RSS readers

I have outlined my growing tendency at the minute to handing over applications to the “Internet cloud” in an earlier post.

I prefer using web-based applications because I tend to jump from several machines throughout the day at work and then use a different machine at home. Having applications, floating in the ether cloud, means moving around is considerably easier. I have been using bloglines for quite a while now for my RSS feeds. I did have a early look at Google reader when it first launched, but I felt then it was not quite what I wanted and definitely not as good as bloglines at the time. However a re-visiting of Google reader over the last week or so has dramatically changed my perception. Re-vamped with a new interface (similar to bloglines) has made reading posts alot easier. All the post from your subscribed feeds are actually saved, by default and don’t disappear once read, unlike in bloglines (unless you check the “keep new” box). I think the biggest feature for me is the ability to tag posts, combined with the saved posts facility, this should prove to be a very handy source of reference rather that just an “recent-post viewer”.

A new feature that has just been added to Google reader is the offline mode. Working in conjunction with Google Gears this provides the ability to read the last 2000 recent items, a feature I am looking forward to testing during the flight to ISMB in a few weeks.

If you use another RSS reader or have an opinion on Google reader then let me know.

With using gmail, and calendar, with trying out Google reader (and probably switching from bloglines), using google docs and spreadsheets more everyday, there is every danger that my cloud is going to be raining google. With the added prospect of Google presentations round the corner will it be long before I am floating off to the Google OS cloud?

  1. #1 by Jean-Claude Bradley on July 3, 2007 - 9:29 am

    Let it rain Google as long as Google = free, hosted and easy! So far their services just seem to get better and better and I’ve been converted…(I also made the Bloglines to Reader switch recently and haven’t looked back)

  2. #2 by Pedro Beltrao on July 3, 2007 - 10:24 am

    The improvements in Reader have been great really. The docs could use better reference managing tools but they are already good enough to use for collaborative manuscript writing. The notebook is also not bad when researching, to quickly group together links, notes and pictures on a subject.
    I also don’t mind at all using all these Google products. Unlike the Microsoft lock-in with the OS it is still quite easy to switch away to some very decent competition (ex yahoo on search, Zoho on web aps)

  3. #3 by peanutbutter on July 3, 2007 - 10:27 am

    Hi Pedro

    I would have to agree with you on Google docs. I have had to go back to using latex in some cases for the reference manager facility. As Google scholar exports to bibtext maybe it wont be long until Google docs can import directly from Google scholar……..?

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