I often talk with people who spend just as much time as me (or more) surfing various blogs and sites to keep up on news in a broad array of areas. One complaint is usually that people miss material, or material is posted so rapidly that they feel overwhelmed. A solution to this is to use an RSS reader, a favorite is Google Reader, to read your news. When I mention this, I often hear “No, that’s too much work” – quite a funny statement since once it’s set up, the RSS reader will actually save hours and hours of time wasted surfing to pages and refreshing them.
And it isn’t even a lot of work in the first place – you can be up and running with Google Reader in under 10 minutes, and here’s how.
1. Get a Google account if you don’t already have one.
2. Log in to Google Reader
3. Once in, it will look pretty empty. However never fear – you’ll soon have your news and blog posts show up. Click the “Add Subscription” button and enter the web address of the page you want to add. Most blogs and news websites now have their RSS feed links set up so that Reader can automatically find it:
Once you hit “Add”, you’re done – the news items from that site will now appear. Occasionally you may need to track down a specific feed address (for example, some larger sites have feeds just for certain news items, like Science news or Entertainment news). If you need to find those, go to the site you’re reading and look for the RSS icon: – clicking on it should take you to the RSS link. You can then copy and paste it from your browser’s address bar to the Add a Subscription box in Reader.
Once you have reader set up, all you need to do to read your feeds is log into reader, and click All Items:
It will then display all items from all of your feeds in the right hand reading pane. You can spend more time reading and less time loading pages.
I estimate it would take a medium-to-heavy blog reader around 15 minutes to add all of their feeds to reader, and then most likely save them about 5 minutes per day in page load times, bookmark clicks, and such. So after 3 days, reader’s setup has paid for itself time wise, not to mention you’ll sound cool since you can actually tell everyone all of the cool things you’ve read – not have them say “Hey, didn’t you see that article on X blog about…”