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How to get started with Google Reader

David Daw | Aug. 10, 2012
You may already be using Google Reader, Google's Web-based RSS reader, but you probably haven't figured out every advanced trick for getting the most out of this free RSS syndication service. RSS (aka "RDF Site Summary" or "Really Simply Syndication"), a feed-based communication system that most websites support, makes it easy to stay abreast of your favorite websites from a single page. Though some third-party programs and even some browsers can help you curate your favorite RSS feeds in one place, Google Reader's Web-based structure means you can set it up on one computer and then open it anywhere by logging in to your Google account and heading to reader.google.com.

Similarly, if you want to grab a specific auction item on eBay, you can get an RSS feed for any search that you'd like to make on the site--as well as for specific eBay shops. Unfortunately eBay recently rolled out a new search interface that makes locating the RSS feed button more difficult, but you can easily fix that problem by reverting to the old search interface, on which the RSS button appears at the bottom of the page.

These are a few of my favorite creative uses of Google Reader. Once you start looking for RSS feeds, I'm sure that you'll find ways to use them in your daily browsing. For more tips, check out our primer, "Getting Started With RSS." If nothing else, Google Reader is a great, free tool for aggregating everything you want to keep track of online in one place.

 

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