How to share your Google Reader subscriptions with others using bundles

As I was putting together a learning guide on Google Reader, I learned that there are two methods for sharing  and importing subscription feeds. I would like to share what I have learned with you.

As I have previously mentioned, Google Reader is a great tool for aggregating all of your RSS feeds. These feeds are necessary to keep you up to date on areas you deem important. When you collect and organize these RSS feeds into folders, you may want to share them with others. You can share these subscriptions in a number of ways; however, I am going focus on one particular method and touch slightly on the other. In my opinion the easiest method is creating a bundle. The other method is creating an OPML file. OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) is a format for outlines, this results in a file that can be read by many other RSS readers. When creating a bundle, an OPML file is also created. In the next couple of sections, I will explain how to create a bundle, how to share a bundle, how to import a bundle, and how to import an OPML file.

Creating a bundle

1. Open Google Reader, and click on the down arrow to the right of a subscription folder.

2. Click on the Create a bundle link.

Create a bundle link
Create a bundle link

3. Give your bundle a name and provide a description.

4. Drag additional subscriptions to the box provided or drag unwanted subscriptions to the delete box provided.

Add or delete subscriptions
Add or delete subscriptions

 

5. Click on the Save button when done.

A saved bundle
A saved bundle

 

When you are done creating the bundle, you have the option to share it with four different methods: email it to friends, create a bundle clip for your website or blog, add a link to your website or blog, and an OPML file.

How to share a bundle

If you are planning to share bundle directly after making it, you can use the links provided; however, if sharing a bundle is an after thought, you will have to locate your bundles.  I am going to show you the long way.

1. Open Google Reader, and click on the Browse for stuff link.

Browse for Stuff link
Browse for Stuff link

2. Click on the View your bundles link.

Email to friends

1. Once on the Your bundles page, click on the Email to your friends link.

2. Fill out the To and optional Note to attach to your bundle, and click on the OK button.

Email Bundle dialog box
Email bundle dialog box

The recipient will receive the following email message.

Email message
Email message

Clicking on the preview link will send to a page with samples of the feeds and a button to subscribe to the feeds.

Google Reader bundle page
Google Reader bundle page

Create a bundle clip for your Website or blog

1. Once on the Your bundles page, click on the Create a bundle clip for your Website or blog link.

2. Copy the code and add it to your site.

Bundle widget code
Bundle widget code

NOTE: Your site must support JavaScript.

Add a link to your Website or blog

1. Once on the Your bundles page, click on the Add a link to your Website or blog link.

2. Copy the URL from the address bar, and paste into your site.

Here is an example for my “elearning” bundle.

Add an OPML file link to your Website or blog

1. Once on the Your bundles page, click on the OPML file link.

2. Copy the URL from the address bar, and paste into your site.

Here is an example for my “elearning” OPML file.

How to import a bundle

When you import a bundle you are basically subscribing to the RSS feeds culled for you. The process is really simple.

1. Click on the link to the bundle provided to you through either an email message or Web page.

2. If you like what you see, click on the + Subscribe button. The feeds will then be added to your Google Reader subscriptions and placed into appropriate folders.

Subscribing to a bundle
Subscribing to a bundle

How to import an OPML file

Finally, there is an option to import an OPML file. This is perhaps the more complicated method but still effective.

1. Right click on the link for the OPML file and save it to your computer.

2. Open Google Reader, and click on the Settings down arrow then Reader Settings link. It is located on the right side of the screen.

Google Reader
Google Reader

3. Click on the Import/Export tab.

Import/Export Tab
Import/Export Tab

4. Click on Choose File button.

5. Locate and open the file you saved.

6. Click on the Upload button.

Your files are now being uploaded to Google Reader.

If folks are interested where you find all your great articles, you now have a way to share your subscriptions with them.

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