Google Reader gets a small but useful tweak

Whilst people are harping on regularly about real-time news streams in the form of twitter and so on, there’s still an awful lot of value to be had from RSS feeds which are incredibly widespread on the web. I’ve been using Google Reader to stay on top of my favourite news sources for a long while, and though it’s not without its failings, I still find it to be the best RSS reader available.

Yesterday the Google Reader team added a few features which make it even more useful.

Send To

There’s a new section in your Reader settings which allows you to set up sites to which you’d like to share an item with. This makes it easier to choose a particular network to send an item to instead of just using the generic share button.

Feeds from people you follow

A small but nice touch. By following people you see their shared items in your feeds. Now you can also check out what feeds they have posted to their profile, meaning that you can catch a friend’s blog feed which you might have missed.

“Mark all as read” tweaked

This is the best update by a long shot. You now have the ability to mark as read any subscription, folder, or all items with certain time conditions. As I’ve recently returned from a week on an island I was confronted with 3000+ new items in my feeds. Now with one click I can mark anything over two weeks old as read, which knocks that number down under 2000 new items.

What next?

Calling out to the Google Reader team – please allow us to set up filters, or some way of training our feeds so that we can start pruning out the noise that doesn’t interest us. I have little to no interest in Apple news, of which there is much discussion on many feeds. I care not about Steve Jobs’ health. I’m not interested in Daily Tech’s reporting of latest news from NASA, but I like their other reports. TechCrunch’s excessive reporting of every single movement of the Twitter team bores me.

Make it possible for me to filter this stuff out so I can save time in my morning catch up.