For years, I have been bouncing between RSSOwl, FeedReader and FeedDemon. I have built the ultimate feed list for the technologies, blogs and news sources I care about. The real beauty of RSS is it enables one to quickly get up to date on news and industry trends without wasting time. New posts are there, you pick the ones that interest you, star or share the ones you care about and ignore the rest. While many of my peers are wasting their time hitting all their favorite sites and going page by page, I have already read it and moved on to real work.
I decided it was time to listen to a good friend and move to Google Reader. I’ll never look back.
The killer feature that guaranteed my love for Google Reader is their translator. The one feed I follow that has the most traffic and is most pertinent to me and my job is the Microsoft Technet Blogs’ feed. It includes all the technet blogs in one aggregate feed. I have asked Microsoft over and over for a feed based on language or locality to help filter out all the non-english feeds. All I have been told is that it is coming… Well, they can stop working on this (assuming they actually were).
So, @niceguyscott sends me an e-mail of a screenshot from Google Reader. A little option says, “Translate into my language.” What?!? Well, ever since I enabled that little option on the multilingual technet feed, I forgot about the fact that about a third of the posts I read are not even natively in english. I don’t need Microsoft to give an english only option anymore. Instead of excluding these feeds, I can now track news and trends in any tongue supported by Google Translate. (Note: This isn’t a new feature. It debuted back on Nov of ’08.)
RSS feed readers, whether desktop, mobile or web, all offer their own set of special features. Some are sexier. Some are minimalist. Some have the whole kitchen sink. Google Reader gives that functionality you need to quickly digest content, share and save what is important to you and gives you a couple killer features without getting in the way. That has made it my new favorite.
I am excited to explore what other content I am missing due to the language barrier that technology continues to tear down.