Happy Mortal

This life, well-lived.

Favorite Google Reader Hack: Rehacked

If you’re like me, you enjoy soaking up the content of the interwebs in all of its lovely forms. There are many and sundry ways that I go about hoovering up the data: Flip Board, Zite, Newser, Fluent, but for now I’d like to share a little trick I picked up today for Google Reader.

Google Reader has been one of my favorite tools for aggregating stuff for many reasons. I won’t list them all now, though I will point you to Close to Bliss which does have a nice little write up on the Google Reader Next Button.

The reason I’m writing this blog is that just today I had some trouble executing my favorite little trick. See, as much as I love hoovering, I don’t always have the 2.7 seconds it takes to do a search for the topics/people that I’m interested in.

What I started doing was subscribing to a Google Blog Search query as a feed. Just copy the URL from your query into the add a subscription box, and voila, you have your very own little RSS to a search query that delivers the most recent blogs (with your specified search term) to your reader. At least that worked until today. The URL used to look like this:

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch_feeds?hl=en&q=zizek&ie=utf-8&output=atom

Trouble is, when I tried to add another search query this afternoon, the add a subscription wouldn’t recognize it.

The new search looks like this:

http://www.google.com/search?tbm=blg&hl=en&source=hp&biw=&bih=&q=zizek&btnG=Search

I despaired. Then I got desperate. Then I got clever.

All you need to do to subscribe to a search feed is take the first URL and replace the query term. So, let’s say you want to have blogs delivered to Google Reader that follow the search term “coffee”. Let’s see what that looks like.

First you copy the original URL. Then paste it in the add a subscription box. Then ever-so-carefully, you highlight the search term, in this case zizek. Finally, you replace that term with yours. The final would look like this:

http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch_feeds?hl=en&q=coffee&ie=utf-8&output=atom