This page is cribbed from my other blog, Wonky Wheel.
Note: If you use a blog reader, skip this post.The cool thing about blogs is that they change all the time. (OK, it’s one of the bad things too, because reading them can be a shocking time sink.) But it has recently come to my attention that many people I know just bookmark blogs they like and then once in a while go back to see if there’s anything new.
There’s a better way! Get a blog reader!
A blog reader is a website, or in some cases a piece of software, that allows you to look at a listing of all the blogs you like and see in one glance whether there are new posts. If there are new posts, you can read them IN the reader by clicking in the list, or you can use the reader to jump out to the blog site itself. In a way, it’s like an enhanced list of bookmarks.
Even if you only read one blog, a reader will help you.
I use Google Reader. There are plenty of others, but it’s simplest for me to give instructions for this one. This takes just moments to set up.
- First, you need an account with Google. You might already have one if you use gMail, or if you’ve ever signed up with Blogger. If you don’t have one, go here and click “Create an account now”. All you have to give them is your email address and a password. (More on passwords in another post.)
- Now you can set up your reader. The Google Reader Help section has a more comprehensive description of the ways this can be done. The following is just one method.
- First go to a blog you normally read so that we have something to put in the reader. This one will do (hehehe). Put the cursor in the address bar at the top of the browser, making sure the whole address is selected.
- Press Ctrl-c on the keyboard to copy the address (or Apple-c if you’re a Mac user).
- Now go to the Google reader page. Take a look around at it. You’ll probably use several of its features once it’s set up. Don’t read the whole thing right now, because you’ll be overwhelmed, but be aware that it has lots of useful information on it.
- On the left-hand side, you’ll see a green bar with a link that says “Add subscription.” Click it.
- Aha! A little box pops up. Put the cursor in the box. This is where the new blog address goes. Press Ctrl-v on the keyboard to paste the address (or Apple-v if you’re on a Mac), and then click “Add.” You don’t always have to put the exact address, because if you’re close, or just put a word, Google Reader will give you some possibilities to choose from.
Now you have a blog in your reader. In the left panel you can see its title. If it’s in bold, with a number in parentheses, that means it has new items to read. In the right panel you see a listing of the entries. You can read the blog entries in the reader, or if you click the name of the blog above the entries it will open in a new window.
I recommend that you add another blog right now to cement the steps in your memory.
I happen to have about 50 blogs in my reader. (I don’t really read them all, but I do look to see what’s new.) Google Reader allows me to categorize them into folders. So I have an e-learning folder, and a funny stuff folder, and a yoga folder, etc. The Settings link in the upper right will help you do this.
There are other ways to add to your Google Reader page, but this is a good start. Try it, you’ll like it!
Oh yeah, don’t forget to add the Google Reader page to your bookmarks/favorites.
And remember my motto: ”Just click it and see what happens.”