Google reads too – a first look!

Well hopefully I don’t start sounding like a Google sycophant but I want to recommend YAGP (Yet Another Google Product) for you to try out. And this time it’s Google Reader… I will say that I tried Bloglines about a year ago and wasn’t as impressed as I am with this but haven’t tried it recently to see if there have been improvements.

I’ve been using the Sage Add-on for Firefox and it works great. But I’ve been wanting a couple of things that it doesn’t seem to provide.

1. Syncing of read items between all of my computers. – Having it on a central server handles this.

2. Off-line capability for taking it with me on long flights. – Google Gears allows for the reader to cache the latest 2000 entries locally.

Setting is up was pretty easy. I exported an OPML file with all of my feeds from Sage and imported it into Google reader. Google Reader uses tags to create “folders” and each feed can have multiple tags (although there doesn’t seem to be a way to “nest” folders as you can in Sage).

Like Gmail you can “star” particular rss entries for easier lookup later. I didn’t think I needed this until I actually tried it and figured out it does make for a nice feature. And in particular it will probably make it alot easier for me to find things that I mean to “blog” about later.

One other feature that I haven’t really messed with is called “Trends”. It provides all kinds of statistical information on what feeds you read and how many articles you have shared, or starred, etc. I know this is part of the scary “Google knows too much” vibe but it is kind of cool that they provide this info to you as well as to themselves but I have yet figure out how this will be useful to me …

There are also a handful of other feature which you can read about on the site itself but so far I am liking it and give it a thumbs up for first impressions. If you’ve got a better solution … please let me know!