We all loved Google Reader to add, read and keep track of our favorite sites / blogs online. Consuming our favorite content was easy and clutter free all those years we had Google Reader with us. But unfortunately Google stopped the service and many went on to the extent of filing online petition for Google to reopen it.
What is a Google Reader?
Google Reader was an RSS/Atom feed aggregator operated by Google. It was created in early 2005 by Google engineer Chris Wetherell and launched on October 7, 2005, through Google Labs. Google Reader grew in popularity to support a number of apps which used it as a platform for serving news and information to people.
What is RSS feed?
RSS (Rich Site Summary; originally RDF Site Summary; often called Really Simple Syndication) uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio, video. … RSS feeds enable publishers to syndicate data automatically.
Over years I’ve used many different feed readers and many of them do a decent job. But so many are using web page scrapers to fetch the content and display inside the app, which I do not feel as ethical way of doing things. If an author is providing the feed, that means he would like to share his content that way. But no one actually likes scrapping of their pages and stealing the content.
I always feel minimalistic reading apps bring sanity to the already cluttered world of information. I mean, there is an overwhelming amount of information out in the web and it gets distractive very quickly. We start by reading some quotes, we end up on Facebook, spend some hours liking commenting on photos and end up on YouTube watching few dozen videos and then we realize we did not get much of our works done. Spent precious hours browsing the web carelessly.
With minimalistic approach, we can concentrate only on one thing at a time and there will be less clutter and hence we can consume the content with sanity and without getting distracted by the bells and whistles.
Our RSS Reader app
Finally I decided to develop a simple minimalistic rss feed reading application – specially for WordPress(though works with any other sites) sites. I use it for consuming my favorite sites content online. Today I decided to make it public via Google Playstore, hoping it would help some of you too.
How does it work?
YouTube link: RSS Reader Mobile Application
Add your favorite websites feed directly using RSS feed address or Search and add. You can even collectively subscribe to certain topics.
We show 4 articles each from your favorite sites on the home page. If you need more you can visit Feed Page and get more.
You also get Bookmarking facility and settings where you can take backup of your bookmarks and feed list and also change device using options present there.
Hope you enjoy using the app. And if you like it, please give 5 star rating and comment on RSS Reader ( Google Playstore ) page.
There is a option, in the “Item Selection” called Item limit. If you are posting multiple posts(8 posts) at once, then there is no problem. But if you post one or two (or less than 7) article(s) per day, then you must select the Item limit accordingly. We can use keywords to filter some of the tweets. i.e., Depending on keywords specified, feedburner decides whether to tweet or not to tweet about a particular post.
Feedburner announced socialize feature some days back – i.e., Tweet Your New Blog Posts from Feedburner, automatically.
If you have not yet activated this feature, and you are using some plugin to do this for you – then take 20 seconds off and enable this little handy feature.
Plugin’s consume bandwidth and need to be updated whenever there is an update available. If you don’t take time to update, then you are at some security threat.
So do not think of doing it some day, do it now itself and save lot more time later.
How to enable socialize feature
Click on Publicize tab. On the left side, you can see list of features, and you can also see “Socialize Publish to the social web” option. Click on it and the rest is self explanatory
The interesting thing here is, Google has started using its own URL shortner. And this may be the only disadvantage, as you might already have your favorite URL shortner or built one for your custom use across all your network’s of sites.
Google may soon start showing stats for the click through rate and the performance of the shortened URL. You can get the clue about this on goo.gl.
Some benefits would be
1. Google will surly start displaying the click through rates of shortened URLs.
2. It may soon integrate goo.gl into its analytics and hence we can get a detailed report of the performance of the shortened URLs.
3. Reliability and Speed matters: We have seen some of the popular URL shortners being unreliable due to its downtime, so we can expect reliable service from Google.
4. Socialize feature comes with lot of option to customize the tweets according to our needs.
- Select Account
- Formatting Options
- Post Content
- Hash Tags
- Additional Text
- Item Limit
- Keyword Filter
We can use keywords to filter some of the tweets. i.e., Depending on keywords specified, feedburner decides whether to tweet or not to tweet about a particular post.
This feature will come in handy for those, who hesitate to promote their own content frequently and who do not want to tweet irrelevant tweets.
Duplicate tweets — be aware! and avoid before embarrassment
There is a option, in the “Item Selection” called Item limit. If you are posting multiple posts(8 posts) at once, then there is no problem. But if you post one or two (or less than 7) article(s) per day, then you must select the Item limit accordingly.
If you post only one article per day and you select the Item limit as 8, then the previously published articles will be tweeted again. i.e., you will be tweeting 7 articles published on your blog recently, other than the one you published on that day. This may annoy your followers. So be careful not to ignore this option.
Its a great news for many people in India(2nd largest mobile users). Now we can publish and receive SMS messages from Google SMS Channels.
Google SMS is free for both content publishers as well as mobile phone users who subscribe to text updates via SMS.
We can create a group and send updates to all those who subscribe to our text updates, via SMS. Interestingly, we can integrate our blog using our feed and our SMS subscribers will receive the updates whenever we have a new article in our blog. And subscribers can choose when(time) and the number of SMS’s to be received through Google SMS service.
Presently there are a great variety of groups from most popular GoogleNews Channel to blogs and famous newspapers groups. We can subscribe to all these group’s updates.
We can post an update to our SMS group, using our mobile or directly from the web or automatically from our blog feeds(when there are new articles published).
We need to keep in mind that, our text updates won’t reach our SMS text update subscribers as soon as we publish something, it always arrives to their mobile inbox only at the time they have chosen to receive the updates.
If you are not getting SMS updates, then you need to look at the “settings“ in your Google SMS account.
Hope Google will extend this service to many more countries shortly.
For a complete explanation of this service and a self explanatory help center, click here.
If you are from some other country(other than India), and if this service is available in your country also, then please share some details with us.
With frequent hints from Feedburner, today all publishers account got AdSense for Feed in their account. Previously it was available only to some selective AdSense publishers.
I was excited to start using it, but when I rushed to “get started”, I saw a message that said- “You have no feeds in your account yet.”
After that I realized that, our feeds must be first migrated from our old feeds to Google.
I already have my feedburner account and I wanted to transfer it to Google, and that was too easy to do….
Just drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following details…
- Your FeedBurner account username
- The Google Account email address you use to sign in to AdSense
I wrote to Google with the following Subject “Migrate all of my feeds, from feeds.feedburner.com to Google “, to make sure that my email is read.
Thats it, all your feeds will be migrated to Google.
Some of the features of AdSense for Feeds are…
We can choose the color, image only/image and text/text only ads, Frequency of the ads to appear,Post length, Position of the ad etc.
Here are some of the screen shots…
Hope this will bring some value to those who publish full feed, like Technotip.org. And hope this will bring in some extra income to all publishers. And as always, thanks to Google…
“Happy Independence Day to India & Pakistan — Aug 15th.”