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How to subscribe to any blog using RSS

I am sorry that when I told you to subscribe to the blog I didn’t give a clear explanation of exactly how to do that. I am such a blog weenie that I get myopic, for which I apologize.

Here’s how to use RSS feeds so you can get all your blogs delivered to one window, and how to read them in the format that pleases you most:

1) Sign up for an RSS reader. If you have a gmail address you already have a great reader – just go to your gmail account and click on “Reader” in the upper left. Other good ones include bloglines.com and newsgator.com.

2) Start looking for RSS feeds on the pages you like. Virtually all blogs, most news sites, and anything that updates frequently will have an RSS feed.

3) When you find a feed you want, subscribe to it. The RSS readers all have big buttons that say something like “Add a feed” or “Add subscription.” Click on that button, then paste the address of the blog or news source or whatever it is into the space that opens up. The RSS reader will look at that page, find the feed associated with it, and offer to let you subscribe.

OR

3) Click on the RSS feed button in the page you like. This will open up the page’s RSS feed (usually a very plain and simple list of all their posts in a row) and then you can click on your RSS feeder of choice to automatically shoot that feed right into your reader.

Those three steps are the basic ones that let you get started. If you’re my husband (love you, sweetie!) that’s all you ever do. Your feeds end up in a row in your RSS reader and every day or two you can open up your RSS reader and see who has updated their feeds.

For those who want a more streamlined and pretty experience, you may decide to “skin” your reader and add functionality to it. My favorite one is Feedly.com. Feedly depends on Google Reader, so you need to have a gmail account to use it. But once you’ve downloaded it, you can set up any one of a hundred different looks and functions. For example, I have all my feeds divided into genres – my Cardigan blogs, my other dog blogs, my photography blogs, etc. – so I can read only one genre if I want to. But I have my “latest” tab set to the option “Entire Content Inlined,” which means it drags everybody’s entire post into one place. It’s a little like having one blog where everybody I read contributes posts. I can scroll down (feedly marks as “read” each title as I pass by it) and read an entire day’s worth of posts, which for me is several hundred at minimum, in just a few minutes, or can click on a title I want to open up in the person’s original blog.

I hope this helps – let me know if I can answer anything else!

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2 Comments

  • Reply Larry Rogak February 12, 2011 at 12:59 am

    Could you be a good Corgi and help me with my blog? I’m way behind the curve with this RSS stuff: http://www.newyorknofaultadvisor.com/blog.php

  • Reply Joanna Kimball February 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Hi! There’s nothing wrong with your blog; it just looks like it needs a prettier interface. Since I know nothing about your industry it would be stupid of me to give advice – what I’d do is look at what your successful peers are doing and what you personally like the look of. Where those two intersect you can either see if there’s a blog theme (WordPress is probably the most flexible) that you can use or you can spend a few pennies for a minimally customized blog design. It really depends on what your industry and area of influence respond to – you don’t want one that looks like a wedding blog and you don’t want one that looks like a PR blog, but hopefully within your general peer group there are a few who are doing the blog thing really successfully. Use their design as a lead-off.

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