Simplifying blog reading

If you enjoy reading blogs, but realize they take up more time then you have, it’s time to view them in a blog reader. Instead of bouncing from site to site seeing if a blog has been updated, you subscribe to a feeder that brings any updated posts to one screen – even the pictures. The blog feed reader I prefer to use is Google Reader. Google Reader is simple to use too.

 

(Google reader is stopping in June, so may want to try these alternatives.)

  1. Sign up at Google Reader. If you already subscribe to GMail, Google calendar or any of their products you can use the same user name and password.
  2. When you visit one of the blogs you like to read, check for an RSS subscription button. You can see an example in the right column of this blog under Meta. It says RSS feed. (Some blogs have multiple feed buttons, look for a Google Reader button.)
  3. Click on it. Sometimes you will have the option to subscribe through Google Reader. (If you use the FireFox browser you can set up an option so it automatically asks if you want to subscribe using Google Reader)
  4. If the button doesn’t subscribe using Google Reader you can click on the feed (ie in the Meta Column it says Entries RSS – that would be the direct feed). Copy the URL. Open a new window for Google Reader. Click in the green line where it says Add Subscription – second section on the left. Paste the feed URL and click add.
  5. Now you have added your subscription and you will get the newest posts right away into Google Reader.

Reading Feeds Tips

  • Decide how much time you want to spend reading the blog post feeds
  • Limit the number of feeds. Once you reach that number, when you see a new blog you like, delete one of the feeds (Click the feed, then the top left grey tab says Feed Settings. You can delete from that pull down menu)
  • You can group by folder and just read one group a day – I have groups such as finance, coaching and health. When you add a feed, Google reader will ask what folder you want the feed in.
  • Or click on all items and plow through your reading. Read the headings and only read further if it sounds interesting.
  • Experiment with the Expanded View and the List View and see which is fastest for you.
  • Star posts you want to take action on later.
  • Click ‘show updated’ rather than ‘all’ for less clutter in the Reader.
  • Create a specific time to go through feed posts, just like with email
  • Weigh the time vs value with your feeds so you don’t spend more time than you need on reading blog feeds.

If you want to play around more with all Google Reader has to offer, you can check out LifeHackers post: Getting good with Google Reader�

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