’Starred Items’ are a feature of Gmail and Google Reader designed to give you quick access to these items.
What you might not know, however, is that it is possible to broadcast your Google Reader starred items into their own RSS feed that you can share with friends or display locally on your desktop, or even use them in a Widget within your site or blog. This posting is a step-by-step guide on how to do this.
The screenshot above shows the starred items from one of my Google Reader accounts displayed in an RSS widget on the desktop (using Klipfolio). It also shows what the widget will look like when you publish it on your site.
To begin with I will assume that you (a) have a Google login and (b) that you are using Google Reader to read your RSS feeds and using the ’starring’ feature to denote those RSS articles/posts that you are interested in broadcasting).
First you have to make your ’Starred Items’ list public; the steps to do this are as follows:
- Click on the ’Settings’ link in Google Reader
- Click on the ’Tags’ tab
- Check the box next to “Your Starred Items”
- In the ’Change Sharing’ dropdown, select “public” to make the Starred items public.
- Click on the ’view public page’ to view your very own webpage where your starred items can be viewed.
Now that you have a public page with your starred items, you have the following options:
- View the public page
- Email the link to your friends
- Add a clip to your site
- RSS: you can also locate the public page’s RSS feed and share that with friends or use it in your desktop based RSS program.
Viewing a page and finding the RSS link: your page once you browse to it should now look something like this (see screenshot to the right). This page also contains an RSS feed link (see the RSS icon in the middle-right); you can click that link in order to get to the URL that you will need to use in your desktop-based RSS reader.
Note that the feed seems like it might be an ATOM feed and not RSS. This should not matter as most RSS readers can handle ATOM and RSS both.
Adding a clip to your site: is as simple as can be. Click the “add a clip to your site” link and you will be presented with a page that looks like this one (screenshot to the right) that will contain the HTML code you need to paste into your site as well as what the widget will look like. You can specify the color of the widget as well as the number of items to display.
Go to the Google Reader site to set up an account.