Yesterday Official Google Reader Blog announced 2 new features to the ever expanding feature list of Google Reader. Thanks to Google’s (ex-)interns we can now drag and drop to organize individual feeds and folders as well as recommendations to new feeds that are actually catered to us.
There are 2 ways to get to recommendations: It is displayed as a sidebar box above recently starred and shared on the “Home” page and it is also right next to “Add subscription” in a form of Discoverlink. The top feeds and the whole search for feeds deal has taken a back seat in a form of an additional tab on the Discover page. The recommendations algorithm takes a look at your feeds and compares them to other people reading the same subscriptions. Think of it as netFlix movie recommendation engine, only instead of voting it takes things like subscribers and activity into consideration. You can preview a recommended feed and if you decide its not to your liking you can pick to never see it again. All in all, it’s a fairly good recommendation engine and works well. It is now easier than ever to find interesting blogs catered to your interests. I would imagine it it somewhat difficult to start recommending feeds to somebody that hasn’t established their subscriptions, but thats a different story.
Another new feature announced yesterday is ability to drag and drop your feeds and folders into any order you want. Now you do not have to go into the settings, change folder names to “fool” gReader into organizing folders the way you want them to be displayed. Its a great way to organize your feeds. You can move more important, favorite subscriptions to the top, and less read, non targeted feeds (Google blog search or Technorati topic feed, for example) to the bottom of the list. The detection of the dragged items is a bit touchy and the you need to be fairly precise in where you want your feed/folder to go. There is still no way to put tags or folders into a parent folder, however you can make tags a full fledged folder very easily.
Recommendations and drag and dropping are 2 very welcome additions that make Google Reader that much easier to use. They are lagging a bit behind Bloglines and Newsgator on the whole dragging and dropping thing, but its better late then never. I can’t wait to see whats coming next!