Thursday, September 20, 2007

Google reader; I finally understand how to use RSS (sort of)

Ok, I'm almost embarrased to say this; but up until a couple of days ago, if I found a blog that I liked reading, I was saving it in my favorites and then opening it up later in an individual browser window (when I remembered).

Then a couple of days ago, I finally decided to explore my Google Reader. I simply typed http://reader.google.com into my browser, then signed in with my gmail username and password.

There are a couple of ways to add blogs to the reader.

  1. If you know the feed url - there's a green bar on the left menu of the reader that says "+ Add subscription" ... for a wordpress blog such as this one, just add "feed" to the end of the url (or there's usually a link all the way at the bottom of the page called "Entries RSS") . Example: http://tmtips.com/feed ... paste this into the box, hit "add", and it will go retrieve all the entries from that blog.

  2. There is also an even easier way - Many blogs use a service called Feedburner , and put a little widget in thier sidebar that looks something like this:

    ... all you have to do is click on it. A new window will open up with several options for subscribing; just choose "google" as your reader. Google reader will open up (you may have to sign in), and the posts from the blog you just suscribed to will be added.


Once you've subscribed to a few blogs, you'll want to do a bit of organizing ... put the different types of blogs into individual folders. Two ways that I did this (there are probably more) ...

  1. When you subscribe, and the new blog loads first into your reader there will be a grey drop down menu button just above the posts window that says "Change folders". You'll have the option of adding the new blog to any folders you've previously created, or all the way at the bottom you will see "new folder..."

  2. You can also use the Manage Subscriptions link all the way at the bottom of the left menu. A new page will open up with all the blogs you are subscribed to. You'll see that same drop down menu button, where you can change folders, or add a new one.


You can also apply "tags" to the blogs you are subscribed to, and organize them in that way (although I haven't tried that yet).

Reading is pretty self-explanatory ... just click on the blog you want to read in the left menu, then scroll through the posts in the main menu. If you want to go to the blog itself in a new window, just click on the title of any post.

Well, that's about what I know how to do (which should be more enough for many people). If you want to learn more, apparently there's a whole blog devoted just to this tool http://googlereader.blogspot.com

I hope you found this helpful ... happy reading!

Til next time ...

Todd

3 comments:

  1. Welcome to the world of XML Feeds :)

    You will know more wonders of XML. Check out Atom 1.0 vs RSS 2.0.
    Atom is now the standard, while RSS was never been :p

    ReplyDelete
  2. rss is awesome for keeping tabs on sites that rarely update, or that have too many updates. Google reader is what I use at work, but I like to use an rss reader app at home, I just find that a dedicated app displays nicer and is more configurable.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I sure hope I would do too. I have
    long been in the business yet I still find it hard to make it all better on my
    blog. It's so embarrassing.

    Spencer Evans

    ReplyDelete