January 14th, 2008 | Published in Google Reader
As an engineer on Google Reader, it's always great to hear from users, especially when it's about how Reader has helped out. I was very happy when the team received this email from Gary Patino:
I was having a hard time finding the right job here in Houston. Days would go by without talking to a single recruiter. But then I started using Google Reader to subscribe to custom-made job search feeds for craigslist, and for oodle.com (which already aggregates feeds from thousands of other classified ad websites).
Soon I found myself flying all over the country interviewing for jobs. The employers always pay for the flights, hotels, rental cars, etc. My job hunt became like an exciting vacation! I've been to New York twice, Milwaukee, Austin, Los Angeles, and Miami. I just accepted an offer in Manhattan with a very competitive salary offer. Google Reader saved me a huge amount of time and effort with the job hunt. Thanks guys!
Gary's experience is a great reminder about the power of feeds. Feeds exist for all sort of information beyond blog and news sites and are a great way to receive timely updates. Here are some more examples of these atypical feed uses:
Finance: Both Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance let you get finance news updates for specific companies and stocks, just look for orange "Subscribe" or "RSS" icons in your browser. To receive stock quotes (only for some stocks), you can use NASDAQ's feeds.
Classifieds: As Gary mentioned, both craigslist and Oodle.com offer feeds for all of their listings. Just look for the orange "RSS" link at the bottom of any results page -- when you subscribe to a search, for, say, apartments under $1500 in Manhattan, you'll get updates when there are new apartments matching that search. Similarly, in eBay you can find an RSS link at the bottom of any search page, and in Google Base near the top-right corner.
Social networking: Facebook offers feeds for many of its features; you can see notifications, status updates, and your friends' posted items in Reader, as explained on this page. For those of you that are Twitter fans, you can get RSS feeds for many of its pages.
Shopping: Amazon lets you get feeds for the latest popular products as well as wish lists (look for the orange feed icon). Many other shopping web sites offer feeds, including Yahoo! Shopping, MSN Shopping, and NexTag.
Saved searches: Google Blog Search, Google News and most Yahoo! sites (among others) let you subscribe to search results as feeds. This way, if you want to monitor a topic, you don't have to keep running searches over and over again.
This list of sites is not comprehensive, feeds are finding their way into more and more places. Be on the lookout for the orange feed icon, so that you can save time and keep track of everything that interests you.