What with all this hard work we’ve been doing, let’s just kick back a minute and enjoy some light mockery of our profession:

Peeps Research

Cereals Solutions

See, aren’t you all glad I read 400,000 blog feeds a day!

I put this invitation out there on my RSS post to explore Google Reader sharing with me and, by gum, someone took the bait! Thanks, Rhonda!

Of course, this meant that I’d actually have to figure out how. Well, like all things Google, there is not the way, there are the ways. So here’s the breakdown:

  1. Friends via Google Brand – people who have Google Talk or Gmail Chat and have Google Reader accounts are automatically subscribed to your shared items. There’s even a handy little link in the main Google Reader menu for “Friend’s Shared Items.” As one would expect, Google brand products communicate very nicely with each other. My fella is auto-subscribed to my Google Reader which is nice for him because I share all of the Linux tips I find. Verdict: This is the way for Google Brand junkies who have or would be willing to enable the chat function for each other.
  2. A direct link – lucky for everyone, Google is not vicious and they’ve provided many other ways, like a link to your shared items. It’s right there when you click on “Shared Items” in Reader, as are the rest of these options. It’s nice because it sends the user to a page formatted nicely for the viewing public. Verdict: this is the way for people who do not have or want feed readers but do a bit of bookmark/favorites checking.
  3. A feed – better yet, if all parties have feed readers, you can give that to folks and they can set you up in their reader. The feed is available from your link page. Verdict: this is the way for folks who have feed readers, even Google Readers, but are not your chattin’ buddies.
  4. Email – you can email your list directly to folks who do not really keep favorites/bookmarks or have readers. Google is smart; it only send a short message and the link to your shared page, and also the feed, which would be a good way to get the feed to friends without too much hassle. Verdict: this is the way for folks who aren’t really tethered to the internet but check email. Also a convenient way to get the feed to your reader folks.
  5. Put it in your Blog – you can insert a clip of your shared items into your blog. Let’s try it out, shall we…hmmm, no luck. Reader does specify that the script they give you to cut and paste needs to be added to a javascript enabled blah, blah, blah. I’ll figure this one out later. If you’re a Blogger user, this is super easy because you just click a button that says “Add to Blogger,” which I would imagine works something like blogging from Flickr. Verdict: Awesome for Blogger users, may also be nice for snappier folks who can figure out how to get into other blogs!

Thanks, Google, for a plethora of ways to share stuff. Rhonda, I’d say our best bet is to try option 3, and anyone else who wants to give it a go. Here’s the feed to my shared items (right click, copy link location, and paste into the area where you add subscriptions).

Feed

Feel free to delete it when your done playing if you have no interest in the following topics:

  1. Linux
  2. Google and Mozilla extensions
  3. Weird practical tips, like keeping onions in pantyhose
  4. Open source software

I think by now everyone knows that I have a reader and it has a lot of stuff in it. For the record, though, when I was looking for new blogs to keep up on professional things, I used Technorati, so it gets my vote! Though, I have to admit, nothing works quite as well as popping “[topic] blog” into your search engine and just browsing. I’ve found some really amazing blogs and listservs that way.

And speaking of the old fashioned listserv, here’s Helen’s Helpful Hint of the day for managing that horrible volume.  Mind you, I use Gmail, which is infinitely better than any other free web email I’ve ever had. And trust me, I’ve had them all at one time or another. In fact, it’s better than any email service I’ve ever had, free or otherwise. I strongly endorse it. Google is my hero.

For each listserv create a label/folder that is dedicated to it. Then set up a filter that takes all posts to that listserv and routes it to the folder. I usually use the listserv email address as that the “term” that the filter should be looking for. I tell Gmail to skip the inbox and apply the appropriate label. Then all of these millions of posts show up in a sidebar under the listservs name for me to peruse at my leisure. Poke around with your email and see if you can do something similar. You’ll love it if your email client supports it.