I’ve been using Google Reader as my blog reader/RSS Aggregator for the past few months. This, after trying out Bloglines, Outlook, NewsGator, RSS Bandit, Live.com and countless other desktop, online and mobile RSS readers over the past few years. So, what makes Google reader better than the lot:
1. It’s faaaast. No more waiting for 200 items and images from Engadget to load before I can start reading the first item. GR loads them one at a time.
2. It understands individual items and treats them the right way! Most desktop readers understand the notion of a single item and will mark it unread once you’re done with it, but GR’s one of the few online readers that do the same. I hated the fact that Bloglines marked the entire feed as read after loaded it and read a single item. Google Reader’s also got a quick shortcut to unmark an item as read if you want to come back to it later.
3. Short-cut keys – J for the next item, K for previous item and U to toggle fullscreen mode.
4. List View and Expanded View: And list view expands the item you’re looking at.
5. Easy subscription: No more hunting around for the RSS feed. Just type in the URL (or use the subscribe bookmarklet) and GR finds the RSS/Atom feed subscribes to it .
6. Shared View: No more mailing out cool blog entries to friends. Just share it out on your Shared Item Page for your friends to follow or even subscribe to!
7. Items can be in multiple ‘virtual folders’ at the same time. Wondering whether to put Slashdot under ‘tech’ or ‘frequent’? Put them in both!
8. Trends and Charts: Need I say more?