Thursday, 30 April 2009

How do you read blogs?

Teaching grandma to suck eggs warning - if you know all about blog reader/amalgamation applications this will not be very exciting - otherwise, do read on.

If you read a fair number of blogs by ploughing through a list one after another, it can be more than a little tedious. But there is a way around it.

It's called a blog reader - I briefly mentioned these a few weeks ago, but I've been asked to expand a bit. These are free bits of web software that amalgamate all the latest from your favourite blogs in chronological order, so you see just what's new from your favourites.

I personally use Google Reader (click more from the menu at the top left of the Google home page (UK or US) and select Reader) - it's straightforward and has the bonus that if you use the iGoogle home page (click iGoogle in the top right hand corner of the Google home page), you can pop in a reader widget so every time you go into Google you see a list of any new posts from your favourite blogs.

The image at the top is the reader list in iGoogle - it looks a bit dull and texty, but if you click on any of the items, the whole post pops up including pictures, as in the example on the left.

Alternatives include Bloglines, Netvibes , Newsgator and Yahoo. To make things even easier, you can add many blogs to one of these readers with little more than a single click, once you've got a login.

If you look in the right hand column on my blog, near the top and under the link to my website, it says Subscribe To, then there's Posts and Comments - if you drop down the Posts list using the little down arrow at the end of it you'll see all these readers listed. Choose your pet reader and click to add the blog to the reader... and it's done.

You'll never miss another entry on your favourite blog.

6 comments:

  1. I was using Google Reader - until I had my own Google blog. So I imported the reder's contents into my blog as a blogroll, and now just use that.

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  2. I do use Google Reader and it's great. Right there on my home page when i want it. But I bet you have the answer to this question that's been bothering me....what is an RSS feed, and is subscribing to one of those any different than just adding the site to Google Reader? Thanks, Brian!

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  3. Sue -
    An RSS feed is just a list of instructions to something to tell it the latest of what's on something. It's effectively the information that your blog passes to Google Reader.

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  4. Brian

    I went back to find this as I knew you'd recommended me to use this - my question is what should you and I do to replace it now that I've learnt that it is to be retired on July 1st this year.

    Do you have a best of class replacement yet?

    Ian

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  5. I'm not rushing into Ian, waiting to see how things develop first. I currently use an app called Reeder on my computer as a front end to Google Reader. They have indicated they will migrate it to a different back end - I will at least wait and see what they do to see which way to go.

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  6. Thank you. As my technology adviser your advice is and always will be keenly sought after.

    It seems to me that the rise and fall of Google Reader provides a good example of how short the life cycle is of some technology products.

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