I know that many of you read my blog through a feed reader of some sort (104 of you, last time I checked – thanks for subscribing!)
Others of you have no idea what these mysterious "feeds" are, and what sort of creature might "read" them. So I thought I’d give a quick overview of how to use Google Reader (just one of many feed readers) to organize content from all the websites you like to read in one place.
To use myself as an example, I have at least 85 blogs I like to keep updated on. Of these 85 blogs, probably only 20% of them update their content over the course of a single day. What a nightmare to try to visit all 85 blogs everyday just to see if they have anything new on their sites!
Most blogs have something called an RSS feed that "broadcasts" the information from the blog. So I take the address of this feed and add it to my Google Reader, and then when I go to check things in the morning, Reader will check all the feeds I’ve subscribed to, and put all the new posts on one page for me. I just cycle through them, skimming most of them, reading through a few of them, and Reader marks them as "read" so they don’t show up as new items anymore.
Here’s what my blog looks like in Google Reader:
The other cool thing about using Reader is that you can search all the content of all your subscribed blogs, so if you can’t remember which blog it was that had that great post on chaos theory, you just search for it and there it is.
So I’ve added a button to the top right part of my blog to quickly add my feed to your Google Reader. Try clicking it, it will probably just walk you through the steps. Then you can add more feeds as you like.