Tag Archives | Google-Reader

Feedly

I am sad to say that Google Reader is dead. Feedly hopes to be the tool you transition to. It provides a productive way to organize, read and share the content of your favorite feeds, blogs and news sites. Feedly offers a seamless transition from Google Reader.

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Mixing Google Reader and Live Bookmarks

Google Reader RSS Tip

Want to have instant access to all the RSS feeds you have subscribed to, without having to login and check them out through Google Reader?  You can do this by mixing Google Reader with Firefox’s Live Bookmark feature.  Since Google Reader outputs your reading list in RSS – it is easy to create a place where you can keep up to date with the latest news, without even launch the Google Reader website. 

Here is how you do it.

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Essential Firefox Add-ons for Google Reader

My RSS feed reading application of choice is Google Reader.  I have been using it for several years now, and it has never let me down.  Now, that is not to say it could not be improved though.  Here are a few ways you can make your RSS feed reading in Google Reader even better.

Instant Google Reader Updates

The Google Reader Watcher add-on is handy to have, because it will check your Google Reader for unread new posts.  You can use this to keep track of how many stories you have yet to read.  Checking Google Reader with this add-on is much more practical than visiting the Google Reader web site several times a day, for those RSS feed addicts out there like me.

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Google Reader Watcher

Help with Google Reader 

Need help watching your feed subscriptions in Google Reader? 

The Google Reader Watcher add-on for Firefox is here to help.  With this extension, you can be instantly notified when your favorite new source, blog or any other web site with an RSS feed is updated and ready to read in Google Reader. 

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7 Easy Ways to Make Firefox Better

It is the little changes that make things better.  The devil is in the details, and when it comes to customizing some of the Web’s most popular tools, you can often make them better by combining some of the little changes out there.  Here are seven easy ways you can easily make Firefox a better browser – or at least the popular web site tools covered that you visit the most.

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Better Amazon – The Better Amazon add-on for Firefox highlights listings with free shipping, enlarges product images, cleans up book pages, shortens URLS and more on Amazon.com.  One of the best Amazon.com enhancers for your browser.

1215505433Better Flickr – A great complication of Greasemonkey scripts to make Flickr better for your average user.  You have the Flickr buddy icon reply, more user links, photo magnifier, page enhancer and a more feature rich editor.

1215377688 Better GCal – The Better GCal add-on for Firefox is a favorite of mine.  It allows you to collapse the header and sidebar, wraps event titles, color weekend days, give week numbers and even a few skins too.  Google Calendar never looked so good!

1226620693 Better Gmail 2 – A handful more of useful features you can add to your Google-powered e-mail client.  Here you have all kinds of useful additions, from macros to attachment icons.  You even have a few more skin choices and hierarchical labels.  Also don’t forget the first one, if your not yet rolled over to “Gmail 2″.

1219862724 Better GReader – Add a few more popular Greasemonkey scripts into your Google Reader.  You can preview web pages inline in Google Reader, collapse the header and sidebar, get a Mac OS X like skin, add favicons and tons more.

1215233168 Better YouTube – Enhances YouTube with Greasemonkey user scripts, that offer options like the FlowPlayer “doesn’t start till you hit play” viewer, clean “theater” view, and links to download the video automatically.

1222129898 Better Lifehacker – I am a BIG fan of Lifehacker, so why not make them “better” too?  This extension enhances Lifehacker.com and other Gawker blogs–like Gizmodo, io9 Jezebel, Valleywag, Gawker, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Defamer–with useful Greasemonkey scripts.

Which is your favorite “Better” add-on for Firefox or which area of the Web would you like to see Gina cover next?

iPhone’s Google Reader on Your Desktop

Like the iPhone version of Google Reader, but want to bring it to your desktop?  With this quick tip, you can load it up as a sidebar in Firefox – like this:

google-reader-sidebar

How do you make it happen?  Drag this link to your bookmarks bar:

Now, right-click the bookmark, and select Properties.  Click the check mark box for loading this bookmark in the sidebar, and then click on the Save Changes button.  Now when you click the bookmark, it should open up the iPhone version of the Google Reader.  The buttons are a little funny, but everything should pretty much work like it does on the iPhone. 

If you want to read more about any story, click on the title, and then to go to the web page for the story or post, click on See original.  This will load up a lightweight version of the site where the story came from.  Not perfect, but still fun to play with and semi-functional to use.

Bonus Tip – drag this link (mini reader) to your bookmarks bar to make it a popup instead.  If you like that, you can read more about the Top 5 Google Popup Bookmarklets on Mitchelaneous.

Integrate Gmail with Everything!

Integrated Gmail in Action I have seen my fair share of the add-ons for Firefox, or Greasemonkey scripts that promise to integrate Gmail with just about anything and everything.  They all have little flaws in them though, that keep me from wanting to use them all the time. 

One new add-on that might change my mind is Integrated GMail, an experimental extension that does a fine job at the previously mentioned task.  It allows you to make the inbox collapsible and loads your choice of Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Notebook and Google Groups under it (they are also in collapsible boxes).

It was also recently featured on my list of  9 Google Reader Add-ons for Firefox via Mitchelaneous.com.

If your are inbox minimalist, enable minimalist mode to clean up the inbox even more.  This extension is well worth checking out.  You can pick it up on the Firefox Add-ons web site.  Once you do, let me know how it stacks up against other favorite Gmail tools of yours for Firefox.

Pros and Cons of Feedly Add-on for Firefox

whatsnew.part1 Is Feedly worth your time?  As a new type of article for Firefox Facts, I thought I would weigh in on both the pros and the cons of this add-on and give you my final thoughts on if it is a keeper or not.  Mind you – I am a very picky man.

If you believe the front page of Feedly.com, even Leo Laporte tweets, “My new favorite Firefox extension (and home page): Feedly.”.  I have heard about Feedly for a while now (from several sources), so I figured it was time I gave it a shot.  You can pick up the add-on for Firefox via the official Feedly web site or the Firefox Add-ons web site as well. 

The Install of Feedly

The toolbar icon for it is automatically  placed in your navigation toolbar, so I give it a click and it already has me signed in and has found my Google Reader account.  That is pretty cool.  Under social connections, it is asking me if I want to import Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Twitter or Friend Feed.  I handed it Twitter, then watched it work.  Ok, think this thing is up and running!

The Pros of Feedly

  • I like the fact it works with Google Reader and Twitter (the only two I tried) right off the bat, with no problems at all.

The Cons of Feedly

  • The ad box on the right of the web page layout is HUGE! (conveniently not shown in front page screenshot above).  Here is the huge ad in question.  You can click it to get the actual ad dimensions:

    feedly-huge-ad

  • The toolbar icon is ugly and has rough edges
  • I had to resize my browser to larger than 1024×768 to see the page correctly (without a horizontal scroll bar).  Should be a more flexible layout.

Final Thoughts on Feedly

I have to say, after spending a little ‘bit of time with Feedly, I just don’t get it.  Why do I need a Firefox extension for this?  Couldn’t they do it all as just a web site that imports things I plug into it?  Now I understand all the social aspects, but it just does not tickle my fancy.

Agree or disagree?  Let me know what you like about Feedly and maybe you might win me over.

2nd Look at Better GReader

Better GReader = A+ ExtentionI have gotten a few e-mails lately wanting me to give Better GReader a second look. Maybe I didn’t give off enough of an ecstatic glow with my last look, but this time I promise to do better!

For those of you who are not familiar with the idea, Gina at Lifehacker is a master at rolling up a lot of great Greasemonkey hacks into one big extension for Firefox adding form, functionality and style to various Google services.

Here are some of the Greasemonkey Google Reader scripts that got rolled up into Better GReader:

I always look forward to seeing what they do with their “Better” Firefox series of extensions at Lifehacker and this one is no different. Pick it up for yourself and let me know what you like or don’t like about it.

Fix Google Reader Wide View in Firefox

Fix Google Reader Wide Reading View

Anybody else run into this issue yet? Seems like with the last round of Google Reader updates they broke the widescreen view in Firefox.

After searching the Web for a solution or for others in the same boat at me – I couldn’t find much help. So what is a guy to do? Well I happen to be an avid fan of the Stylish extension so I thought I would write up a little fix using it to solve the problem.

+ Get Fix Google Widescreen View at UserStyles.org

Pick up my user style and see if it does the job for you. The only drawback is that this will get rid of the new toggle button for getting rid of the Google sidebar menu. Personally I have always just used the “U” key to get this job done. Hope this helps others out there being bugged by the same pesky issue.