RSS reader extraordinaire
- Organize hundreds of feeds very easily
- Clear and attractive display of items
- Good integration with other services
- Extensive help
- No built-in alert features
- Folder management can be complicated
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Google Reader is a supremely efficient RSS reader that will allow you to keep a track of news, articles and blog posts from all over the internet, centralized into one centralized hub.
Signing-up for the service is very easy, as many people will already have a Google Account, which is all you need. Even if you don't, it's a rapid process that takes under 3 minutes - the only possible problem is discovering that the account name you want is already taken!
You can add feeds to Google Reader by adding the feed URL or searching for the name of websites or topics that you believe will have an RSS feed. You can also add feeds from the websites themselves, looking for the little RSS icon (an orange square) and then choosing Google Reader from the options you'll see.
Once you have added feeds to Google Reader, you'll be able to organize them into folders for easier management - this is especially important as you subscribe to more and more feeds. You'll be able to tag and manage folders either via the drop down menus to the right of folder names, or via Settings.
Feed items (articles and blog posts) are displayed in the main panel of Google Reader. There are various ways of organizing this display, sorting by date or "magic" (posts that Google thinks you will find interesting). You can also display new items as a list of headlines or expanded views of articles. You can also click through the Google Reader headline to see the article in its original location.
Google Reader has a number of interesting options for sharing items, both within the Google family and elsewhere on the web, such as Facebook and Twitter. You'll also be able to see suggestions for other items that might interest you and view statistics on your usage of Google Reader.
If you follow RSS feeds, Google Reader is the ultimate app - there's simply nothing like it.