Most people will say they get their news from Twitter, online news sites, Facebook, television, or maybe even paper publications. Not me. I get everything I need from Google Reader.
Without Google Reader, I would feel totally out of the loop. It’s too hard for me to stay focused on information when I’m trying to search all over the internet for it. I want it to be in one place that I can depend on to tell me what’s happening.
Sure I miss something here and there. I can’t be subscribed to every new blog in the world. But it’s rare for me to miss something I should know about my niche. And that’s because I’m able to subscribe to so many sources and can refer to them on one website.
Let’s start fresh. What exactly is Google Reader?
Google Reader is one of the many options you have online as an RSS reader. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. It is a tool that syncs all the blogs you are subscribed to so you can read them all in one place.
Most blogs have an RSS feed address, which is a URL meant only for RSS readers. When you add the address into your reader, it will pull every new blog post from that site as soon as it’s published. (Sometimes sites are instantaneous, and sometimes they take awhile to publish in RSS.)
So let’s get you started with Google Reader, my favorite RSS reader.
- Log in to your Google account that you want your subscriptions to be saved with.
- Go to Google.com/Reader. You should have an empty RSS reader, ready for new subscriptions.
- We’ll use my RSS as an example. Click on my RSS feed here (it can also be found in the top menu bar).
- You’ll see a box on that page at the top right with many different RSS reader options. You will want to click Google. (If you do not see this page, skip steps 5 and 6.)
- If you see a page next that asks you whether you want it on your Google home page or your Google Reader, you want to click Google Reader (some people may not see this page).
- The Savvy Sexy Social feed should be listed in the sidebar under Subscriptions and have automatically pulled the latest blog posts from the feed.
- If you do not get a nice page when you click on a site’s RSS button, and instead get a page with a whole bunch of giberish, all you have to do is Copy the URL, go back to your Google Reader, click the Add A Subscription button at the top left of your reader, and Paste. You can even use that button to paste a site’s home URL if you can’t find their RSS feed address. Sometimes a feed will show up anyway.
This is how simple it is to stay on top of blog posts from your favorite sites, without clogging up your bookmark bars to try to remember to check back with them.
Bonus Tip: You can change the name of your subscriptions by clicking the tiny arrow to the right of your subscription name and then clicking “Rename.” This is handy because sometimes the name of the blog does not show up correctly. But I always rename my subscriptions to the Twitter handle that is associated with them. That way when I read something I just have to share with my Twitter community, I will know exactly which Twitter handle to credit. Savvy Sexy Social is a good example of that because you wouldn’t credit @savvysexysocial; you would credit @schmittastic. Something not terribly easy to remember once you have subscribed to 500+ blogs. Or maybe that’s just me…