Being a web designer, I like to think of myself as being pretty savvy about the online world… but reading blogs was something that stumped me for the longest time. It took me a fair bit of research and experimentation before I discovered a way to keep up with blogs that really worked well for me. Although some web browsers have built-in tools to “subscribe” to websites, they are pretty blunt instruments. Here’s the method I recommend for keeping tabs your favourite online writers super-easy fashion.
Use Google Reader. Yep, Google, masters of the brilliantly simple interface, have done their typically outstanding job with this free and full-featured tool.
How to do it
- Go to Google Reader. (That link will open it in a new window so you can follow along.)
- If necessary, create an account using the link on the right hand side.
- Once you have an account, return to the Reader page and sign in.
- To add a blog/website to your list, click “Add Subscription” in the green bar on the left. You can enter a website address (like “www.adamabrams.com”) and Reader will (usually) automatically suss out the correct link for subscribing to that site’s blog “feed”. One tip: you can actually search for blogs by content, by typing search terms into this box!
- That’s it! The blog postings appear on the right-hand side and you can click any one of them to start reading.
- Note that the menu on the left indicates clearly which blogs have unread articles, and how many.
That’s the basics! One thing I recommend is bookmarking your Reader home page.
- Make sure you’re on the Home page of Reader by clicking “Home” at the top of the menu on the left hand side.
- Now make a bookmark of the page. I like to drag the icon in the address bar to the favourites area right at the top of the browser, for one-click acces to my blogs any time.
Later on, I’ll post some “power tips” for using Reader. But this is all you need to get started. Now… go and read some blogs!