Google Reader: A Handy Content Distributor
Google offers a free RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed reader which often doesn't get exploited to its full potential by users. I've resently put some time into investigating various RSS feed related options and I'm emerging with a healthy respect for Google's free Google Reader.
Here are handy tweaks you can easily use to add value to your Google Reader.Firstly, you'll need a Google account, of course. This is as simple as signing up for a free Gmail account, if you haven't already. Armed with your new Gmail profile, click Reader on the list of tabs at the top of your page. You'll then be guided through the introduction to Google Reader.
Getting the most out of your Google Reader boils down to the old saying 'what you put in, you get out.' So spend some time thinking about what your intentions are and where or how you'd like your reader to guide you.
A good starting point is simply to start with a search for yourself.
I immediately subscribed to ALL my own feeds by using the search box in Google Reader to locate my online profile feeds. What this does is allow you to share your stuff more widely.
Google Reader also comes with a sharing feature. So you can simply share and then direct others to your Google Reader Shared Items page. A very handy function and service which works nicely if you link your own feeds into the reader as described above.
Google Reader has rich sharing functionality which can be enhanced and tweaked to share your stuff all around the web. Once you're comfortable with basic sharing, I'd strongly recommend adding tabs on your sharer to send to other services like Facebook or Posterous (if you have them).
Google Reader also seems more complete with a simple add on called Sidewiki.
I've set Sidewiki to add stuff to my free Google Profile and find the cluster (Google Reader, Google Profile and Google Shared Items), which is a real time saver.
My Google Shared Items page is located here.