Which RSS feed reader are you using to collect and keep track of your RSS subscriptions? NetNewsWire? Firefox Live Bookmarks? NewsGator?
When I started subscribing to blog and news sites, I tried many of the above readers… tried them for a few weeks, moved on to the next. It took me a few months of trial and error until I gave Google Reader a go, and since then I have not even considered looking back.
I’ve found Google Reader to be the more productive and a friendlier choice. If you are new to RSS or considering switching your current feed reader, here are 10 reasons why you should.
10 Reasons to Start Using Google Reader
1. Free, web-based and portable, so it doesn’t matter where you read your feeds – your computer, cell phones, friends laptop – the subscriptions are updated, marked read/deleted, or can be saved for later from anywhere. For example, imagine having read an email from your cell phone and having to go home only to repeat the process and delete it again… I can read my feeds from my iPhone (or most web-enabled phones) and have Google synchronize the changes – this was pretty much the deciding factor for my switch.
2. Even more portable than you think – With Google Gears you can access your feeds while your offline. You can read, deleted, save (star) and share up to 2,000 of your latest feeds. When you connect online again, everything will sync up.
3. It’s simple — If you already use Gmail then you know what I’m talking about… if not, you’re missing out. Viewing and reading your RSS subscriptions is as easy as viewing and reading email in any inbox.
4. Easily add new subscriptions — Google makes it as easy as clicking a ‘favorite’ or ‘bookmark’ to add a new RSS feed. If you come across a feed you like, you can click on your “Subscribe…” bookmark and it will add it within Reader.
5. Organize and keep your subscriptions clutter free within folders. Keep your technology, cooking and favorite graphic design blogs separate.
6. Star your items as a way to mark them as a favorite or save them for later reading. I use this feature quite often when I come across an article that I’m interested in reading, but don’t have the time at that given moment.
7. Sharing is caring — Want an easy way to share an article with somebody? You can click the “Email” button, which will open up a new email message within Gmail or click “Share” to publish it to a public blog, so you friends can subscribe.
8. Keyboard shortcuts make the online reader act as if it were a program on your computer. For example, press the J or K keys to go to the next/previous article or click the S key to quickly star an item. If you’re interested in all the shortcuts, press Shift + ? on your keyboard to get a pop up box of them all.
9. Stay obsessively updated — Third-party plugins like Google Reader Notifier make it possible for blog reading junkies like myself to stay up-to-date every few minutes through Firefox, on your Mac or Windows desktop.
10. Trends allows stat junkies to see what they are reading in the last 30 days or which of their subscription is their favorite or most read.
11. Reader helps you discover new feeds by comparing your interests with the feeds of users similar to you.
12. Google Reader lets you keep your old subscriptions from your previous feed reader by importing your subscriptions. You can also export your feeds incase you want to switch back to your old reader… but why would you want to do that? ;)