A Tutorial on Optimizing Your Reading?

←[86] This is the only time I will ever whore post across many blogs. Forgive me. It’s justified because it’s for you!

This “discovery” is the product of a long line of meta posts that went around the past few days. I won’t bore you with the posts themselves. Usagijen and RyanA had an awesome thought, and to quote RyanA:

What would be really awesome, you may already be thinking this, is to have an aggregator of various reader/blogger’s lensing/noting (Shared Items in Google Reader). Unfortunately, this is more work for authors and asking readers to do such a thing is sort of fishy. If there were a sub-group of producers, not authors, that did this and that is all they did, it could be highly effective…. I wonder if any team-blogs have thought of designating that position to members.

This is a short guide on how to “optimize” your google reader experience. Of course, only those will gmail accounts will benefit from this, but if you didn’t use gmail, you don’t deserve to read this anyway.

With this, you will be able to have a feed inside a feed. And these feeds are customizable, but it all depends on the cooperation of bloggers, readers and lurkers alike to make their feed folders public.

In a nutshell, if you actively use google reader, which you should, you can select various rss subscriptions (blog feeds) to be in certain folders. I have a “MAL blog” folder which contains some blogger’s MAL “microblogs”. But I can also make this folder accessible to the public as a feed: you can then, through one subscription, subscribe to a massive number of selectively picked rss feeds. You can’t do this by just subscribing to Nano or Antennae.

What this means is that if every single anime blogger used google reader to create selective rss folders (a “Japanese culture blogs” folder, “seiyuu blogs” folder, “episodic blogs” folder), the general public, through a google account, can then subscribe to these long, carefully tailored blog lists. Here’s how to do just that:

1 – access your google mail home

2 – in the upper tab find under “more” find “Reader”

3 – access “manage subscriptions” button

4 – add folders to your rss subscriptions by clicking on “add to a folder” then “new folder”

5 – in the settings tab, click on the “folders and tags” button

6 – after you’ve created folders for your subscriptions, these folders will show up as RSS feeds themselves. To make these public or private, simply click on the rss logo and the setting will change itself.

7 – to the right of that same rss logo, click on “view public page” to see the page on which your rss subscriptions will appear

8 – when viewing this public page, you CAN THEN SUBSCRIBE TO IT!

9 – tada, you now have a feed inside a feed

Now, this doesn’t entirely address RyanA’s first post. No, now we have to get into shared items and notes within google reader, which is a godsend to the development of the aniblogosphere. This “device” would allow bloggers and readers to communicate on a totally different level we haven’t seen yet. By consistently taking notes on blogs in your reader, just as we “subconsciously” update our MAL lists (c’mon it isn’t that hard), you can make public your own Author-esque notepadding “blog”. Here’s how:

*** – you need to create a google reader profile first

1 – Go back to your reader and click on “all items

2 – If your list does not look like that, you need to change the viewing settings. Use expanded view or list view, it doesn’t matter. At the bottom of each post you will see a “share with note” button. Click on it

3 – A window will pop up, asking to you take a note on the post.

4 – Click on “notes” under the “your stuff” tab. If it is collapsed, click on the + to expand it. You should see the post and then, if you click on it, the note you took on it.

5 – Go back and click on “shared items” and you’ll see the link that says “see your shared items page in a new window”, click on that link

6 – after everything, you should come to your shared items page. Notice that you can subscribe to that page with the RSS button in your address bar. There’s also an atom feed button on the right side underneath your abridged profile.

I have yet to see the cumulative effects of a large number of bloggers doing this, but in order for it to work effectively, bloggers need to make both their shared items page public, as in they need to post the link somewhere visible, in their about page or something. The second thing is for bloggers to actively create selective rss folders to which people can subscribe. There are only so many blogs out there, and this feature might become redundant if everyone is subscribed to all 498784353 blogs out there. If this reading-saturation ever occurs, subscriptions to shared notes subscriptions will take precedence as they hold additional content/notes/thoughts.

One point of this is to promote synergy. If readers want a microblog or notepad of sorts but don’t want to create a MAL or blog, you can do so with your email account. This can avoid the “stigmatization” or hype people receive when they create blogs. Ghostlightning is a good example. With the creation of his blog and MAL, he really does seem like a totally different person. His personality and individuality are concretized in various websites and aesthetic loci. Not to say that everyone should do this, the typical anon has a place in comments. I don’t know. All I know is that this is fucking cool.

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4 thoughts on “A Tutorial on Optimizing Your Reading?

  1. Ooh cool. You know I have a google calendar account (its just easier for me to organize my surgery and teaching schedules with the share feature on that) I have a google talk account, but I still use my hotmail account.

    Perhaps it is time I finally acquired gmail…

  2. Goodness. Never really thought igoogle could be more useful. That’s awesome! Now this requires me to be less lazy.

    Anyhow, someone’s tech savvy~

  3. frankeinstein: the point of this guide is not to wait for someone else to do it, but to do it yourself! With that said, myself, Owen, usagijen and Omo are doing it. It’s not something that will magically appear, we all have to take initiative here. Find my shared feed here.

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