Google

How to Make Google Reader a Bookmarking and Sharing Powerhouse

16 Ago/09

GoogleReader2Google Reader is the website I open more than any other. Except maybe Gmail, but that’s always open. Totally doesn’t count. Point is, I use Google Reader a lot. I use it to follow blogs and websites, to keep track of all my favorite people, and much, much more.

Reader’s the center of all my information consumption, but previously wasn’t so good at letting you share that information. If you wanted to bookmark something, or share a cool article with a friend, your options were limited. You’d either star an item, and then come back to it later, or you’d share it – but then only other Google Reader users could see it, and then that was only if you were friends on Google Reader. Which I have, like, three of.

But Google, always in sync with my needs (we have a wonderful and functional relationship, Google and I), has just released a “Send To” feature for Reader. Send To lets you share an article via Twitter, Facebook, Friendfeed, (though those are sort of the same now, huh?) Digg, Posterous, and many more.

To set this up, open Reader. At the top right of the page, click “Settings.” You’ll then see a tab in Settings called “Send To.” Click it. Then, select the service or services you want to add to your Send To… menu in Reader.

settings

The list is long, but you’re not limited to it. With a bit of know-how, you can create a custom link that’ll let you send the Reader item to any service or website you can dream up – the link to do that is at the bottom of the “Send To” Settings page.

People are already starting to cook these up. There’s a way to send from Google Reader to Evernote; a way to send to Instapaper; a way to send to ShareThis (which has every social network you can imagine), and many, many more. A little Googling, and I’m betting you can add anything you can think of.

Once you’re all set up, sending items can be done in two ways. You can either go to the end of an item, and click the “Send To” button, which brings up a dropdown menu of all your options; or, hit Shift-T to open the same menu for the current item. I use the keyboard shortcut all the time (I heart keyboard shortcuts), and it’s definitely the fastest solution.

Picture 1Whether you use Delicious, Twitter, Tumblr, Plurk, or just about anything else, you can now send directly to it from Google Reader – skipping at least one step, and a whole bunch of hassle.

What’s your bookmarking and sharing method of choice?

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