A lot of people are saying RSS Readers are dead – or on life-support, but I certainly don’t think so. In fact I use one more now than I ever did. Sure, breaking news may be easier to find on Twitter, but that does not cover most of what we are all interested in. You won’t find, at least not easily, basic news headlines there. Twitter is great, but it’s more for the sensational as opposed to the non-headliners. But, it’s those non-headliner stories that we so often care about – the one about Adobe issuing a security update for Flash, or that your team pulled out a last minute win, or even the latest spectacular photo from Hubble.
Some of you who read this site probably also listen to the associated podcast (and those who don’t should). If you are among those who do, then you probably are aware that Todd uses Google Reader to bring you the latest news stories from the tech world in each episode. There’s a reason he’s using this technology and that’s because it still works better that anything else to bring you the news you want in a timely fashion.
But what you may not know is that Google Reader is not just a program for tech headlines. Everyone can use it and for all kinds of news. If you want tech news or sports or science or headline, it doesn’t matter. You can add any site that has an RSS feed. Then you can divide them into categories, move them around by drag-and-drop and organize however you want.
This is how I get my news everyday. I rarely visit sites for this information. When I find a site that has something of interest to me then I add it to Reader. If I want to expand on an article I can click on it and it will open in a new tab. Generally, I will go through all of my feeds and click on the articles that interest me, which opens them in a new tab, that I can click later to read the details.
I can edit the feeds as well. This means that they can me added into groups (folders) that I create (such as Science), moved around, or removed altogether.
Google Reader is included in Google Mobile Apps, which can be loaded on almost any smartphone – Windows Mobile, iPhone, Android, etc.
Feedreaders are nothing new, and Google Reader, itself, has been around a while. But, if those I know are any indication, many PC users are not using them. And, I think the main reason for that is a simple lack of knowing about them and understanding how much convenience and efficiency they can add.