Over the past year or so, I’ve been addicted to a fantastic product called Google Reader. Google Reader, for the uninitiated, is, to quote Google’s own description, “an inbox for the Web”.
A little background – blogs and websites with frequently updated content have made it easier for people to read and peruse through a technology called RSS (Really Simple Syndication). True to its name, RSS is pretty easy to use, and needless to mention, really awesome.
In the right-hand corner of the address bar, notice that certain websites have and orange colour logo that looks like waves emerging from a point in a pond. That indicates that the site can be added to an RSS Reader (or “feed” reader) and whenever it is updated, the reader will give you an indication of this, and some, such as Google’s will allow you to read stuff from within them, fetching pages for you, upon request.
The great thing about Google Reader is how easy it is to use. The Google Reader blog describes, with an instructional video, how to set it up. What’s even better about Reader is its reach and networking abilities. By this, I mean, that if you are friends with someone through Google Talk or Gmail Chat, you can see some of their items, if they choose to “Share” them. The share feature is unique because it allows you to see what other people are reading, and if you find the article in question interesting, you can easily add it to your list of feeds or blogs.
I realise that this is an AWFUL explanation of Google Reader, but that wasn’t the point of the article actually, I seem to have meandered while providing background. Do check it out though (after you finish reading the rest of what I have to say, of course, heh heh).
Where was I? Right, right, the awesomeness of Reader. Soon after I started using Reader, my blogput (that’s a clever portmanteau of blog and output, isn’t it?) dropped, and I spent some time thinking why. My food got cold and a few days later, spiders began to weave their webs around me. Okay, enough of attempting to be funny. I realised that there was much more to read about and listen to what other people had to say than to talk myself. Over the past year, I’ve perused at least a thousand articles that I’ve found interesting and said nought on my blog (my old blog), just because I’ve had nought to say. Don’t know why I’m back though, but that’s neither here nor there.
But, in an attempt to produce some minimal amount of creative output, I’ve pioneered the concept of nano-blogging (Note – this is not blogging from a Tata Nano, though that would interesting as well) (Note 2 – this also has nothing to do with blogging from the editor Nano) or gmailogging, whichever you prefer. It is the most unbelievably simple thing to do, and being unbelievably simple, I did it. Since you, the reader, are probably very popular and have a large contact list of friends, and, in all likelihood, have a Gmail account (if you don’t, what are you doing?) and use Gmail Chat or Google Talk, the status message bar can be your entire gmailog – all you need to do is put in a witty or profound sentence or two, and link to an item on the web that you found interesting. It has slightly limited reach, only to your friends who are online at the same time as you, but nonetheless, it’s a way to gain fame and fortune (well, fame anyway – though this is still to be empirically tested).
And there you have it. The smallest blog in the world, and the easiest to edit. I think it’s funny that I’ve spent 705 words talking about it, though. Other people have done it too, but I was the one who came up with that cool portmanteau – say it to yourself. No, not ‘portmanteau’. ‘Gmailog’. ‘Gmailog’. And thank me when you’re the life of the party. “Ooh, he’s the dude what has that cool gmailog… let’s go talk to him.” Link them to my blog as part of the appreciation, there’s a good fella.