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March 27, 2012

Keep Up with Google Reader

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Ron @ 6:33 am

Do you have several (or way more than several) websites or blogs you like to visit each day?  Come on; admit it, many days you go to work and if you have time you visit your favorite 5-10 websites and blogs (BLOG is a WeB LoG, sort of like a Captain’s Log). 

There are a huge number of RSS Readers out there in the market.  The large majority of them are free (my favorites) with a few having a modest price.  To find some readers go online and Google for "RSS Reader," "Feed Reader" or the entire enchilada, "RSS Feed Reader".  Of course, you will find so many it will quickly become confusing.  That is why I am here today. 

I hope to save you some time and searching.  I recommend using Google Reader for several reasons.  It is free and comes automatically with your Google/Gmail account.  It is easy to use.  It keeps all of the things you are interested in (and you choose) in one place for easy access.  As with all readers it updates each time you log in so you see the newest information every time you use it.  And another good thing about Google Reader is that if you have a smart phone, especially Androids, you can use it from your phone too.

If you have a Gmail account, type "google.com/reader" into the address bar of your browser (without the quotation marks of course).  If you are already logged into Gmail or Google, you will be automatically logged into your Google Reader account.  If you have not logged into your account yet, do so.  If you don’t have a Google account, choose, "Sign In".

You will have a list of the latest "Recommended" sites.  These are some random sites which Google Reader is saying you may want to look at and follow online.  At the bottom of each one you can choose, "Not Interested" and it won’t be there next time you log in.  

Once you find a site, like DoubleClicks.info you want to read posts from, put that site address in the Google Reader search bar.  Google will then search the site for RSS feeds (Real Simple Syndication) and find the feed asking if you wish to subscribe.  If you choose to do so, which I would highly recommend, you will be "fed" the latest posts as they hit the site.  Also, keep in mind that many browsers add RSS feeds differently.  I like Firefox because when you click a RSS feed on a site is asks where you want to add the feed.  It then provides a dropdown list and includes Google Reader in the list. Just click it and it is "magically" added.

See more RSS symbolsEvery time you go to a website look around for the word "RSS" or the little, usually orange emblem which looks like a dot with two arcs to its upper right.  Check this article on DoubleClicks.info to see what I mean.  You can click on either of these and get the RSS feed address or instructions on how to use them.

I do not have enough space here to tell you all the other wonderful things you can do with this reader from Google, so have fun exploring.

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