On Subscribing

I’ve had a couple of chats recently about RSS and feed delivery and following Tilly’s recent  discussion on the matter, thought it might be a good idea to mention it here. I know that a lot of people with blogs on WordPress/ Blogger tend to follow other blogs on the same platform directly through the dashboard while others do it via email. My preferred version? RSS.

RSS, or Really Simple Syndication is an awesome setup that lets you gather all (yes, even le monde and nyt) your online reading material in one place.  It does this via a reader. The reader is usually a window (or a tab) in a web browser where all the blogs, newspapers, magazines, diy sites etc you read are grouped in one place. Like so.

Yep, she’s a cutie. Try not to get distracted.

On the left is a list (it’s a long one) of all the blogs and feeds I’m subscribed to. On the right is a viewing pane where I can read said blogs. The reader I use is Google Reader and it lives in my Google account like so.

Green green green

This means that if you have Gmail or any other Google related account, you automagically have access to Reader. When you want to subscribe to a blog/ feed just click Subscribe and add the blog URL in the box.

And it has continuous scrolling. You’ll never have to click again (I lie).

If you’re not sure what the URL is (you found it while in a compromised state and no longer recollect the fine details) Reader will search for you. Click Add and Reader will ping (check) the blogs you like, a couple of times a day and when a new post appears, you’ll automagically see it in your reading pane. Unread items are marked just like unread emails in an inbox and (and just like unread emails you can ‘mark all as read’, thus increasing your daily efficiency 300%) you can bookmark/ star interesting posts. The best part? An RSS reader forms a permanent archive of all the things you mean to get back to. For instance, that yellow hoodie I read about yonks ago? Right here.

Click the post you were looking for…

Et voila!

Also, you can sort your feeds by magic (the significance of this statement is astronomical, not to mention a totally insane proposition for someone with a colour coded wardrobe) and rename the blogs you subscribe to (only in Reader, not in real life) to better hide your stalking from the intervention team. Reader also recommends new blogs for you to try out based on your current list (although that’s been a bit of a fail thus far, no sweet hits apart from xkcd and smittenkitchen and I was already subscribed to the latter).

The ‘translate’ function (and I use the term loosely) also provides much-needed colour to your day.

Bloglovin’ is similar (in that it’s recommendations are also epic fails) but requires you to register and setup an account and since I already had a Google account I just went with Reader.

So what’re you waiting for?

Update 31st May, 2012- Take it to next level. You know you want to.

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