Smooth Scrolling in Google Reader

Google Reader’s settings page has a new section where you’ll find “experiments you can choose to opt-in and try out”. It’s like a small Google Reader Labs that only has a single experiment you can enable: smooth scrolling. This feature makes the transition between items smoother and it’s especially useful in the expanded view.

While this feature is more difficult to find, you’ve probably noticed the colorful ball that’s displayed when Google Reader loads new posts. The animation is one of the few colorful elements from the new Google Reader interface.

{ Thanks, Venkat. }

Google Reader, Replaced by Google Sites in the Navigation Bar

Google Reader users probably noticed that the feed reader has been replaced by Google Sites in the main navigation bar. To visit Google Reader, they need to click “More” and then click “Reader” in the list of Google services.

Unlike the last time when Reader was replaced by Google Sites, this time is not an accident. A Google employee explained that this is a permanent change.

While the link to Reader has moved, you can continue to access Google Reader under the “More” dropdown. Or, you can also set a specific bookmark to for one-click access. Depending your browser, try dragging right from this post onto the bookmark bar on your browser (usually below the URL bar).

Google has usually made changes in the navigation based on the popularity of the services and it’s likely that Reader’s popularity is declining, while Google Sites gains more users. According to Google Trends, the queries [google reader] and [google sites] have almost the same search volume in the US.

Like Picasa Web Albums, Google Reader doesn’t have a new interface based on Google+. The latest features added to Google Reader were comment moderation and integration with Google Buzz, a service that will soon disappear.

{ Thanks, Cougar. }

Google Reader’s Web Page Monitoring to Be Disabled

Google Reader’s blog announced that the feed generator for pages that don’t have feeds will no longer be available starting from September 30. Google says that not many people used this feature, which is not surprising, considering that it’s quite difficult to find it.

Google Reader’s page tracking feature was useful to monitor the web pages that don’t have feeds. For example, you could use it to find when Google changes the privacy policy, when Google Chrome adds new extension APIs or when there are new products in the Google Store.

Unfortunately, Google Reader’s feeds looked terrible. The title for each item was “generated feed for [URL]”, the feature didn’t detect new images and the feeds were updated when the new versions of the pages were added to Google’s search index. Here’s Google Reader’s feed for and here are the changes found by Page2RSS. Page2RSS found 8 changes in September, while Google only found one. Page2RSS has another important advantage: the service constantly monitors web pages and it’s not tied to a search engine that indexes billions of web pages.

Google Reader simplified the commenting feature so that anyone can comment on a shared item

“Up until now, someone had to be in a designated sharing group to be able to comment on a post, even if you were sharing publicly. To make things a lot simpler, we’ve made it so that if you can see a shared item, you can comment on it.”

An important side-effect is that Google Buzz users can comment on any post shared in Google Reader, assuming that the shared items are connected to a Buzz profile. Since you can now comment on a Google Buzz post by replying to a message in Gmail, you could share a blog post in Google Reader and one of your Buzz followers could post a comment from in Google Buzz and then reply to your answer from Outlook, Thunderbird or from the Gmail mobile app for Blackberry.

If you don’t like Google Reader’s interface, there are desktop apps like FeedDemon, NetNewsWire or Liferea that import your Google Reader subscriptions and synchronize your actions with Google Reader. That means you could share a blog post in FeedDemon and someone could post a comment from Google Buzz or from an application that uses Google Buzz API.

While people can post comments to a Google Reader shared item in Google Buzz, you’ll still see the comments in Google Reader. It’s not really important where you find a great article and where you comment.

In other news, Google Reader will drop support for outdated browsers (IE6, Firefox < 3.0, Safari < 4.0, Chrome < 4.0) and will remove the offline mode powered by Google Gears starting on June 1. Why not remove offline support when Google Reader implements the same feature in HTML5?

Google Reader to Support for Video and Audio Tags

Google’s feed reader started to support the video and audio tags from feeds. The only popular browser that doesn’t support the two tags is Internet Explorer, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to play videos without plug-ins in all the other browsers.

As the screenshot below shows, Firefox and Opera don’t support the H.264 compression standard, so you can’t play videos from sites that only use H.264. Even if video sites like YouTube or Vimeo started to test HTML5 players, they don’t offer the option to embed videos using HTML5 tags.

Magento Adding New Order RSS to Google Reader without Authentication

If you wish, Magento will automatically notify you via RSS Feed of the creation of all new Orders, whether created in front-end the or the admin. In order to use this RSS feed, navigate to Sales > Orders, and click the New Order RSS link at the top of the page. You will be prompted to enter your User Name and Password. These are the same that you use to access the Magento admin panel. You will be redirected to the RSS page, where you can select which reader you would like to use for receiving this feed.


Google does not support password protected feeds.  So we need to register our feed with . This will convert RSS feed into a normal feed so that we can add this feed to Google reader.


For SSL you have another link on the site where you can generate normal feed

Find out awesome stuff online with Google Reader Play


I use Google Reader a lot — not only to stay on top of the news, but also to find interesting blog posts and articles. I’m always telling my friends about Google Reader, and while some of them love it, others don’t want to take the time to set it up. For those of you who fall into this second category, we’re announcing Google Reader Play, a new product that makes the best stuff in Reader more accessible for everyone. Reader Play is a new way to browse interesting stuff on the web, customized to the topics you’re interested in, with no setup required.

Items in Reader Play are presented one at a time, and images and videos are automatically enlarged to maximize the viewing experience. We use the technology behind Recommended Items in Reader to populate Reader Play with the most interesting content on the web. While you don’t need a Google account to use Reader Play, your experience will be personalized if you sign in. As you browse, you can let us know which items you enjoy by clicking the “like” button, and we’ll use that info to show you other content we think you’ll enjoy.

We think Reader Play is a fun way to browse interesting items online that you wouldn’t find otherwise. We designed it especially for people who don’t want to spend time curating their own set of feeds — but folks who already use Reader can easily use it to read their feeds as well. Just click the feed settings menu on any feed in Reader and select “View in Reader Play.” We’re launching Reader Play as an experiment in Google Labs so that we can test it out, get feedback from you and then improve it as quickly as possible. Visit to give it a try, and let us know what you think!

Posted by Garrett Wu, Software Engineer

Google Reader Recommendations Swap Popularity For Personalization — increased usage of Google Buzz

Google Reader rolled out a nice little update that added a new “Popular items” feed to the “Explore” area of the service. In here, you would find items from around the web that were gaining popularity fast. Of course, one person’s gem of popular content is another person’s crappy video. So today, Google has rolled out another update to Reader, to recommend items more personally tailored to you.

The new “Recommended items” feed replaces the “Popular items” feed in the same Explore area. “With the latest round of improvements, we’ve started inserting items selected just for you inside the Recommended items section,” Google writes.

What’s not entirely clear from Google’s post is how they’re pulling together these recommendations for Reader users. I have to assume it’s the same way they’ve long recommended news feeds to you, which is by looking at your Reader Trends and web browsing history (if you have that turned on), and comparing it with other users.

A quick scan of my own new Recommended items area shows results that are pretty hit-or-miss. But maybe that’s because I’m a writer who has to scan hundreds of sites every day even if not all of them particularly interest me.

There’s another small new feature in Reader today too: related feeds. If you trigger the drop down menu on a certain feed, and hover over “More like this,” you’ll see a list of feeds for what Reader considers to be similar sites. Subscribing to them is then just a button click away.

Using Google Reader this past week has been interesting as Google Buzz has multiplied the number of users following the items I share several times over. This is of course because Buzz and Reader (and the other Google properties) share the same social graph now — the same highly controversial social graph which saw you automatically friending certain people you contact on Gmail or over IM. In fact, Google had to stop doing that.

I’m still not sure Reader, or Google as a whole, gets this whole social thing, but they’re certainly growing their graph quickly now.