Thursday, February 15, 2007

One subscriber, two subscribers, three...

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One subscriber, two subscribers, three...

When building a product, your top priority should always be the needs of your users. Here on the Google Reader team, we pride ourselves in being responsive to the complaints and feature requests of those who read feeds using our service. Today, though, we're announcing a feature for a different group: the publishers of those feeds.

Publishers have been asking us to report the number of users that are subscribed to their feeds in Google Reader. This is something we've been wanting to do for a while, but with all the products that use feeds at Google, corralling the data in one place was like herding cats. So herd we did, and as of today, our crawler reports the number of Google users subscribed to the feed. The count includes subscribers from Google Reader and the Google Personalized Homepage, and in the future may include other Google products that support feeds.

If you have access to your server logs, you can see the count directly in the HTTP header of our requests (read more in our FAQ). For an easier solution, you can use a web analytics service such as FeedBurner to get a detailed breakdown of your subscribers from a variety of feed readers (it may take a day or two for our stats to show up in their interface, so don't worry if they're not there yet).

While you're at it, you may want to take a look at the new Google Reader for Publishers page. It has some helpful tips to ensure the best experience for your subscribers. Among other things, it explains feed best practices, common implementation pitfalls, and various ways to promote your feeds.

We intend to develop more features for feed publishers, so let us know what would be most useful to you.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

[G] More Holiday Gadgets: Valentine's Day!

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Inside Google Desktop: More Holiday Gadgets: Valentine's Day!

Today is Valentine's Day. Traditionally, this day of romance is celebrated with chocolate or flowers, lavish dinners out, or even more lavish dinners in. But what if you're still looking for that special someone, or you're miles away from the one you love? Google Desktop to the rescue: Here are a few desktop gadgets you can use to find or celebrate love.
gadget snapshot Crush
By Lahiru Lakmal Priyadarshana

Let a special Google Talk friend know that you have a crush on him or her.
gadget snapshot Cupid's Gadget
By Teodor Filimon
Are you too shy to ask someone out? Do you want to see if he or she likes you, too? Try "like-marking" with Cupid's Gadget!
gadget snapshot Find My Heart
By Lahiru Lakmal Priyadarshana

Give your heart to a Google Talk friend. Your friend wins if it takes five tries or less to find where you hid the heart.
gadget snapshot Kiss Me!
By Kathy Walrath

Decorate your desktop with a kissable, framed picture of your sweetheart — or anyone else you'd like to kiss. Send your prospective valentine a picture of yourself and a pointer to this gadget, and you're sure to get a kiss! (Virtually, at least.)
gadget snapshot Love is in the Air
By James Yum

Heart-shaped fireworks simulate the graffiti inspired by first love. What could be more romantic?
gadget snapshot Flower Pot
By Google Inc.

If you're too late to order flowers for your honey, try giving virtual flowers instead. You might even try to convince your valentine that electronic flowers are ecologically superior to chemically treated flowers that have been transported hundreds of miles. Good luck with that.

You can find Valentine's Day gadgets and more at our holiday gadgets page. If you feel inspired to create your own holiday gadgets — pi Day, anyone? — visit our Developer Site and be sure to grab the Google Desktop SDK.

Happy Valentine's Day from the Google Desktop Team!