December 14, 2011

Google Reader

Someone asked a couple weeks ago how to keep up with all the blogs they read and not spend ALL day doing so.  My answer to that, in short, is use Google Reader.

If you are not familiar with Google Reader you should look into it.  Basically it is a feed reader like most others, but for me I’ve found it easier to use; and well since it is Google and I love Google stuff it just works for me.  Google Reader can also be used on most smart phones, which is another plus as far as I am concerned!

A feed reader is simply a tool for gathering all the feeds from everywhere for you, and putting them all in one place so you don’t have to go get them each time an update is made.  So rather than actually visiting 70 blogs each morning to see if anyone made a new post since yesterday, you can just go to Google Reader and see what is new since you last checked.

 To subscribe to a feed in Reader:

  • Click the Add Subscription link in your left-hand sidebar.
  • Enter the URL of the blog or site you'd like to subscribe to.

Most blogs have feed autodiscovery enabled, meaning the site will automatically tell Reader where to find a blog's feed. If this doesn't work, you'll have to add the URL of a site's feed directly. Find the RSS logo on the site in question, click it, and copy and paste the link into the 'add subscription' box. If you can't find an RSS logo on the site, the site may not offer RSS feeds.

(The above text in italics is copied straight from the help section)

Blogger blogs that you follow (subscribe to) are automatically fed into your Google Reader.

When you have new items to view there will be a number in () beside the word Home, likewise in your list of feeds (that will be below the above section) each feed will show a number if there has been any updated content since your last visit.

You can have Google News and/or Alerts dumped into your Google Reader as well, which will help keep your email uncluttered.

Some blogs have their settings to where you can view the entire post in Google Reader without visiting the blog itself.  Others set it so that feed readers only show a snippet of the article or the first paragraph and then you would have to click from there to the blog in order to read the whole post.

As a side note here, I’d like to point out that once you visit a blog or site that you add to Google Reader, your IP address is not recorded each time you view the new content in the future.  AS LONG AS you do not return to the original site and ONLY read it in Google Reader.

I hope that this overview has given you enough information and links to get you going, but if not... feel free to ask me if you have any questions; I will be happy to walk you through it and help you get set up!

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