Recently, I moved all my RSS Feeds from a RSS Ticker to Google Reader. I thought since the feeds would be more organized I would do a better job keeping up with my blog reading. While I was goofing around with Google Reader, trying to discover all the things I could do with it, I noticed some words at the top of the reader. They said, “Google Reader Play is a fun way to browse interesting stuff on the web. Give it a try!”
The first day, I resisted their prompting and ignored them. I already had enough to read, I could not see adding any more to my list. The second day I noticed those same words — just sitting there — tempting me. They were in a light yellow box, as if to make them seem like they were cheerful, and happy. I managed to ignore the temptation again. The third day rolled around, and the words seemed to be saying “resistance is futile”, so I clicked on them.
I was simply amazed by what I saw. Right in front of me was a box, with a random web page in it, and arrows that allowed me to move on to another page. At the bottom there was a section to change the settings, including turning my web surfing into a sort of slide show. I could even choose to highlight a page as a favorite and indicate if I liked the page I was reading. Google Reader Play would pay attention to the items I clicked on, using them to tailor make my surfing experience.
For the most part, the web pages I encountered were interesting and some were quite funny. What I liked most about what I was viewing is that I probably would not have landed on those pages if it had not been for Google Reader Play. I saw a web page about a huge slide in the Singapore Airport. Another about some woman who sued the wrong web page in a defamation lawsuit, and she won 11 million dollars. One of the strangest pages I encountered was about a campaign to make the bacon wrapped hot dog the official hot dog of Los Angeles. In my opinion, the coolest one was about two inverted Coke Zero pyramids, one made of 2 liter bottles, the other made of cans.
I can see myself using Google Reader Play daily. It offers a great opportunity for me to find the latest news worthy items, that might not be in the mainstream news outlets. I found it very easy to use, definitely a plus for someone who is technology challenged. It was also loads of fun. Every time I clicked on the arrow to advance to a new page, I would get excited, not knowing what was going to pop up next.