Google Reader Gets Recommendations and Drag-and-Drop

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Everyone hide! It’s the attack of the interns! Well, that’s what the Google Reader Blog is calling it. Google Reader just got a couple new features today. In fact, it looks like they were just launched tonight, though I can’t tell when the post was published because they’ve disabled the time part of the timestamps.

Anyway, Reader can now suggest additional feeds you might be interested in, based on your current subscriptions and Web History data. When I tried it, just a few minutes ago, it looks pretty good. It suggested several blogs similar to the ones I read already, though there were a few in foreign languages (such as Chinese). All in all, a very good addition, and one that will probably help me waste even more time not doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

Oddly, the interface got a minor tweak in this update. The positions of the icons for “Starred”, “Shared”, and “Trends” have moved to the right side of the text, though it is unclear why the change was made. Personally I prefer the old bulleted-list style approach, but perhaps other people requested that all the entries in the list line up with each other. Also, the “Browse” link that formerly led to the feed directory now reads “Discover” and links to the Recommendations page.

They’ve also added drag-and-drop reordering of subscriptions in the list on the left, which, interestingly, works whether you’re using the sidebar in collapsed (drop-down) form or the default docked mode. It’s most likely to work well if you select to view “all”, of course, since in “updated” mode not all feeds will be displayed (unless, of course, all your subscriptions are extremely prolific, or you haven’t checked them in a long time).

Update (11/30): The drag and drop feature is officially irritating. Moving new subscriptions around with it and dropping them into a folder puts them at the end. Dragging them back to the folder and dropping them again puts them at the top. Even using the menu puts them at the bottom. Being able to order the feeds is all well and good, but what about those of us who actually liked the alphabetical sorting?

dgw

I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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