8 reasons for using Google Reader for RSS



Using RSS on a regular basis? If not, why not? Heralded some time ago as a game changer RSS has proven to be just that – the best, easiest and quickest way to digest regular content from the web.

Here are 8 reasons why Google Reader is the best RSS reader to use:

1. Share-ability
At the click of a link your favourite articles can be shared with your peers. From a knowledge management perspective this is a critical filter for switching off the increasing noise on the wires.

2. A personal news aggregator
By sharing you also create a page, unique to you, which can be styled by CSS to become a useful resource of information about you for others to read.

photo3. iPhone compatibility
This is the piece-de-resistance of Google Reader – when on the move it is easier to read feeds in the iPhone interface than it is to read any free newspaper. The fact that RSS is (on the most part) text only also makes it extremely quick over whatever connection you manage to get hold of.

4. ‘Like’ing
A brand new feature, and one that brings Google Reader back into the spotlight, is that of being able to ‘like’ a story. This new metric, being touted as THE social media metric right now, is such a beautifully simple addition.

As Facebook, or Friendfeed before it, you are now able to associate you name with the article, which allows Google Reader users to find other like-minded users, who also like similar content.

5. Starring
OK, so now there are potentially 3 things to consider when you want to take action over a great piece of writing that you have just read: do you share it, star it, or like it?!

Well there are  subtle differences to the 3. I star as a means of bookmarking, and when trying to recollect data often flick between Delicious, Twitter and Google Reader to checked my starred items, before reorganising in a more aggregated fashion (usually into Delicious).

6. Email
Very often when I know my peers aren’t reading Google Reader as regularly as I do, I will email the most important articles. This is again particularly useful from the iPhone.

7. Always enough to read
If you’re like me you’ll love reading about technology.  You’ll also know how much noise there is out there. One of the amazing things about Google Reader (unlike Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed and the like) is that it seems alright that you always have more information than you know you’ll be able to read! I don’t have that panic with Google Reader that I do with keeping up with Twitter – it makes it feel like it is alright to dip into whenever you want to.

I guess the reason for this is that I digest content in different doses depending on what I’m doing. On occasions I can spend hours troughing content and data like it’s my life blood, but more often than not I just want a quick fix!

(8) And as a footnote, my favourite aspect (and I know this applies to all RSS readers) – after 15 years of working with the web it is such a joy to not have to load in a whole web page around the content that you have come to read. Indeed RSS is the newspaper of today for me… it may all be in one column but it is eminently more readable.

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