I have been spending some time recently going through my Google Reader and figuring out how to spend more time reading articles, and less time sifting through big piles of junk.
I had been using the method suggested by Steve Rubel in a post from late last year where I subscribe to pretty much everything, and organize the feeds with labels. I have a couple of labels that I pretty much instantly mark as read, but it has become a hassle.
It’s going pretty well, I am narrowing down what I have to read and feel like I am going to be able to spend more time reading the very best content I can find. One problem though is I have not decided how to use the star feature. I had been using it as a reading list, but I don’t like it for that because I cannot add non-Google Reader items. Not only that, but it tends to end up being a morass of junk that I never look through. I am currently using LaterLoop for my reading list functionality.
I went in search of inspiration where starring things in Google Reader is concerned. I have included a couple of the links below, but I am most intrigued by the suggestion relating to comments. I don’t know if that would work for me as I don’t get to comment directly in Reader, but I do think I will be using the Note in Reader bookmarklet to add the articles I comment on with a special tag I can use to follow the commented articles.
What should I do with the Stars? If I read something I like I share it, so that's not a good use for a star. Perhaps, the star feature will just become a quick way to note something important. Some good suggestions below to look through if you are curious what others use stars for.
Google Reader as a tracking tool
Google Reader provides an excellent way to track the articles you have commented on. All of the blogs I comment on are in my Reader, and all the articles I commented on get a star.
I can see how many comments I have left on all the blogs per day. If I select the starred items overview, the list view shows the dates the stars have been assigned. So if you do this consistently, you can tell how many articles you have commented on per day.
I can easily revisit blogs I have commented on. Using the starred items view, I can easily find all articles I have commented on in the last two days and revisit them to check-up on the discussion.
i use it to star recipes i like from the cooking blogs i subscribe to. when a new recipe pops up that looks good, i star it – then when i want ideas about what to cook, i just check my starred section.
I post interesting links in my LiveJournal on Thursday night/Friday morning and Sunday night/Monday morning every week. I star items I want to share.
Every time I read a post that I want to link to, I put a little star next to it and then as soon as I link the post in my blog I clear the Star!