Another handy tool that Google offers is Google Reader. (Last month I posted on Google Alerts.) It simplifies keeping track of all the blogs you follow, or want to follow. Google Reader offers you a place you can go to see all your favorite blogs in one place. Kind of like a one-stop shop. No, that's not it. More like a mall. All those stores (blogs) under one roof, letting you browse from one to another. No muss, no fuss. And they keep it up to date for you! In the large picture below, find the "All items (9)" on the left side of the picture. That tells me I have 9 new, unread blog posts in my reader.
This is one of those tools that I love to use, but I don't use as much as I should. On the other hand, Joanne uses it faithfully, and if you know Joanne, you know how faithful she is when it comes to visiting blogs.
Since it's such a useful time saver, let's work through how to use it.
How to access Google Reader:
- Login to your Google account.
- On the main Google page, click the drop down arrow for more.
- From the drop down list, select Reader.
Adding blogs to your reader:
Following blogs adds them automatically to your Google Reader.
If it makes a difference to you, this will allow you to follow a blog without joining the Friends of that site. Also, sometimes there isn't a Google friend widget, this gives you a way to add their feed to your reader, allowing you to keep up with their blog.
Now, let's do something with your Google Reader (also known as a feed reader).
The really good news is that there's a way to organize the blogs in your reader.
Here's how to organize your Google reader:
- First, under "Subscriptions" there on the left side, click the plus or minus nubbin to the left of "Blogs I'm following". You want to see the list of blogs in your reader.
- Once that list is showing, click the arrow to the right of one of the blog names.
- A drop down list will appear.
- Click the "New folder" option and type in the name for a folder.
- Click Okay and that blog will be put into that new folder.
- Make as many new folders as you'd like.
- If you change your mind about which folder you'd like a blog in, click the arrow for the drop down menu and check or uncheck the folders of your choice.
Google Reader can streamline your blog reading and save you time.
And because I'm celebrating, the blogging class I teach, Clearing the Blog Fog, is 25% off for October's class and there's a bonus tutorial I'm throwing in: How to Use Paint.net, which is the free photo manipulation tool I use to make headers, buttons and banners. Class is October 1 - 31 and it walks your through, step-by-step, setting up, maintaining and customizing your blog.
So tell me, is it easier for you to follow blogs on Facebook than it is off of Facebook?