April 21st, 2012

Google Reader

I use Google Reader extensively to read all my favorite blogs and online magazines. It really helps me, as I don’t have to remember the blog names or URLs. One can follow as many as possible blogs without remembering their names and URLs. You have to subscribe it once and it’s done. I have 50+ subscriptions, which I am trying to reduce. If you have too many subscriptions, and if you don’t read it regularly, it will pileup 1000+ unread items in a week and you will procrastinate to read. To avoid this, subscribe to important blogs only and read it regularly. Still there will be occasions, when you will be busy and won’t open it for days.  Like everyone, I also have a pretty busy life, and I don’t get a chance to open my reader every day. To remind myself, I have created a bookmark on Firefox navigation bar. Hopefully, I will clear all my backlog unread posts very soon. In some of the blogs I have a backlog of 20 posts or even more. Again, I can’t read and digest all 20 posts of a blog in one session. In a way, it’s very similar experience likes reading a paper book for me. It’s so easy to fold a page or place a bookmark before closing your book, which really helps you jump to the right page or a chapter. I wish Google Reader had a smart visual bookmarker (aka reader-mark) letting you know, where you left last time.

I generally sort my reader with “newer first” settings, so that I can read the latest first. Some people do older first, but if they have too many subscriptions, chances are slim that you will read a post on its published date. There will be a backlog all the time. No matter which sort order you use, Google Reader can have a visual bookmark between the posts you have read and haven’t read. The visual bookmarker can change its location as you complete reading a post and shift to another. It does not have to scream the bookmark word and it could be very subtle. Also, I feel visually there is no difference between a read post and an unread post.

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