Saturday, November 17, 2007

Google Reader

I was thinking about this earlier and sometimes I take certain technologies for granted. I gloss over posting them on my blog because they are so ingrained in my daily life that I don't see them as "news." I shouldn't do this because not everyone knows about some of these technologies. So, today, I want to point out one of the applications integral to my technology life: Google Reader.

Google Reader
is an application that of a type that is traditionally referred to as an "RSS aggregator." In other words, it is a single site you can visit to read updates from all of your favorite news and blog sites.

In the "old days," you would have to visit *every site* to see updates: you'd have to go to the New Yorks Times site to check the news, Yahoo Sports to get updates on your favorite teams, and all of your friends' blogs to see their posts. This is: 1) annoying, and 2) so Web 1.0. :)

The new style of information dissemination is passive: content comes to you, not vice versa. This is where RSS and, by extension, aggregators come in. Here's an example: in my Google reader, I subscribe to all of my friends' blogs, the Philadelphia Phillies' Yahoo Sports page, the New Yorks Times, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, and Engadget. I visit my Google Reader compulsively, almost as much as I check my email, to get information as soon as it becomes available.

Also, if you are an iGoogle user, you can add your Google Reader as a gadget on your iGoogle home page, which is somewhat useful.

Anyway, if you don't already have an RSS-aggregator preference, I would highly recommend you check out Google Reader. It is fantastic.

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