Google News Aggregator

Like most of you, I’m sure, I’ve known for some time about Google’s customizable “home page.” When I first learned about it I set up some items giving me BBC news and the New York Times, some bookmarks for a couple of sites I like, the weather for places I’d rather be… And I really never went back.

Only today (blush) did it dawn on me — and then only because a friend showed me something nearby — that this thing is, or could be, an RSS news aggregator that works out better than Google Reader, certainly for those who only want half a dozen or maybe a dozen feeds. Thing is, I didn’t grasp that the BBC news etc. was an RSS feed, and that by using the “create a section” link on the sidebar

google aggregator images

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that appears when you click customize you can set it to read any RSS feed you can find with a search.

I’ve cobbled together (in a matter of seconds) a few fun feeds to show you in the screenshot:

google aggregator
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It strikes me that this is the device to use to ease folks into RSS. Lawyers like news headlines, financial news… so feeds from Clark Wilson or from Slaw become news like the others. It’s that simple — and better than the Reader for some because here you only get headlines (as many or as few as you want: it’s customizable) until you click on them to go to the website proper.

I’m sure this is very old hat, but maybe, just maybe, there’s someone out there who’s been holding back from RSS because it’s just another thing to learn. Well now if you can search in a Google search box — and which legal researcher can’t — you, too, can join the brave new world.

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