Google Reader has been my go-to RSS reader since October 7, 2005. How do I know? A new update to the service today tells me that and a few other interesting tidbits about my reading habits.
Technically, the big news of this update to Reader is a new fullscreen mode. I guess it’s nice to have in certain circumstances (just hit “f” to activate it). But to me that’s a little ho-hum. Much more interesting to me are a few of these new statistics they’re dishing out.
Aside from how long you’ve been a Reader user, Google is now telling you the total number of items you’ve read all time. For me, that number stands at 219,652 over these past (nearly) 5 years. I would have thought that would be pretty impressive, but apparently some people are much higher, because the Reader team notes that there’s a 300,000 limit on their tallies. “Once you hit around 300K (which we know some of you are already over) we stop counting for performance reasons. Consider that ‘beating the game’,” Google notes.
Given my current pace (7,000 read items a month), that means I have about a year left before I beat the game.
One stat Google doesn’t show beyond the past 30 days, but that I’d be really interested in seeing is how my read items have trended over the past few years. I would bet that since the rise of Twitter, it has gone way, way down. RSS still isn’t dead, but with things like Twitter, Facebook, and new sub-tools like Flipboard for the iPad, it is slowly being replaced.
Reader also now shows you the number of items you’ve actually clicked on in the past 30 days. Where was “read” items are ones you’ve scrolled by or clicked to expand in Reader, “clicked” items are ones that you’ve actually clicked on to visit the page.
Update: Just in case you don’t know where to find this data — it’s in the “Trends” area of Google Reader.