Lucky for me, I have a great friend who is currently working on her PhD in Information Science. She is always thinking about all sorts of interesting technology things, which often helps me sort through my own thoughts.
Lisa’s post made me think about the constant challenge I used to face trying to find time to read all the blogs I liked, let alone finding time to read the educational, professional blogs I knew I should be reading. I have been hearing about this thing called RSS for a few years now, but I never really understood how it could help me. Until this past week.
Having 60 student blogs to keep track of finally forced me to figure it all out. I started out at SuprGlu (as recommended by Landrum’s Bits and Bytes), but found that the feed limit of 15 feeds made it a little difficult to follow all 60 student blogs (although, I have to give them credit because as soon as I made a request for more feeds, they responded with an increase in feed limit to 20 — which would have been absolutely perfect if I was only working with one class instead of 3). Then, I checked out Bloglines, since that seems to be the choice of many, but found it much too confusing. Thank goodness for Google Reader. Finally, something that lets me have hundreds of feeds that is easy enough for me to figure out in about 2 minutes.
Here’s what I learned:
- RSS readers let you subscribe to all of your favorite websites (anything from Wired to this blog) in one place.
- Once you are subscribed, the reader will show a list of all the new posts from your subscriptions in one browser window
- You can flip through all of your subscriptions with a click of the mouse or a tap of the spacebar
Phew! That makes checking up on my favorite personal and professional blogs a breeze!
Here’s how to set up Google Reader:
- Set up a new Reader account. You can use your existing gmail address, or sign up for a new account using any e-mail address.
- Once you’re logged in, use the search feature to find new feeds. All you need is the URL (website address) of any website you want to subscribe to.
- You can choose to add labels to identify your different feeds. Then, click subscribe.
- Repeat steps 2-4 for all websites you would like to include.When you return to your reading list, you will see all the new feeds from the websites you subscribed to.