Blog Reading Trends with Google Reader

Until a month or so ago I was a long-time used of Bloglines for reading blogs and RSS feeds. I then gave Google Reader a try and was hooked immediately. In particular it allowed me to track my students’ 48 blogs very easily in compact list view, and to generate a list of significant blog entries using the star feature. Google Reader lacks some of the features of Bloglines (Google blog search and Blogger are not integrated for example) but uses Ajax more fully and hence conveniently. I particularly like the infinite scroll feature (also heavily used in the Live.com assets) where the blog entries are only loaded when you scroll near the end of the list. This makes for much faster startup when switching to a long list.

Google Reader has also changed my viewing habits. In Bloglines I used to read individual blogs in each folder. Now I use the All list in Google Reader to read each blog entry as it comes in. I also sort each list in oldest first order so the information reaches me in chronological order. The keyboard shortcuts are also more extensive in Google Reader which makes for fast scanning, particularly in list view. We are yet to have the Playlists feature that Bloglines introduced which is something I miss.

However what prompted this post was the great Google Reader trend dashboard that appeared this week. Now I have an accurate handle on my blog reading activity in great detail. The chart shows my reading activity with exam marking and Christmas appearing as the first two weeks and my catch-up reading following Christmas. There are many other reports that help pinpoint the more important feeds and help weed out the unnecessary ones.

grtrends-original

With 96 feeds to monitor I now find that I can keep up to date more easily. It’s somewhat like bottoming your email in-tray which I actually managed to achieve just before Christmas.

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About Michael Rees
Academic in IT interested in Web 2.0 and social media

2 Responses to Blog Reading Trends with Google Reader

  1. Peta Hopkins says:

    I guess I’ll have to give it another go. I used the old Google Reader ages ago before the big improvements, but haven’t looked at it for a long time – October 2nd, 2006 apparently.

  2. Pingback: Impressions Scholarcast » Hooked on River of News

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