Google Reader released their updated design yesterday.
I haven’t had a lot of time to play with it but what I see so far I like.
The updated design is minimalistic and stays true to the other design updates Google’s been applying to their other products. Google Reader even seems to load a little bit faster which is a huge win in my opinion.
Some people are upset about the layout of the new sharing options and how it blatantly promotes Google+ sharing. To that I say: big deal. If you can help your own product in any way you’d do the same.
The main issue I was worried about when the re-design was announced was that the usability of Google Reader would decline. Ater using it for one day I find my speed at reading through hundreds of RSS items to have not slowed in any way.
Good job Google Reader team!
The first few times I was formatting my ‘Week of Links’ post I had a very loose and chaotic system in place. Most of my reading is done through my Google Reader account, which helps centralize all the different websites and blog feeds into one place. This way, instead of having to load 10+ websites every day to catch up on news, I am able to go to my Google Reader and read all my news in one neat location.
When I first started saving links to use for these posts I would shift between tagging them, starring them, or sending them to my Instapaper account. This quickly became chaos and resulted in more confusion and work than I had ever intended.
Slowly, as the weeks progressed, I fell into a rhythm. During the week I would Star each Google Reader item that I thought was interesting or worthwhile to share. After the week was over I would go through my starred items from the past week, sometimes skipping articles that were no longer relevant or interesting, and open each article in a new tab (in the background thanks to this Google Chrome Extension). At this point I have one Google Chrome windows open with about 15-20 tabs, each with the article loaded.
From here I open the most excellent Chrome Extension Session Buddy and use its export feature of my open tabs to produce a CSV file with the title and URL of each article.
Until this week I would manually go through this list and create the HTML necessary to make each headline linkable, which was quite an arduous and boring job. This week however I made a breakthrough and was able to automate this task through the use of only FOUR lines of Python code. Opening a Terminal window on my Mac I entered into the Python Interpretator and ran the following four lines:
reader = csv.reader(open("googlRss.csv", "rb"))
for row in reader:
print '<a href="%s" target="_blank">%s</a>' % (row, row)
Which produced the following result:
After this point it was only a matter of adding my comments to each headline, and voila! The Week of Links was ready for publishing!