Posted by: Brandon | March 17, 2009

The Easy Way to Read Blogs

Do you read a lot of blogs? Or are there just a handful that you like to check up on regularly? I know that a lot of my readers aren’t the “techy” type, but even those who are, I’m surprised to learn, aren’t taking advantage of a great time-saving tool related to reading blogs.

I’m talking about RSS Readers. Don’t let this name scare you. It’s a really simple idea (in fact, RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”). So, rather than visiting each and every website to see if there’s anything new posted, you just look at one website that tells you which of your favorite blogs have new posts. And then you can either read the posts from there, or go to the actual website of the blog. It aggregates all your favorite blogs in one place.

Can you see how this would save you a lot of time spent going from site to site, especially if you have a lot of favorites? Also, this isn’t just for blogs. Most newspapers, magazines, and other websites have RSS feeds that you can easily pull from to see what’s new.

There are many free RSS readers out there. I use Google Reader, which is attached to my Gmail account. If you have a Gmail account, then you already have Google Reader. Just go to http://www.google.com/reader and you’ll see it. It works kind of like e-mail in that it shows which posts are new, and which ones have been read. You can also “star” posts, e-mail them, and put them into different categories. If you’re interested, Google Reader also keeps track of your “Trends” so you can see which blogs you read the most, which are most popular, and how many posts you read per day or week, etc.

To add your favorite blogs to Google Reader, click the “Add a subscription”  button at the top, copy and paste (or type) the url of your desired blog, and click “Add”.  Or you can search for new blogs this way here, too. Some blogs will have an “RSS” button, or even an “Add to Google Reader” button right on the page that you can click directly and it will add the blog to Reader for you.

As I mentioned earlier, you can categorize your rss feeds (blogs). For example, I have blog categories for “Family”, “Personal”, “Programming”, “Music”, “Travel” and more. So if I’m in the mood to read about travel, I’ll look at my travel category. I’m subscribed to four travel blogs right now. Two of them post every couple days, but one of them only posts every few weeks. So it’s nice to see the new posts there without having to visit the sites continually.

Who knows when I’ll write my next post. If you don’t want to keep checking back on my site every day to see if I’ve posted anything new, just add my blog (https://brandags.wordpress.com) to your Google Reader account, and it will tell you when I’ve posted something new.

If you’ve never used RSS feeds or Google Reader before, why not give it a try? Or check out some of the other free rss feed readers out there (for example, http://www.feedreader.com). If you have used them, feel free to share some of the things you like or don’t like about them. I know Google Reader can do a lot more than what I use it for, and I’m sure others have even more features. Happy reading!

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Responses

  1. Yes, I agree. This is the best way to keep up on blogs! Anything to make life a little easier. 🙂

  2. That’s what we use and we love it.

  3. Funny I just read this post on my rss reader on my iPhone


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