30 04 2008

There's a feed for that?!

As an engineer on Google Reader, it's always great to hear from users, especially when it's about how Reader has helped out. I was very happy when the team received this email from Gary Patino: I was having a hard time finding the right job here in Houston. Days would go by without talking to a single recruiter. But then I started using Google Reader to subscribe to custom-made job search feeds for craigslist, and for oodle.com (which already aggregates feeds from thousands of other classified ad websites). Soon I found myself flying all over the country interviewing for jobs. The employers always pay for the flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. My job hunt became like an exciting vacation! I've been to New York twice, Milwaukee, Austin, Los Angeles, and Miami. I just accepted an offer in Manhattan with a very competitive salary offer. Google Reader saved me a huge amount of time and effort with the job hunt. Thanks guys! Gary's experience is a great reminder about the power of feeds. Feeds exist for all sort of information beyond blog and news sites and are a great way to receive timely updates. Here are some more examples of these atypical feed uses: Finance: Both Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance let you get finance news updates for specific companies and stocks, just look for orange "Subscribe" or "RSS" icons in your browser. To receive stock quotes (only for some stocks), you can use NASDAQ's feeds. Weather: You can get weather updates from The Weather Channel, WeatherBug, or NOAA's National Weather Service. Classifieds: As Gary mentioned, both craigslist and Oodle.com offer feeds for all of their listings. Just look for the orange "RSS" link at the bottom of any results page -- when you subscribe to a search, for, say, apartments under $1500 in Manhattan, you'll get updates when there are new apartments matching that search. Similarly, in eBay you can find an RSS link at the bottom of any search page, and in Google B... Devamı

30 04 2008

J-walking with Reader

Google Reader is well-known for its keyboard shortcuts. When going through thousands of blog posts, news items, photos, etc. a day, it's important to do this as efficiently as possible. Many users find that using the keyboard is one way of accomplishing that goal. The "j" key (which takes you to the next item) is perhaps the most well-known keyboard shortcut. However, there are many more keys to press, and I was curious to see just how much they were tapped in Google Reader. A quick analysis later, I came up with a simple top-10 list, and I thought it would be fun to share. The units here are "milli-Js", where 1,000 milli-Js are equivalent to all the presses "j" received.                                                        Key De******ion Presses j next item 1,000.00 milli-Js n item scan down 324.18 milli-Js k previous item 139.49 milli-Js m mark as read/unread 43.91 milli-Js t tag item 37.48 milli-Js p item scan up 31.30 milli-Js shift-n next sub******ion 23.09 milli-Js v view original 17.98 milli-Js o expand/collapse item 16.81 milli-Js s star item 15.45 milli-Js   Of course, Reader has more than the 10 shortcuts listed above -- you can see them all in this list. Additionally, in some ways, the most important shortcut is not "j", but "?" (that is, shift-/). It shows you a cheat-sheet of all the other shortcuts. Partly based on the data we gathered, and in our quest to make Reader as keyboard-accessible as possible, we've actually added a few more with the latest release. You can use "a" to open up the "Add sub******ion" form, "g" then "d" to go to the "Discover" page, and "g" then "f" to go your friends' shared... Devamı

30 04 2008

One more step

Not every Reader release is filled with exciting new features, but we'd like to think that every little improvement counts. While we've been working on some longer-term things, we've also had time to make some smaller changes to Reader, which we're releasing today: More languages and countries: Reader is now available in Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Turkey. Subscriber counts: If you were curious how many other subscribers a feed that you read has, you can now easily check: use the "show details" link in the top-right corner. Additionally, to see how indie/hip you are, you can use the "Most obscure" tab on the trends page to see the feeds that you subscribe to with the least number of subscribers. Just keep in mind what these numbers indicate. Increased reading area: By shuffling some things around in the header area, we've managed to squeeze an additional 17 pixels of reading space for feed content. This may not seem like much, but every little bit matters when consuming hundreds of posts a day. Bug fixes and performance improvements: We've made Reader faster to load when you have more than a thousand sub******ions. The settings page should feel perkier too. Finally, we've squashed some bugs -- most notably, bugs that prevented profiles from loading in certain cases. We also added improved keyboard navigation and fixed a problem refreshing search results. A lot of these tweaks and bug fixes are in response to user feedback that we get in our discussion group, so please keep it coming.... Devamı