Google Reader is a tool that allows you to keep up with new content from your favorite blogs and news websites, without having to visit each of those websites. You choose what sites you’d like news from, and Google Reader pulls all those stories into one place. As you scroll through your reader, the stories will be marked as ‘read’, so you can quickly scan through articles from all your news sites, in a single place. But after you set up the basic Google Reader, you can make your experience more efficient and organized by using some of the settings Google provides.
Mashable posted some tips for optimizing your experience with Google Reader. They say, “If you’re a new user, you might want to fill up your Reader with interesting feeds. If that’s the case, make sure you don’t overlook feed bundles, which you can add by clicking on “Browse for stuff” in the upper left-hand menu. Here you can browse through featured feed bundles, bundles from your friends or recommended feeds from users with similar interests as you.
A lot of users just fire up Google Reader, add some feeds and then stop tweaking and optimizing. However, if you subscribe to a lot of feeds, Google Reader can actually help you get rid of the ones you’re not interested in and focus on those which are important to you.
The best way to do this is to use Trends, located in the upper-left corner of the Google Reader screen. Click on it and you’ll see a lot of statistics on how you use your feeds. For example, you can see which feeds you click on and read often, as well as which ones you share and email the most. You can also check out which feeds are frequently updated and which are almost completely inactive.”