Knowledge Discovery: Realizing the full potential of Google Reader

RSS feeds is an amazing source of information. Google Reader is an application that we use to manage our feed subscription.

1. Define your information need

We need to ask ourselves what kind of information do we need from the web. If you are interested to get up to date with the latest news in your local area look up your news channel website. They will most likely have an RSS Feed for you to subscribe.  I like to be identified as a social media savvy software engineer. I follow software developer news from sources as DZone, Digg, Hacker News, Mashable.

AllTop is an amazing website directories that gives you the best sources of information on the web. Visit AllTop if you are not sure where to get information sources from the web.

2. Follow People that Matters

Big website like Mashable, Techcrunch, BBC, CNN are great source of information. Another source of information is what other people feeds that they share in Google Reader. Google Reader allow its user to follow other people. Try following people who read different RSS news as you. You might be surprise on new information or knowledge that you can acquire from their shared items.

Google Reader Recommendation

There are different options that you can use to follow good news sources in Google Reader. Google Reader gives recommendation about other news sources that may interest you.

People in Google Reader

Google Reader let its user to find user based on their email address. How do you find interesting people to follow in Google Reader. This is a good question. So far I have not found any evidence that Google Reader provide a listing of Google Reader subscriber. I usually follow tech bloggers on the net . My source of information for these people are

3. Put useful comment on your shared items.

Reading an information and actually internalizing the information to form new knowledge within one self is a separate process. Try to reflect on what the news means to you and share with others what this particular information means to you. This will give you the opportunity to extract an meaningful knowledge from your feed and allow others to give their feedback on your opinion.

4. Share your feeds.

Sharing is what web 2.0 is all about. When you share a piece of information to other, they will return you the favor by suggesting new ideas, feedback, or additional information from your feed that may lead you to better ways to do things.

Google Reader also provide you with widgets to share your Google reader shared items on your blog. Use it, let people know the information that you read and find interesting so that they can suggest other news that you might find interesting. Google reader also let you to share your feed to your other social networking site. Use this feature to broadcast your feed to twitter, facebook, etc.

5. Give credit to people who is following you.

People follows your feed because they can’t wait to see what you are going to share with them. They appreciate the thoughts that you put in sharing them. Return the favour, visit their blog, or twitter, say hi, say thanks, comment on their feeds or blog.

6. Some notes on Google Reader usage

Google Reader is full with neat feature. There will be some learning curve to make use of all these functions. Google Reader provide some different buttons:

  • Add Star allow you to give ‘Star’ an item. Google Reader gives you a separate public page for your starred items. Putting a star to a feed allow you to let other people know that items that you really like and find useful for others
  • Share Button let you share a particular feed to your public page.
  • Post with note Let you share a feed and put a sticky note to it. Beware that if you share an item and put a note afterward, this item will appear on your public page twice. If you do not want to share an item twice, unshare it, and then click the ‘Share with note’.

7. Organize Your Feeds

If you subscribe to a number of feeds, it might be worthwhile to create folders to categorize your feeds. You can publish each of these folder in a separate Google Reader Page. It will make it easier for you to view a particular category of news anytime of day.


About zainul franciscus

Hi, I am a software developer and tech blogger who is currently living in Wellington, New Zealand. I write stuff that I find interesting on
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