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    Saturday, February 10, 2007

    Hey! Google Reader

    Since the post from Jess a while back, I've been eyeing Google Reader but I haven't had the time or energy to make the jump. I was a devoted Bloglines user for many years, and then I switched, on a whim, to Newshutch. Newshutch was more web2.0-y and "nicer" looking with its logos and AJAX-ified behavior. But it really isn't much above what Bloglines can do in terms of functionality.

    Now it's time for me to make the leap to Google Reader. It gave me the excuse to finally organize my pile of entangled feeds into categories. Up until now, I've just been reading down the list. There was nothing wrong with that. I liked jumping from one random bit of news to another - like, "hey! the shins have a new one coming out in january!", "hey! i can buy a 1GB flash drive with rebates for $8!", "hey! firefox has an addon to strip out unnecessary exclamation points!!"

    Yes, I begin almost all thoughts with "hey!" these days.

    Hey, anyway, Google Reader will still let me browse this way with its nifty "All Items" link to display all of my unread feeds in one view. So I trolled through my 400+ feeds and did some housecleaning. Chucked the expired feeds (in some cases replaced them with the newest feed if it existed), and took a hard look at those feeds that I never read. Whoosh...into the trash they went. So I'm down to a slimmer 248 subscriptions at this writing.

    Two articles in particular are responsible for pushing me over the edge to switch: LifeHacker's Getting good with Google Reader and the Get More From Google Reader Guide that I stumbled upon.

    If you haven't at least given Google Reader a test drive, I'd recommend that you try it out. The Greasemonkey script that inserts a "Feeds" link into your Gmail menus is ingenious (and I'm sure Google is working on an official release) and the Firefox Notifier is another way that you can make your feeds a part of your day without them getting terribly in the way.

    And if you have no idea what I'm talking about, that's OK too. Hi.