Social Media One Pager: RSS Readers
What is an RSS Reader?
Software that brings your favorite web and blog content and news to you and lets you read it
efficiently. As an added benefit, reduces email clutter and information overload.
"RSS is a little like radio. Every blog and many news services 'broadcast' a tiny little signal that you
can't hear, but your RSS reader can. (It's like a radio tuner). You tell the RSS reader which blogs and
news feeds you like, and whenever it senses that signal, it goes out and grabs the post for you." Seth
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated
information over the web.
Just think about the websites and news information sources you visit. It takes time to visit those
sites and find the text you want to read. RSS is a way for you to visit all those sites in one place and
instantly find the new information. You need to use a free piece of web software called a RSS reader.
What RSS Reader should I use?
There are lots of RSS Readers available. Many are free.
There are many other readers - here's a comparison of features from Wikipedia
The best blog reader for those new to RSS readers is bloglines. Bloglines uses a folder and
hierarchical structure that is comfortable to many beginner bloggers (who are not 17). If
participants are already using a reader, they can continue to use what they are already comfortable
using. Here's a few good tutorials:
Step-by-Step Instructions for Bloglines by Preetamrai
10 Steps to Using Bloglines (source:
1. Go to Bloglines.com web site at http://www.bloglines.com.
2. In the upper-right of the Bloglines main page, click on Register (or you can cheat and click
here to go directly to Bloglines’ registration page.)
3. Complete the very short registration form.
4. Check your e-mail for an e-mail from Bloglines. Click on the validation link in that e-mail
5. Clicking the link will take you to a Bloglines page that says “account validation complete”,
and lists a bunch of optional ways to use Bloglines. Scroll down to the paragraph titled
“Finding and Subscribing to Blogs” and click on “easy subscribe bookmarklet”. (If you’ve
gotten distracted en route, you can click here to go directly to the Bloglines easy subscribe
6. Now you’re ready to subscribe to some news feeds. Go to some of your favorite blogs and
news sites (maybe the ones you have saved in your browser’s “favorites” bar) and subscribe
to their feeds.
7. Once you’ve got some subscriptions set up, go to your Bloglines feeds page to read the news
as it comes in.
8. Make sure that you check your feeds regularly so you stay up-to-date. Your best bet is to
add a bookmark for your Bloglines feeds page to your browser’s bookmark bar, or (my
approach) make your Bloglines feeds page your web browser’s home page by entering this
URL: http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs as your home page in your browser’s
YouTube Video Showing how to Add Feeds
How To Use Google Reader Like A Rockstar by Mashable
As a browser based application it’s easy to get going; no need to download software. To start using
Google Reader, simply go to the main page and sign in using your Google account or create a new
one. Once you do this you’ll need to find some content to read.
If you are entirely new to the world of blogs or if you want to simply expand your reading, click on
the “Browse for stuff” link and go to the “Browse” tab. Choosing “Staff Picks” is a safe bet – you’ll
find some amazing articles – but you can also enter keywords into the “search & browse” field at the
bottom of the page.
Another way is to manually enter the URL of a blog into the “Add Subscription” area and Google
Reader will usually find the feed and automatically add it for you. A third way (and the one that I
use most often) is to locate the “Subscribe To This Feed” button on the blog of the site you wish to
follow. If the site is well designed, it should be fairly obvious and you just have to follow a few
prompts. Now that you have content you can start reading…think of Google Reader as a complete
newspaper, each blog as individual articles.
Organize by Work Flow or Value
Sink or Swim: Managing RSS Feeds With Better Groups
Organizing Feeds Yet Again
12 Filtering Tips for Better Information in Half the Time: RSS and Bookmarks
RSS Feeds Productivity Tips
A Gentle Intro into RSS
NpTech 101: How I read 2,000 Articles in 30 Days by Chas Grundy
Wrangling your RSS Feeds by Amy Sample Ward
Good RSS Reading Habits
Set up aside a small block of time to read your feeds everyday
Clean house often, RSS subscriptions tend to pile up
Don't feel like you have to read every post on every blog, use the "Mark Read" option