How To Make It Easier…

14 04 2011

Easier to find recipes like Chloe’s Apple Cranberry Bread Pudding ?

Easier to begin drooling when you see Jessica’s Tiramisu French Toast ?

Easier to enter a granola giveaway ?

Listen up folks, cuz I’m gonna tell ya how!

Recently, I’ve been asked on a few occasions, “How did you get into blogging?” It all started with Google (what doesn’t lead back to Google nowadays?).

Well, technically, Google Reader.

What’s Google Reader you ask? It’s an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed aggregator.

Um, in English, please??!!

Basically it means that you go to one site (your Google Reader) where you’ll find a summary of and links to all the websites/blogs you follow, so you don’t have to constantly check 50 different websites in a day. Now THAT makes sense. Nice work, Google!

So, when I was first introduced to Google Reader, I added subscriptions to the news sites I checked occasionally like CNN, Washington Post, etc. But, I found that it took me some time to get into the habit of regularly checking my reader.

Then, one of my friends said she followed a few blogs that she thought I’d really like.  She suggested Carrots N Cake, Eat, Live, Run, and Kath Eats. I guess I’m more interested in food than the news, because once I subscribed to these blogs, it became second nature to check my reader. From there, I continued to add other food bloggers to my reader: Daily Garnish, Live, Laugh Eat, FANNEtastic Food, just to name a few…I have a folder set up of “Foodie Blogs” (see above) and that is always the first folder I read through first 🙂 (For a list of other blogs Chloe and I currently follow, check out our blogroll!)

So how do I get Google Reader?

It’s pretty simple actually. First, you need a Google account.

Once you are logged in, at the top of the window, you’ll see buttons for Gmail, Calendar, Documents, etc….look for “Reader” and click it.

Once you are in your reader, at the top left corner, you’ll see the button for “Add Subscription.” Click on it to display the field where you’ll type in the name of the blog or site that you’d wish to follow.

It will generate the closest matches to that name and you can click where it says “Subscribe.”

Voila! You’ve added a feed to your reader!

You can subscribe to as many sites/blogs as you’d like. And, if you want to get fancy, you can click “Manage subscriptions” and organize your feeds into folders.

Now, each time a site or blog adds a story or a new post, it will appear in your reader! Some sites truncate their stories, and you have to click on the title to go to the site and read the whole story, while others display the whole post, right there in your reader. You can quickly scroll though all of the latest news headlines or blog posts or whatever sites your follow, all from just one page!

Isn’t that EASY???

One way to know if a site is capable of being added to your reader is to look for this symbol:

This is the sign that means the site has an RSS feed. Sometimes, you can just click that button, and it will give you step by step instructions for adding that site to your reader or other RSS feed aggregator.

Now, the teacher in me wants you to practice. So, right now, sign into your reader. Click on “Add Subscription” and type in 321delish. 🙂 Kidding! (But I won’t stop you if you’re going to add us!)

Lesson of the day: Join Google Reader; it will simplify your life!

Question of the day: Do you use an RSS feed aggregator? How do you keep up with blogs or other websites?