**This post is written for people who read the blog via email or a bookmarked link. Those who already use an RSS reader, please comment on the post with additional tips**
When I first found out about blogs in 2004, it was a revelation. I was thrilled to find that I could read people’s thoughts about various topics from mothering to food to just plain old life. Maybe it was the voyeur in me, but I loved the whole idea of blogging.
I bookmarked the blogs I found, but the more blogs I read, the more blogs I liked. How could I find time to read them all? I don’t know how I found out about RSS readers, but it wasn’t too long after I started blogging. Once I signed up for Bloglines, I was able to read all the blogs I liked and it took less time. Bloglines closed down in October (but I think it might be back up again), so I made the switch to Google Reader.
Most of you are blogging savvy (and more technologically skilled than I), but others have mentioned that Fed Up With Lunch is one of the few blogs you read. I’m assuming that you click over to the blog from a bookmark in a list of links or receive each blog post emailed to you. I want share something with you that will change how you consume blog content (and RSS content) and, most importantly, save you time.
Did you know that you DON’T have to have a google or gmail account to access this feature? If you don’t want to sign up for another email or you prefer another provider (I really like yahoo email), then don’t despair.
Here’s my tutorial on Google Reader. I have also embedded a Google-produced video on how to use Reader at the bottom of this post.
1) Start by going to Google and clicking on “More” on the top of the screen. The drop down menu gives you many options and scan down for “Reader.” You will have sign in up with a non-google email if you don’t have a google account. If you already have a google account and are signed in, you will the below screen:
I used my sister’s account since it was a blank slate
2) Click “Add a subscription” and paste in the URL of the blog you wish to add.
The plus sign at the top left is where you can add a subscription
3) Google Reader will then search and find that blog’s RSS feed and the last 10 feeds, if available.
I snapped these screen shots last week hence the old blog post
4) To keep organized, you can label that RSS feed whatever you want. Under “Feed settings” look for “New folder.”
Yes, I’m a nerd…
5) Here I called labeled it “Food.”
…I need labels
6) In the bottom left-hand corner (“Blogs I’m following”), under “Food” there are 10 unread posts for my blog. Here’s what it looks like:
7) If you want to explore other blogs that Google thinks are similar, you can go back under “Feed settings” and find “Blogs like this.”
Until I did this tutorial, I didn’t know about that feature
8) Since you already read the last 10 feeds and you don’t want to re-read them, you can click on “Mark all as read” (where I put that dark line in the picture). “Mark all as read” comes in handy when you go on vacation and you don’t want to read what you missed. You can click on it and start fresh.
I’m so damn dorky that I like having no unread items.
It’s easy to see that you can potentially save a ton of time by reading blog content this way. Plus you don’t have to bother with loading up a full-on webpage with all the little badges and ads. I hope this was helpful — those of you who are more savvy than I am, please chime in by commenting with further suggestions.
Google’s official tutorial follows: