Ode to a Google Reader: how RSS feeds can change your life
Do you like the internet? Do you often find that there is too much internet to get through? Do you often find yourself thinking “what was the name of that site that I liked that time with all the dancing bunnies…”?
If this sounds like you, then Google Reader is the only site you will ever need to remember.
An RSS feed is the content of the website, without the layout, in chrolological order.
Google Reader allows you to read sites using RSS all in the one place. Anywhere you see the symbol (pictured to the right), it means RSS has been enabled and you can subscribe.
You can add as many websites to your reader as you like, and you can organise them as you like.
For example, I have folders for all the work related blogs, the blogs of my classmates, make up blogs, Irish make up blogs, friends, favourites, kawaii, etc. By organising my internets in this mannor I can at 1 click call up the latest posts by Irish make up blogs, breaking stories and virals for work, or images for inspiration.
So to sum up:
- Get a Google account (this is the same as your gmail account)
- Find a site you would like to be kept up to date with. Copy the url.
- Visit google.com/reader. Click subscribe and paste the URL into the box
- Rinse and repeat for all the good sites you like
- Visit google.com/reader and see lists of all the new things from all your favourite sites!
I find Google Reader to be the most useful tool I have ever come across. Since I would say I live a good chunk of my life online, I would not hesitate to call it life changingly fabulous. I have a folder for every mood, and a blog for every occasion. Sign up now – you won’t regret it!
The other side of the coin: facilitating and tracking RSS subscribers
To make my blog’s RSS feed trackable I used the recently aquired by Google: Feedburner.
It’s very simple to set up, and you can also use it to develop a mailing list, sending out new posts via email.
It gives you a daily average of new subscribers and reach (number of interactions from subscriptions). It’s not a lot to go on, but it’s better than nothing, and subscriptions foster loyalty, so a lot of bloggers run exclusive subscriber competitions.