Tag Archives | Google Reader

The Best Google Reader Replacement

Google ReaderGoogle Reader has long been the best RSS aggregator available. It arrived on the scene in 2005 and quickly overtook the competition. I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader shortly after it was released and never looked back.  Their web app is excellent, and their Android app is pretty solid too, even if not as advanced as some of its competitors’ offerings. Its robust API is also the foundation for most mobile RSS apps.

Although RSS has never really taken off with the masses, those of us who are more technologically inclined consider it one of the most useful and efficient ways to keep up with content from multiple sources.

The End of Google Reader

Unfortunately, Google announced that they’re retiring Reader.

We launched Google Reader in 2005 in an effort to make it easy for people to discover and keep tabs on their favorite websites. While the product has a loyal following, over the years usage has declined. So, on July 1, 2013, we will retire Google Reader. Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months.

It’s not because a better product came along and stole their market share. It’s not because RSS is dead. Rather, Google is cleaning house and refocusing its resources.

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Subscribe to Any Page with Google Reader

Have you ever come across a webpage that you wanted to subscribe to in your RSS reader only to be disappointed to discover that it didn’t have an RSS feed? Perhaps it’s the occasional “blog”1 that for some strange reason lacks RSS (e.g., Tim Keller’s or David Alan Black’s).

Well, Google Reader has come to the rescue with a new feature that allows you to subscribe to any page even if it lacks an RSS feed. Simply click on the “Add a subscription” button and input the URL for the page that you want to subscribe to. If Google Reader can’t find an RSS feed, it will offer to create one.

Create a Feed in Google Reader

Once Google creates a feed for that page, the next person who tries to subscribe to that same page will be able to do so automatically without being asked if they want to have Google create a feed.

What pages are you going to start subscribing to now that you couldn’t before?

HT: Mashable

Footnotes

  1. I put quotes around it because I’m not sure I’m willing to recognize a site without an RSS feed as a true blog. I’m half joking.

Google Reader Gets Search

For all you Google Reader users out there, you’ll be glad to know that you can finally search your feeds—both read and unread items! This is especially handy if you don’t tag an item and can’t remember where you read it. I use Google’s Web History to look up stuff like this, but it doesn’t work with feeds unless you actually visited the site. I will put this feature to good use.

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Tip for Safer Surfing

I’m getting downright tired of the junk on the web. I’ve been frequenting hundreds of blogs and news sites each week at work to find helpful material for our new PastorBlog. I’ve been disgusted with all the stuff you see on major news sites—obscene immodesty and sometimes even complete nudity (apparently the standard of what’s acceptable is lower in the UK). Amazingly, even some Christian news sites and blogs have this kind of σκύβαλον. That really burns me up, but I digress.

Well, I’ve found another good use for the Web Developer extension for Firefox. I hit five key strokes, and all the images on the page disappear: alt-t-w-i-n. Alt takes you to the toolbar menu. T takes you to the tools category. W takes you to the web developer tools. I takes you to images. N makes all images invisible. It even conveniently spells a word so it’s easy to remember and type! (Alt-t-w-i-m and alt-t-w-i-r both work as well, and the latter might be most useful in that it replaces the image with its description, but twin is the easiest to remember and type. Take your pick.) You can undo it with the same keystrokes, and it will be applied only to the current page. The one downside is that it doesn’t disable flash. Anyone know a way to do that?

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