Google Reader synthesizes blogs and feeds
Trying to manage the daily deluge of new information appearing on the internet is becoming a full time job. Over the past couple of years there have been a number of tools ranging from RSS readers to email alerts that attempt to provide Internet users with the information to keep them updated across particular topics.
Search engine Google has now come up with a new information management tool known as the Google Reader which attempts to provide a unified system for keeping feeds from news sources and blogs in a single manageable system via a browser.
The tool itself is a cross between the Google Alerts system and an RSS feed. Users can enter the keywords they wish to track into a search box and up comes a familiar list of page results. Each listing comes with a ‘Subscribe’ and ‘Label’ box which allows the user to add the page – or more accurately the source – to the list of subscribed feeds. In order to maintain the list of subscribed feeds, you will need a Google account.
However, Google Reader is not comprehensive. The system only works if the website provides an RSS feed. Therefore there may be a number of news sources that may cover a particular topic which will not be included.
Furthermore, the sources that it is possible to subscribe to have to be chosen with care. Just because a blog might mention a particular keyword, it does not mean to say that it is dedicated to the subject. So you might find that you get a stream of postings that have nothing further to say on your chosen subject.