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Saturday, September 06, 2008

google reader

Time out for a commercial...

Why do I use Google Reader?

  1. I no longer have to visit the website of every blog I read to check for new content; it is sent to me in Google Reader as soon as it is written - Google calls it a "personalized inbox for the entire web"
  2. Each incoming post contains full graphics and audio (with pop-out option) along with one-click links to the original site and comments section.
  3. Each incoming post contains (via the Reader) a one-click link to tag by keyword, forward to a friend by e-mail, share via your own collective RSS feed to others, and more; you can also categorize your various feeds (like church-related, politics, etc...) and view one category at a time (like if you are at General Assembly and only want to access your church-related feeds)
  4. Since it's Google-based, you can access your reader from any computer or mobile phone browser anywhere you can access the Internet.
  5. It keeps track of what you've read (nothing to click; it marks as read as you scroll past, with an option to "keep as unread") and what you haven't while saving all the content online for you to Google-search and find later (did that register?? - I can Google search all the blogs I've ever read in Google Reader!)
  6. It's easy and straightforward to use and set up in any browser (see links below). If you use Firefox, there is an add-on that puts an "add to Google Reader" button in your address bar for any page that has an RSS feed (like this blog... click... now it's in Google Reader). IE8 has a built in reader, but after trying it for several months for my wife, she is also on Google Reader because of the ease of use and features.
How Do I Set it Up?
  1. I'm not sure I can be any clearer than the instructions at the site here: www.google.com/reader
  2. You'll need a Google account (but there's a button and instructions for that, too)
  3. It's all free
  4. Once it's set up, click "add subscription" to try adding an URL from within the Reader... like this one: http://robertaustell.blogspot.com - the really nice thing about Google Reader is that (unlike the built-in for IE8) you can just type in the website address and it will FIND the RSS feed... instead of having to know the usually more complicated feed address
  5. Try adding my sermon blog to see how the audio player works! http://gspcsermons.blogspot.com
  6. If you use Firefox, I believe the one-click "add subscription" is automatically activated (you may be given the option of choosing Google Reader as your default reader). It should be a little orange icon that appears in the far right of the address bar on any site having a RSS feed (you should see it on this site!)
Let me know what you think - I am confident that you will like it... and that you will get back the 20 min. of setting it up within a day or two of not having to visit sites.


Presbyterian Gal said...

Hi Robert,

I use Bloglines and find it more than adequate. Does Google reader offer more?



robert austell said...

I've never tried bloglines - but I was not trying to make converts so much as explain to someone new to blog-reading how one good (and easy to set up) blog reader works. I'll take a look at the bloglines site and see if I see any major differences.

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