Shared Items in Google Reader

I’m just getting into the idea of using the “shared items” feature of Google Reader (Google’s online RSS reader). I’ve been a heavy user of Google Reader right from the start, after using NetNewsWire (which is great) but wanting to read my feeds on a variety of devices (not just my Mac).

Google Reader has, for some time, offered a way for users to share interesting news items. You simply click “share” at the footer of an item, and that article is instantly available for others to see via RSS or your “shared items” page. I hadn’t really thought about the utility of being sociable with articles in my newsfeed, and have usually used Delicious or good old email to share things.

You can see what I have recently found interesting in the sidebar of this blog, or view my shared items via Google. I expect to syndicate a digest of them here as well, making my blog into a bit more of a hub for my online activities.

It will be a fun little experiment, if nothing else..!

Mac Software

On NewsFire an other feed readers

My feedreader of choice is, and has been for some 2 years, the excellent NetNewsWire Lite on a Mac. It handles my 244 feeds very well, and they’re all nicely categorised into groups.

But I’ve had a bit of trouble recently in that NetNewsWire Lite has begun to randomly jumble up individual posts. Rather than sorting them by arrival order, it’s just mixing them together. I’ve checked “View > Sort By > Arrival Order” and it’s checked. I’ve clicked everything and double-checked settings, and it should all be OK.

Just out of curiosity, I thought that I would try out NewsFireRSS. Its interface looks very clean, and I do actually have a license bought through the recent MacHeist promotion (I bought the MacHeist bundle primarily for Delicious Library and Rapidweaver). So I thought that I would give it a whirl.

NetNewsWire allows you to export your RSS subscriptions to an OPML file with two options: first, as a flat file, and second, preserving your subscription groups. I opted for the second option, as I’ve got them all nicely grouped, and it would takes ages to sort them again by hand.

Sadly, when I imported the OPML file into NewsFire, none of the groups were preserved. I had one huge list of subscriptions. Not good!

Just to test the exported OPML file, I imported it into the open source feed reader, Vienna. My groups were preserved, thankfully, so the OPML file did export correctly from NetNewsWire. It seems that NewsFire just can’t cope with OPML groups – a big shame! I might have to relent and re-group by hand – or just stick with NNW or Vienna.