7. “Google Reader like an Inbox for the web”

Google Reader is an online tool which is useful to keep check on your favourite blogs and news sites.

With your Google Reader public page, you can also share your favourite items with your friends, simply by sending them to relevant links. You can also email friends to share information about feeds. You can also maintain your feeds privately.

You can access your Google Reader account from any computer with online access. (Unlike browser feed-readers which are specific to one computer.)

Getting Started

You need to have a Google account (e.g. gmail). Sign up at Google, follow the links to Google Reader or sign up at the link below.

When you start, you can add feeds from blogs you know personally, or browse the directory or news links from Google. (These are grouped by area of interest.)

  • To add your own feeds, open the blog web site in another window, then click to find the feed link (i.e. click on the RSS icon in the address bar).
  • Click add subscription in the left hand sidebar and enter the url of the feed for the web site you are interested in following e.g. https://workingtheweb.wordpress.com/feed/
  • Once the feed is listed you can rate it, share it (or not) and email it to friends.
  • You can also browse Google Reader’s feeds from its directory page: http://www.google.com/reader/view/#directory-page
  • Search for news, subject specific blogs etc.

(N.B. It is also possible to export your feeds from your browser. Click on Settings, then the Import/Export tab and follow directions.)


Checking your feeds

When ready to check your feeds, you simply read from the left hand sidebar:

  • Click on the feeds in bold (new feeds).
  • Clicking in the frame where the feed is displayed, marks the feed as read.
  • By clicking on the post title, you can see the whole post. (Some blogs are set to not display the whole post in a feeder until you do this.)
  • Clicking on the blog title takes you to the whole blog.

# Exercise

1. Follow the steps above to set up your own Google Reader, or at least follow the tour. Comment on your blog about the usefulness or otherwise of this tool. How does it compare with browser feed-reader tools?

2. On your blog, compare Browser feed readers with Google Reader. Can you see uses for both or is there one you would prefer to use? (N.B. you may later change your mind as you get used to one or the other – just write your first impressions.)

3. Tracking blogs can be time consuming, but feed-readers bring the information to you. Can you see a way to use this with class blogs also?

 # Extra

Are You Making Your Life Easier By Using RSS?How I Use RSS To Make My Life Easier Two posts about using RSS feeds to keep track from the Edublogger, Sue Waters.

Custom Video: Google Reader in Plain English, http://www.commoncraft.com/reader. Common Craft video explanation of Google Reader (1 min. only)

Review of Google Reader, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2007690,00.asp. from PC Magazine Feb 2008


2 comments on “7. “Google Reader like an Inbox for the web”

  1. Thanks for linking to my posts on RSS from The Edublogger. I hope your participants in your 15 Things program find the posts useful. Good luck with your program.

  2. I found the info on Google Reader in the 15 things section on RSS Feeds. I set up a Google Reader account the other day and am very impressed.

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