I had signed up for Google Reader 6 months ago, but didn't really enjoy the experience. The Reader then had a User Interface which I felt wasn't friendly, the navigation and managment of feeds wasn't easy. Finally the Reader provided only a list view of your favorite subscriptions and you only got a snapshot if you clicked on a particular item.
Gradually over time I had stopped using it, until last week when I read a post 'Google Reader gets a facelift
' by Garett Rogers.
~ Google Reader Home ~
So I logged into my Google Reader today morning to get a feel of the new features. The first thing which stood out was the clean and simple view of Google Reader Home. On your left-hand-side it has shortcuts to your home, starred items, shared items and finally to all your subscriptions.
~ Shortcuts ~
Then I noticed that all the tags which I had used to label my favorite feeds were transformed to a folder view. All the feeds are neatly classified under each folder. I liked this idea of folder-based navigation, it keeps it simple and easy to manage all the feeds.
~ Folder-based Navigation ~
The next feature is the different viewing styles available as of now are Expanded View and List View. Both of them are very useful for me, I use the Expanded View, to browse the feeds of my fellow bloggers and I use the List View to have a glance at all the news feeds - Rediff, ESPN, CNN_IBN, ZDNet, etc.
Finally, the Reader has borrowed few features from sister services (Gmail, Blogger and GCal) like adding stars, tagging, sharing, emailing. Has much better implementation of Read-state management.
~ Shortcuts for sharing, tagging, emailing on an item feed ~
I am a guy who loves reading and on any given day I spend at least two hours reading save them on del.icio.us
and sometimes I share them across with my friends based on our common subjects of interest. The sharing was a painful process, everytime I read something interesting and felt like sharing it. I used to IM (Instant Message) them those links. Google Reader reduces this hassle of sharing, as it allows me to share my Reader feed with the rest of the world on my website. Click here
to view what I have shared for you.
With all the new features and enhancements, I now feel I will use Google Reader more often. Another good reason for using Google Reader is to read blogs/sites when there are restrictions enforced by your government or your employer.
If you aren't using it, then I suggest you to give 'Google Reader
' a shot.