Want Google's computers to tell you which RSS feeds you should be looking at in Reader, and which feed items to read first? It's now possible, as Reader introduces a "Sort by Magic" filter and an "Explore" section with recommended feeds.
Both features are actually improvements and interface lifts to older features. The "Explore" section is nothing more than the Recommended Items list that Reader has always offered, but given its own left-hand sidebar section with green-coloured icons. They also threw a "Popular" feed into Explore, letting you skim through items across the web that have been frequently read, liked, and linked, then have them delivered in an order based on "what we think you'll like best".
Sound cryptic, overly personal, and a tad bit 1984? Then you'll probably want to avoid using the "Sort by Magic" option in your Feed Settings drop-down. Paranoia aside, this seems like a helpful option for those who frequently skip the folder-by-folder view and head right for their burgeoning "All Items" mega-feed.
Unlike the old "auto" ranking, this new ranking is personalised for you, and gets better with time as we learn what you like best - the more you "like" and "share" stuff, the better your magic sort will be.
Tell us how "magic" sorting and the newly-promoted feed recommendations suit your style in the comments.
Reading gets personal with Popular items and personalised ranking [Official Google Blog]