So, I think most people probably use Google Reader to manage the blogs that they read. I know I do, and I have things organized into different categories (i.e. Daily Reads, Photography Inspiration, Faith, Fashion, etc). But sometimes, I'll add a new blog to one of the categories, and then sort of forget who they are. Usually because for whatever reason, my brain doesn't associate the person with the blog name. So, even if they're in my "Daily Reads" folder, I don't always tend to read their updates all that frequently, because when I see their blog name, all I think is 'Who is THAT again? Why are they in here?' And I really don't tend to click through and actually leave a comment. Maybe I'm the only one like this with their Reader, but there you have it.
So, this is where the magic of the Google Next button comes in. Basically, you add the Next button to your bookmark bar. Then, when you're signed into Reader, you click through to one blog from your Reader.
Here, I clicked through to Ashley's blog. Once I've finsihed reading and/or commenting, I click the Next Button (in the yellow box above), and it automatically marks Ashley's blog post as read over in Reader, and then takes me to the next unread blog post in my Reader....which in this case was Samantha's blog. And from there, I can read, comment, or simply click "Next" again to keep going.
The really awesome thing is that you can set up the Next Button to pull from your entire Reader OR from just one of your folders--so in this case, mine is set up to only pull from my "Daily Reads" folder of Google Reader. When I click Next, I'm only getting the blogs in that category.
For me, this whole thing is genius for several reasons:
(1) I really like seeing people's smiling faces and their blog designs!
(2) I don't miss a blog that I want to read just because I cannot seem to make my brain associate the person with the blog name. Which happens more often than I wish it did.
(3) Commenting is a CINCH.
(4) I'm able to more quickly determine if a blog that I have filed in a particular category in my reader does or doesn't fit where I've filed it. Which is a nice thing for when I go on a blog-adding spree and add 150 blogs to my "Daily Reads" folder...which is maybe a little overambitious for, you know....daily reading. Seeing the actual blog (rather than just the blog name) makes it easier for me to go through and determine which ones I really want to read daily, and which blogs I want to check in on weekly, monthly, or with some other frequency.
Sold yet? It's awesome, I promise. And so simple to install! Here's what you do:
- Log in to Reader.
- Over on the right-hand side of the page, see the little button with the gear? Click it. And then click "Reader Settings".
- From there, click the grey tab that says "Goodies".
- You'll see a bold heading that says "Put Reader in a Bookmark". That's what you want to do--just follow the instructions from there!