Google Reader Tips and Tweaks — TDC Preseason (Week 4)

This is the third part about Google Reader. It shows some other cool things about Google Reader. If you haven’t seen previous videos or walk through the summaries yet, here are the links to Getting a Google Account, Using Google Reader, and Google Reader Secret.

Here’s the video for the fourth part — Google Reader Tips and Tweaks:

Download this Video

The following is the comprehensive summary of the video…

A Tour on Google Reader’s Settings

Go to your Google Reader account. Click on Settings.

Google Reader Settings

In the Preferences, by default, Google Reader will start in Home but if you want to save a click, you may pick All items from the menu. You may choose something else too, it is very flexible.

Here are a few other features that you want to have:

  • Scroll tracking. In expanded view, mark items as read when you scroll past them.
  • Navigation pane display. Always start with the navigation pane visible.
  • Misc. Confirm when marking all as read.

These options are not compulsory though, although they are nice to have.

Google Reader Subscriptions Setting

Next under Subscriptions tab, you can perform a search by name, tag or URL.

Searching Google Reader Subscriptions

You can also manage your feeds by adding to a folder. If you don’t have a folder yet, you can create one on the fly. The trash icon is there so you can unsubscribe (delete) the feed from your subscription.

The Rename link allows you to rename the feed if necessary.

On the left of every feed is a checkbox. That allows you to select multiple feeds at the same time.

Check Multiple Feeds in Google Reader

You may add or remove tags from the selected feeds or Unsubscribe from them. If you have a niche and assign it with a tag, you may filter and do another filter to display only the related feeds at one time.

If you are wondering if you should have different Google Reader account or only one, Ed thinks you should have only one and make use of the filter function, which will work very well.

Tags in Google Reader

The next tab is Tags. You can see a list of your tags, choose to see what you shared, what you starred, etc. There are a lot of things in Google Reader, particularly about using it as a marketing tool, but that would be part of the Thirty Day Challenge training. For now, just focus on getting used to it.

Google Reader Goodies

In Goodies, you can access Add Reader to your Google Personalized Homepage, Put Reader in a bookmark, Use Reader on your phone and Subscribe as you surf.

Again none of these is going to be covered now, but one particular feature worth mentioning is viewing Google Reader in iPhone. It is fast and works perfectly in iPhone (or a 3G phone).

Importing and Exporting OPML within Google Reader

Importing and Exporting Feeds to Google Reader

If you are currently using Bloglines or any other feed reader that supports OPML export, you can import all of your RSS feeds in Google Reader. Let’s walk you through the process.

Visit Bloglines and login to your account. Here is a sample of feeds I have in my reader. Chances are your list won’t be the same.

List of Feeds in Bloglines

Below the list of feeds is Additional Features One of them is Export Subscriptions, which you are interested in to create an OPML file from your existing subscription.

Exporting Subscriptions from Bloglines

A Download dialog box will appear, make sure that you choose Save to Disk and proceed. Save the file in the location you can access easily, and rename the file if necessary.

Moving along, now you should go back to Google Reader and click on the Browse button.

Importing OPML to Google

Locate the opml file you’ve just saved and click Open. Continue by clicking on the Upload button.

Wait for the message for a while…

And you’ll be dropped into the Subscriptions page, where you can manage your list like above.

You can also export your feeds in Google Reader to other news reader, just in case if something better come along. Maybe next year…

There is also a Friends function. From the marketing perspective there is another way to go about this, but if you want to keep track of shared items from your team, this can be an option. For now, don’t worry about this too much.

To go back to Google Reader, click the Google Reader logo on the upper left of the page.

Other Neat Features

One of the major problems with news reader other than Google Reader is that when you read something, it is gone forever, you can’t get it back. For example, if you click on one of the feed that you’ve read there will be no unread items.

View All Items in Google Reader

But if you click on the View all items link, they all still be there. Google never delete anything, which is very important..

Using Google Reader Search

The Search Function in Google Reader

Google is obviously very good at search. You can search All items, Read items, Starred items, Shared items, Friends’ shared items and more. You can use the filter very powerfully, particularly if you are looking for various different niches.

You can enter a keyword and search for All items and look for all entries that include the keyword. Once you are getting familiar with filter and search, that will add another layer of functionality for the Google Reader.

Discovering New RSS Feeds

One other thing, once you get quite a lot of subscriptions in your reader, something Google is also very good at is making relationship.

Discovering New RSS Feeds

For example, if you click on Discover, based on the blogs that you already have, it comes up with suggestions. You can see a list of relevant feeds — and you will find that it is doing a pretty good job of putting together stuff that you are interested in. You can also see the subscribers number, which is nice to have as another indicator.

So, it gives you a list of blogs or feeds you may want to subscribe to. Basically, you are not recommended to overwhelmed yourself with a lot of things from the start, but because with Google Reader, it all happens so fast, feel free to add subscriptions.

There are people who have hundreds of feeds and they are able to go through them all in 20 minutes.

Have fun with that!

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