Be warned: I’ll be somewhat geeky today.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you are doing quite a bit of reading online, and might even follow a number of blogs/people. So today I’ll introduce you to the RSS Reader – a reading tool that will change your life, if it hasn’t done so already.
This post was prompted by some of you who are wanting to follow my blog (you rock!) and by the fact that Google Reader’s being shut down, so some of you might be looking for alternatives. In both cases, read on!
WHY you might like/want/need and RSS Reader?
– it allows you to subscribe to multiple blogs
– when a new post comes out, on any of the blogs you follow, they come directly to your RSS Reader
– they can be kept there (indefinitely, as far as I know)
– you can read the posts whenever you have time
– you will never have to miss an article again
– it makes a blogger incredibly happy to have RSS subscribers
So what is an RSS Reader? A virtual “newspapers’ shelf” where all your favorite blogs send their articles, as they get published, for you to read at your convenience.
HOW to use RSS feeds:
1. Most every blog has a little icon/text that looks like this:
2. One way to follow a blog, is directly from your RSS Reader. Fire up your favorite reader (more about them below), and look for a “subscribe” or “manage subscriptions”. Paste the address of the website you’d like to follow and it should be added in seconds.
3. The oldschool way to follow a blog is to click on the RSS icon on a website, and copy the browser path to your clipboard. Then paste the path inside your RSS reader to achieve the same thing as described in step 2.
No worries if you subscribe to too many blogs. In time, you will see that you like some, but others are not what you expected, so you can unsubscribe anytime. And subscribe to others!
WHAT RSS Readers are available?
I’m by no means an expert on this. There are a lot of RSS Readers out there, and there will be other articles that will review them for you. I’ve only tried 3 RSS Readers: Google Reader, Feedly and Reeder, so I can share about them.
As Google Reader will be no more – Google announced its puzzling decision to cancel the service come July – I will focus on the other two, that have previously synced with Google Reader, but have promised to work out ways to make it work independently.
For Mac, iPad and iPhone: an App that’s basic, yet pretty.
You can star favourite articles, you can choose to view only the new articles, or mark articles as read (when you’re swamped with articles after a long break, you’ll find this useful, believe me!) It allows you to post articles on Twitter, Facebook, send by e-mail, etc.
But no Pinterest yet (Reeder guys, please work on that!) It gets annoying having to open an article in a browser, just so I can pin frantically, I’m telling you.
This is a desktop applications, and it costs $4,99 for Mac, and $2,99 for the iPhone/iPod.
Why do I recommend it? Because it is a straight-forward, very easy to use App. Get it here.
I like the minimalism of Feedly, and the very cool design, but it took me a while to learn my way around. It has an impressive number of features, for such a neat looking app: you can choose how to view your timeline (mosaic, titles, etc.), you can search for blogs, you can even see how many people have liked or Google-plused every article, and it even supports themes.
One of the best things about it – and the surprising one – is that it’s free.
Why do I recommend it? Because it is a pleasure to use, elegant yet running smoothly. I especially like their app. Get it here.
See how pretty Gribook.me looks on it?
No matter which one you use, don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to this little blog: http://gribook.me
It’ll make my day!
I dedicate this blogpost to Google Reader – the first RSS Reader I was introduced to by hubby, on December 24th, 2009. I was never the same bookworm again. Google Reader, you will be missed.
Anything to add? Any other RSS Reader you’d recommend?