Google Reader- Starred and Shared Items

If you use Google Reader as your RSS Aggregator, you might or might not be familiar with the “Starred Items” “Shared Items” feature.

Although I neglect these two features sometimes, when it is hard enough to get though all my my feeds anyway, they have grown on me and I am using them more and more.

The settings in Google Reader are set to only show “updated” feeds. This means, when I read an item it will be marked “as read” and not show again.

When I find a post, that I want to go back to later and I don’t want it to disappear into the vast ocean of “read items”… never to be found again… unless I remember who wrote it… or what it was about…or can come up with defining keywords to be able to search for it… then I click on the outline of the star that is to the left of the posts title in my Google Reader.

I have started using this feature heavily when I read my feeds on my iPhone. Your starred items are for your eyes only. Nobody knows what or how many items you star. I usually  go back to the starred items to bookmark the posts for my del.icio.us account or to clip quotes for my Google Notebook.

The other feature I am starting to rely and use is:

There are two aspects to the shared items

  1. People that share items with me
    1. Others have to “choose” to share items with you
  2. People I share items with
    1. Add people to share with by going through your Gmail contact list or inviting them via e-mail

When you find a post, that you feel will be of benefit to others, choose between “Share” or “Share with note”

I have not used the share with notes option, but am benefiting from the brief notes that others add to their shared items… I need get used to doing the same. Great exercise in summarizing the main points or the reasons why you felt compelled to share this post.   If you decide to share it with a note simply choose the option at the end of the post in Google Reader, then type your note in the pop up window.

Once shared, the post will be placed in your “Shared items” folder.

The idea is to be responsible and share only great posts (in your own opinion), while the starred items can be as silly and unimportant to anyone but you as you want them to be. When a friend has shared an item with you, you can star the item as any other normal post, if you find the content important to your own learning.

Google will also give you a URL link to all your shared items, which in turn has an RSS feed. Here is Langwitches’ Shared Items.

Google Starred and Shared items—> just another way of organizing all the information.