i finally gave in—about a year after everyone else—and started using google reader. the main reason was so i could add one of those nifty "shared items" boxes to my sidebar like everyone else has. often i will find interesting articles that i want to recommend, but don't have the time or inclination to write a whole blog post about them. for months i've been coveting those shared item boxes, so today when i had a few minutes to spare, i finally set one up.
my sidebar was already pretty cluttered, so to make way for the new box, i got rid of the "greatest hits" box (nobody cares about those stories anymore anyway) and replaced it with a much-smaller "databending" box for links to my databending primer. at some point, i might also turn the "archives" and "background" boxes into drop-down lists to further cut down on space, because it's still pretty cluttered over there.