Sometimes I post sporadically. Instead of getting tired of checking back and then missing something juicy, one option is to subscribe to my blog. There’s this technology called “RSS,” which stands for “really simple syndication.” I’m not kidding — that’s all it stands for. Anyway, you can get a feed reader — I use Google Reader, but there are a variety of readers out there: Technorati, Bloglines, and Sage, which works with Firefox (the best browser EVER — ditch Internet Explorer immediately if you still use it!), just to name a few. I’ll demonstrate how to set this up with Google Reader, but don’t feel like you have to use this particular reader.

The first thing you need to do is set up an account with your desired reader — if you already have a Gmail account, you can just use that login information with Google Reader. If not, it’s a pretty easy process. Once you’ve done that, go to your favorite blog, and find an icon that looks like one of these:

rss_icon rss_icon2 rss_icon3

Note that the symbol may be in the address field of your browser. When you click on one of these, you should get a page of code, something like this:

feed example

You want to copy the URL (the page address), and NOT the actual code, and paste it into the area on your feed reader that allows you to add new subscriptions. Because I use Google Reader, I get this page first:

RSS lesson 1

All I have to do is click “add to Google Reader,” and it’s done. I check the reader at least once a day, and subscribe to 83 different sites — they’re not all blogs! I use this tool to know when pretty much any site is updated, including job sites (before I found my fabulous job), online magazine sites, music sites, etc. I haven’t played with this at all, but apparently you can pretty easily subscribe to sites without an RSS symbol, too. Check this article out — it’s geared towards librarians looking for jobs, but the instructions apply to any website, not just library job sites.


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