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Google Reader gets small but smart organizational tweaks

Company's RSS Reader product has some new tricks that may not wow at first, but to the seasoned user they're welcome additions.

Google just released a handful of small updates for its RSS Reader product that continue to improve some of its organizational capabilities. Included in this update is a more pervasive tagging system, international sharing, a timestamp for the last time a feed was crawled, and an alphabetic sorting system for folders and subscriptions.

The two changes I want to highlight are the new tagging system and feed subscription sorter.

Tags in Reader have been present for feeds and individual stories, but they can now be found when sharing or noting a story in reader too. Below the text field that lets you personalize a note, you can now add as many comma separated tags as you want and they'll show up on the shared item. From an editorial standpoint this means people who may be subscribed to your share feed will be able to better sort out what you're sending them, either in Reader or whatever other tool that they're using.

You can now sort out subscriptions alphabetically. CNET Networks

The other small change that I think was long overdue is the option to sort out subscriptions alphabetically. This is something that's incredibly useful if you're monitoring a large quantity of feeds. Even the best organizational system can crumble when your mind's not working, and simply sorting everything out alphabetically can help with that.

You can toggle back and forth between this and your drag-and-drop organization using a small options menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. Still missing from that field is some sort of visual indicator (besides the post count number) that would let you see which feeds you're completely ignoring--something that must be figured out via the service's trends menu.