Q&A: How to Save RSS Searches in Google Reader?

February 15, 2009
174 Views

Wallace Reid, as first responder to my request for questions, asks:
Is there a way to save searches in my Google Reader? I ‘tag’ a lot of items by topic, and then search those topics for items that I have found interesting over the last year or so. I’ve been able to create a library in […]


Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this, please consider following more tips by RSS or email delivery. | Twitter | FriendFeed | Email

Wallace Reid, as first responder to my request for questions, asks:

Is there a way to save searches in my Google Reader? I ‘tag’ a lot of items by topic, and then search those topics for items that I have found interesting over the last year or so. I’ve been able to create a library in Google Reader that is relevant to my interests. Retrieving and sorting items seems to be the logical next step in Google Reader development. It would be useful to make rss feeds of those searches the same way I publish rss feeds from tagged, and ’starred’ items.

In a word: No.

To the uninitiated, Google Reader is a popular tool that enables you to subscribe to, and read, RSS feeds.

For instance, in lieu of loading your favorite web browser and typing http://ariwriter.com into your browser’s location bar, you can opt to receive my blog entries by what’s known as Really Simple Syndication. I offer RSS by feed reader and RSS by email. If you choose the latter, you’ll get updates in your email inbox. If you choose the former, then you need software to provide the service of decrypting and displaying content.

Not unlike Google being the most popular search engine, Google Reader is the most popular reader. Other readers include Bloglines, FeedDemon, and PicoFeed.

As of right now, there are approximately 400 RSS subscribers of my blog’s feed, of which 25% follow by email. Here’s a screen shot of the current dynamic showing 60% fetching my feed through Google:

RSS breakdown according to FeedBurner

By default, readers are readers, not searchers. Google Reader users are limited to reading content. A relatively recent concept includes the ability to keyword search your subscribed feeds, not unlike typing keywords into search engines.

If you frequently use Google Search to find keywords, people, and places, you can’t subscribe to a feed of results because it constantly changes. What you can do, however, is take advantage of Google Alerts and subscribe to your customized keyword searches by RSS.

Wallace asks a popular question, though, as this two-year-old Google Reader wish list of improvements indicates.

Geeks may enjoy watching this 35-minute video interview by Robert Scoble of the Google Reader project team in November 2006. About five minutes into the video, listen to Jason Shellen explain how the feed reader was conceived as a “20 percent project,” an in-house term to describe how Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work flow on side projects to fuel their passions.

What am I missing? Please add a comment below.

If you have a question for me, please fill out the Q&A form here.


Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this, please consider following more tips by RSS or email delivery. | Twitter | FriendFeed | Email


Link to original post