A post by George Veletseanos got me thinking about one of the key tools in my PLE – Google Reader – and how I use GReader for things other than reading the myriad of sites and blogs I subscribe to. Here are three things I do with GReader beyond reading.
1) Archive my tweets.
I subscribe to the RSS feed of my Twitter account. I started doing this back in the day when Twitter capped access to old tweets at “about a month” or around 3000, or some other ridiculous number. Now, with Twitter tightening developer access to their api’s, we may begin to see services that allow you access old tweets slowly dwindle.
If you have some server skills, you might want to use a tool called ThinkUp to archive tweets (which not only archives, but also gives you some Twitter stats on your own network activity).
But not everyone has access to their own server or the chops to install and configure their own web service, so a relatively quick and dirty way to archive your tweets is to subscribe to the RSS feed of your Twitter account.
Now, your Twitter accounts RSS feed is even tougher to find than the RSS feed for a Delicious tag. To subscribe to the RSS feed of a Twitter account, you need to know your Twitter user id number. You can do this using a service like MyTwitterID or IDFromUser and then plunking that number into the following url:
/ .com /statuses /user_timeline /xxxxx .rss
Replacing the xxxxx with your Twitter ID number. Pop that RSS feed in GReader and you are archiving your own tweets.
This is also handy if I want to archive the tweets of key members of my PLN and take advantage of the second thing I like to do in GReader…
2) Search my trusted network for resources.
In GReader, you’ve got the power of Google search, and I often use that as a place to start my search about a group of topics. After all, I only add sites that I trust and have vetted as being a valuable resource to me, so who go to the crazy wild web first when I can go directly to the sources I have curated?
3) Track my own comments.
If I add a comment to a blog post, I will subscribe to that comment feed so I can follow up with what gets posted as comments and take part in the conversation. I have tried a number of comment tracking services over the years, but still find this the most reliable and user friendly way to track conversation on blogs. In Greader I have a folder called Comments, and when I subscribe to the Comments feed for a blog post, I add the feed there. That way I can take track the convo and take part in the conversation.
So those are 3 ways that I use Google Reader beyond reading. How about you? Any hacks or ways you use Google Reader that is a bit unusual?
Photo: The Ultimate Swiss Army Knife by redjar used under Creative Commons license.