Google Reader is one of the last RSS feed readers standing, although there appears to be a new crop coming along, either in beta or emerging from it. So far, none of them have features that draw me away from Google Reader but it will be interesting to see them come to market. For now, I use Web browser extensions to improve my RSS reading experience.
I really like Pitaso.com’s Reader Plus extension for Google Chrome. It has a lot of features, including colorcoding the feed sources (I follow over 100) which makes it easier to see sources. It also extends the ways of sharing, so that you can send content directly to your Instapaper or Twitter accounts, among others.
Lifehacker discussed Pure Reader today, which is an extension that provides a very detailed replacement interface to Google Reader. I really liked the overall look and feel, but it was a bit limited in customization. The difficulty I have with looking at a lot of RSS feed items when they are all the same color is that I don’t give each feed the same weight. Colorizing them lets me visually distinguish some of my feeds, so I can skim and slow down as needs be.
Google Reader is a fine resource on its own and still one of my primary information gathering methods. These extensions can help you to personalize it in ways that make Reader more effective for your own research.