Thursday, September 27, 2007

Google Reader Shared Items

I use Google Reader to keep track of all the blogs and websites I like to read. Most websites publish their content in a format (RSS,atom) that a computer program can read. The published content in a computer readable format is called a feed. Once a website has created a feed I can subscribe to the website using a feed reader like Google Reader.

Basically what this lets you do is get updates to websites similar to the way you get email. Imagine if you had to log on to each one of your friends websites each day to check to see if they had written you an email. That would be madness if you had any more than a handful of friends. Instead you just login into your email program like Gmail and look at all the emails sent to you.

Google Reader works the same way as Gmail except instead of emails you get website updates. When I log in to Google Reader, I see all the updates for all the websites I have subscribed to. I don't have to type the address for each website I like to visit. I just log into my reader and see all the updates in nice neat organized fashion. Yes I am a little OCD.

A cool feature of Google Reader is shared items. Shared items let you mark an item in your reader as interesting. Once you have shared an item it is available for other people to look at. Google reader automatically creates a website and a feed for people to read your shared items.

Google Reader also gives you a little widget to display your shared items on your blog. I added my shared items over to the right as well as links to subscribe to my shared items.

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