazy to switch over yet and my workplace internet isn’t great with AJAX. I shall have to investigate more.

  8. Wow, i just worked out the keyboard shortcuts!

    Bloody awesome, i have yet to work it all out, but i just closed liferea, my ubuntu/gnome reader of choice, and can’t see myself opening it up anytime soon…

    One big issue i have is that my folders are organized alphabetically. This means ‘low’ comes before ‘medium’ 🙁

  9. I’ve recently started using google reader and I like it for these reasons:

    1. It’s fast
    2. Don’t need yet another login & password
    3. It only marks feeds as read when you scroll past them (you can unmark)
    4. You can star your favourite posts
    5. Subscriptions can be in one or more folders of your choice

    Can’t comment on these ‘cos I haven’t used them: (a) the keyboard shortcuts ; (b) google have introduced the trends view where can view graphically your feed reading habits.

  10. I’ve used it ever since I switched from Windows to Linux. Before that I used FeedDemon which I still think is the best RSS reader out there.

    I like Reader better than BlogLines and others because of the speed, like others have mentioned, especially when using the keyboard (see here, Nick!). I like the ‘river of news’ approach and have never put feeds in folders, so that doesn’t bother me at all. The labels are there, but I have never figured them out really.

    One thing that pisses me off about it though is when I click the RSS icon on a site to subscribe to it – it jumps me to Reader and I confirm the sub, and then leaves me in reader (which I usually have open anyway) rather than taking me back to the original site. I cannot tell you how annoyed I get about this.

  11. The biggest feature for me is the way it treats new items. With Bloglines, as soon as you click on a feed ALL of the new items are marked as read. With Google Reader, they’re not marked read until you actually scroll past them.

    Plus one less login is a good selling point, too.

    Plus I can display it on my customized Google page.

    It’s also prettier.

  12. Wow, keyboard shortcuts eh? I only imported my opml a couple of weeks ago (first time since it first came out) and did not see those anywhere despite looking! It was one of the things I really wanted from a news reader.

    Now, if you guys can tell me that i can have folders, and that a high, med, low priority system (naming convention with folders) would work, im sold!

  13. Speed. The keyboard shortcuts and ease of browsing speed is unmatched by anything else. Plus I like the way it looks and I love being able to quickly share feeds

  14. I use Google Reader for several reasons:

    • It’s fast
    • There are tons of keyboard shortcuts for quickly scanning through my feeds, starring ones I want to come back to, sharing feeds on my link blog, etc.
    • I use my link blog to display a list of recently read articles on my blog

    I realize that many of these features are present in other feed readers, but Google Reader puts them together in a way that is easy to use, with a nice simple design.

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