–Engage

“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

Changes to SB and Google Reader

The story goes like this. I’ve been on the lookout for a free easy to use, fit all my needs RSS Feed Reader that was online (i.e. hosted and not downloaded). I have never found anything (didn’t look TOO hard) that could do all I got from Mozilla Thunderbird, so I just stuck with it, but was relegated to really only reading news at work because I didn’t want to keep two different installs of Thunderbird synced up all the time.

Anyway, last week Google re-launched Google Reader. When I went, I was skeptical, because I felt the first edition just totally missed the mark. Boy! was I suprised. Google Reader 2.0 (if you will), is completely different and does everything and more.

Favorite Features

  1. OPML Import
  2. Folder organization
  3. Easy “mark as read”
  4. Easy tagging of articles
  5. Lots of ways to share (see more below)
  6. Starring system like Gmail
  7. List view – the previoius version ony had an expanded view which I hated

Problems
I don’t have a list here, but just a general complained that this is the most buggy beta I have ever used from Google. Not huge bugs, but I have had to hit the refresh button a couple of times in the last week, the read/unread changes don’t take effect universally consistantly, and the performance (i.e. speed) of the application really needs to hit it up a notch.

But all these problems don’t make up for how much happier I am using this reader.

It’s integration into Google’s personalized home page is also stellar. I don’t nearly use all the features, but it is definitelly really nice. I think adding a “mark as read” button to that widget would just put it over the top for me.

I think what they finally got was the scale that people like myself use feed readers for. I have some 100 feeds that I subscribe to and read about 200 messages a given day across those feeds.

Sharing
Of course you can e-mail a message pretty easily because if you are registered for Reader you have a Gmail account as well. So that is pretty seemless. But there is this other option for sharing (see to the right gutter of my home page) that I think is really smart.
You can tag something as “Share” and it gets added to a list of its own. You can send peopel to that list, or you can publish the list as I did. (added it to the page just for fun).

What about SynapticBurn
All this of course precipitated the need to make some small changes to SB. I finally added the Archive link and Categories list to the home page. Yes, it is now busier on the page, but that was a big deal. Last, I took off the “Engage” link at the top. Yes, I still think that Engage is the perfect word, but the URL is taken and I must move on. :)

Anyway, if most of you just use a feed reader, you will never see this anyway. 8-)


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