Google Reader is a tool that allows you to subscribe and get notified of new blog posts, news, and other items via an RSS feed. RSS stand for “Really Simple Syndication” it’s basically a specialty link to a pages update feed.
The sign for an RSS feed is almost always the same. Making it easy to recognize even if different pages have it in different spots. Some pages have dressed their up but it is usually something like the image to the right.
Because of this RSS feed Google can track your favorite blogs, and news sites for you, keep it all in one place, automatically mark it as read when you scroll past a post, let you mark your favorites, organize it into folders, and let you add your own reminder notes to posts.
To get started you’ll need a Google Account. You may already have one if you are a part of an Google Group, use Gmail or Google Documents. It’s the same account for all of the Google Services.
To get started sign-in to your Google Account: https://www.google.com/accounts/Login
Look Under My Products or Try Something New for Reader. It may also be in the top bar under More.
When you click on Reader you’ll be taken to a page that looks something like this.
Now let’s add a blog to your Reader. How The Tech Chef? A great little blog about social media, the internet, and the clients in agriculture, business, and non-profits that The Tech Chef helps. *Wink* *Wink*
On my blog you can see the RSS button at the top of the column to the right (circled in yellow in the picture).
Click on the one for The Tech Chef (at the top of the column to the right) and you’ll be taken to another page.
Make sure Google is showing in the Subscribe to this feed using box and then click Subscribe Now. Another option may come asking to add it to Google Reader or iGoogle, choose Google Reader.
You’ll be taken back to Google Reader, if necessary click again to subscribe. And notice the cool stats it gives you on the page you’re subscribing too. Here you can see that Copyblogger has 11,000 subscribers already, and publishes about 6 times per week.
If you use Google Reader to help you organize and follow blogs, did you know you can also use it to follow News?
Come back on Thurs. 6/23/11 to find out how. Or use the RSS button to subscribe and get the post automatically added to your Google Reader.