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UPDATE: Not even one day after I post this, Robert Scoble posts that he’s talking to the Google Reader team.  Hey Scoble!  I’ve got a wish list right here!

I’ve really gotten into what Google has to offer in the way of free services. I’m sure they’ve really gotten into showing me ads related to what I see in my email, calendar, and such (even though I never have reason to click through).

The latest offering that I’ve gotten addicted to is Google Reader. This is their online RSS Aggregator. I was able to import all of my feeds via OPML (a way of easily marking up outlines for folks who’ve never seen that before) and get going in a few minutes. Here’s what I like:

  • Easy to use and organize folders (though this has much room for improvement).
  • Able to keep my feeds organized in a way that I can easily access from any computer connected to the internet.
  • Allows me to flag certain posts for later review/blogging (big plus!).
  • Each user has a public page showing posts or feeds that you can share with a single click to that page. You can also get a snippet of HTML code to show shared items on other pages, which is very nice, though unusable on this blog due to restrictions around JavaScript (which I’m fine with).
  • Marks items read as I scroll past them, not as I change folders (another big plus!).
  • Feels slick, fast, and simple to use. Posts are clearly deliniated and easy to read.

That said, there is room for improvement and I am glad to see the “Labs” label still on this product.

  • Easier folder organization. Let me drag and drop feeds between folders and create new folders from the main screen.
  • Show the blog a post is from more prominently in the Extended View.
  • Easier access to the service by letting me customize which links show up in the upper left-hand corner when I’m using GMail or GCal.
  • Let me search for items within the feeds I’ve subscribed to and set up search folders to be looking for related posts all the time.

Google Reader just underwent an update recently, so hopefully folks at Google are looking around for posts about it. Hopefully mine is late enough to be out of the flurrly of posts and more likely to get noticed. 🙂 Here’s also hoping that the next update isn’t far away as a result of the last one.

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