Web trends seem to appear (and often disappear) with frightening speed. IRC, alt.net, e-mail, instant messenger; not to mention regular HTML sites, Flash sites, RSS readers, Web 2.0 sites; then there’s MySpace, Second Life and the whole social networking thing.

Google’s trialling yet another method in Google Labs called Google Reader and it’s pretty good if I may say so.

Google Reader

The gist of it is to be like gmail but for websites. You subscribe to feeds, then run through the stories. As you go through them they’re ticked off – so you only read something once. It’s a much more efficient way of reading websites.

So far it sounds just like any other feed reader, but there are a few notable differences. Because it’s web-based you can move from one place to the next and it’ll remember what you’ve read and what you haven’t. Because it’s Google the integration between searching for feeds and subscribing to them is a piece of cake. It could well be the application that makes feed readers publicly acceptable rather than the preserve of news hounds and blog addicts.