Official Google Reader Blog - News, Tips and Tricks from the Reader team

Getting embedded in Google Reader.

1/30/2007 11:29:00 AM
Posted by Chris Wetherell, Software Engineer

We have another small update to Reader regarding video. Reader should now show videos from YouTube and Google Video (and a few other sites) that you have embedded in your blog posts and articles. Some advice on how not to go about filming a feature announcement is included below. (Shot at Sundance Film Festival, too late for awards submission.)

We didn't want this to be just a Google thing, however, so we also currently support videos from other sites like MySpace, Jumpcut, Grouper, IFILM, Metacafe, Revver, Vimeo, vSocial, and games from Monsters and Critics. If your favorite site isn't listed, please tell us in the Reader group and we'll look into adding support, if possible.

Update on 2/7/2007: We now also support Odeo, Yahoo! Video, Brightcove, Dailymotion, and MSN Soapbox embedded players.

Some of our engineers don't work at Google

1/17/2007 12:04:00 PM
Posted by Nick Baum, Product Manager

One of the most useful aspects of feed readers is how easy they make it to keep track of industry news. Which in my case means using Google Reader to read about... Google Reader. For example, I subscribe to the Google Blogsearch for "Google Reader" (which has a feed) so I know whenever someone writes about our product.

In the TV show 24, everything is not as it seems. Similarly, not everything that can be done with Reader is visible at first glance. I thought I'd share some gems that were unearthed with the help of the Blogsearch feed.

The Google Reader team tries to read all the feedback that gets posted on blogs, and has also been known to reply in comments. This is a great way for us to get a feel for what's important to you, so keep writing up your thoughts and feature suggestions. There's also our Google Group if you'd like to report more specific issues.

I like big charts and I cannot lie

1/03/2007 04:03:00 PM
Posted by Mihai Parparita, Software Engineer

Items read/dayI've always been a big fan of charts, tables and other ways of analyzing and visualizing data. On my own blog I will often plot things just to get a handle on them. Even here I've posted some analyses that I've done of the data that the Reader team has on hand. It's therefore no surprise that my favorite blog of 2006 is Data Mining.

With this in mind, I've always wondered how I could apply this interest to Reader's feature set. It then occurred to me that there were plenty of things that could be dug up about the items that a person reads and the feeds they are subscribed to. Perhaps some feeds post very often but don't actually get read, so they may as well be removed. Conversely, other sites may not have updated in ages, so they're just taking up room in the list of subscriptions.

Subscriptions tablePlaying around with these ideas, I created a simple Reader "trends" page, inspired by Google Trends as well as the Search History Trends page. After showing it to the rest of the Reader team and a few other interested Googlers, I began to gather feedback and implemented it. Most helpful was when Jeff and Doug rolled up their sleeves and applied some of the same thinking that went into Measure Map to this new Reader page. This went beyond just making things pretty; they helped make things easier to digest and understand.

The result is the Reader Trends page, accessed via a link from the "Home" page. For example, it lets me see the spike in read items two days ago (the result of my New Year's resolution of staying on top of my 322 subscriptions). There are also my subscriptions sorted by various criteria, so I can see which I'm having trouble keeping up with. Each subscription has a unsubscribe icon next to it, which I've used for those that I decided were not worth keeping around.

If you have any New Year's resolutions about time management or are a chart geek like me, trends should be useful and fun. You may discover things about your reading habits that you didn't know.