Deirdre Reid has another great 101 post about Google Reader. At the end of the post, she asks if anyone has any other tips.
As it happens, I LOVE Google Reader and I have TONS of Reader tips for ya!
Tip 1 – Feed GR Shares to any website
Here’s my first tip – you can create any folder, put specific blog feeds into it, and under “settings”, make that folder public and then grab the feed to place on your website or wherever. Great for associations and businesses who want to curate information from multiple sources.
Tip 2 – Tagalicious
Another one that Deirdre asked about is tags. Tags work just like folders, but you can use them for organizing individual posts rather than feeds (which you would organize with folders). In other words, I could tag with an “associationTECH” tag any individual post that I might want to include in my occasional Geek Break! list of links on the associationTECH blog – so I can find them all later when I’m ready to write the post. Or I can tag stuff on a particular topic (such as, “#newtwitter” or “leveling up” or “social CRM”) that I’m planning on writing about eventually but don’t have enough source material yet.
In the screenshot below of my Google Reader settings, “ASSOCIATIONS”, “outpost blogs” and “MONITORING” are folders, and “digital identity” is a tag. When I’m done writing the post that I used the tag for, I might delete it. But I could also keep using that same tag on an ongoing basis, make the tag public, then grab the feed for all the posts I tagged “digital identity” and use that feed to pull in posts into a different website.
Tip 3 – Postrank extension
I highly recommend you use the PostRank Reader extension – you’ll see PostRank scores on all posts (see screenshot below), meaning if you have a ton of feeds you can quickly see which posts have the most engagement points and therefore have been most tweeted, commented on or otherwise shared. This is a great way to filter if you know that you can’t read every single post in your reader and want to just see what seems to be the posts that others are finding most useful. Or of course you can use it the other way around and ignore the posts that everyone is sharing, and focus on the lower ranked posts to find hidden gems.
Tip 4 – Explore
On the left hand menu, you’ll see a link that says “Explore” – click on that every once in a while. Based on what you’re subscribed to, what you click on, etc., Google Reader comes up with other posts you might find interesting. If you click on the + next to “explore” you’ll see that you can subscribe to the feed for those posts (so they all come in your main “all posts” window) and you can also see all the recommended sources and get more info on them as per the screenshot below. Awesome.
I have lots more tips but that’s my quick list for now! You got any good ones? Please share!