Sunday, March 15, 2009

Google Reader

If you’re not a techie, it’s really difficult to keep up to date on new software programs or internet options. And it’s not enough to just hear about a new program; I also need to determine if it will be of benefit to me. I am very grateful that my brother is a techie – without him I’d still be back in the dark ages.

One of my discoveries this past winter has been how many useful programs Google offers. Sure, I knew that I could use Google to search the web, and Google Maps are very useful.

But I didn’t know that I could use Google Sites to set up a personal website at absolutely no cost. My design choices were somewhat limited, but I’m very satisfied with the end product. And it certainly suited my budget.

I’ve also started using Google Reader, and it’s great! There is so much information on the web, and I’m looking for different voices to add depth and diversity to my knowledge and perspective. With Google Reader, I can subscribe to a wide range of different RSS feeds and blogs, and they are neatly gathered together on one site for me to review when I want to. They are not clogging up my inbox, and I don’t have to go through a clumsy process of reviewing all my bookmarked sites.

Google Reader lets me know when there is a new posting from one of my subscriptions. I can email or share an article with friends. I can search for a story I read a couple of weeks ago. And I can star stories that I don’t have time to read now but want to come back to later.

From one site, I can browse my friends’ blogs, travel articles from the New York Times, communications and techie stories on O’Reilly Radar or PresentationZen, and the latest local, national or international news stories.

It’s really easy to set up Google Reader, and it’s super easy to add or delete subscriptions. Try it out – I highly recommend it.

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