Hesitant to jump on the newsreader bandwagon? Huh, what’s a newsreader?
Tegan has some answers!
Here she provides a nice bit of RSS 101:
Ok, an RSS Feed is simply a file that takes all the entries in a blog and puts them into a standard format. When you publish your blog, an RSS feed is published. A group of programs called “readers” note the change in your RSS feed, and update with your new entry. Anyone using a reader to read your blog then sees your new entry. Nifty!
NB: Tegan emphasizes how easy it is to keep up with your blog reading using a newreader. You can, though, get feeds from more than blogs: many newspapers, magazines and other regularly updated sites offer feeds.
Now that you’ve been through RSS 101 read Tegan’s walkthrough of Google Reader:
Ah well, here goes. I poked around the site a bit, constantly being told that there was nothing to see because I wasn’t subscribed to any feeds. I finally figure out to click on “Manage subscriptions” in the hopes I can import my feeds from Bloglines. Under this page, there’s an “Import/Export” tab. Lovely. *click* Hmmm, must export from Bloglines first. Hey, it says I can “Learn more about exporting your subscriptions from another feed reader.” Ok, *click*. Bloglines export instructions. I follow the instructions. Go back to the “Import/Export” tab. Import the file I just exported from Bloglines. WHUMPF! I’ve got a bunch of feeds. Back to the main page!
I do have both a Bloglines and a Google Reader account but have been using FeedDemon for almost a year now. Yes, it has a couple downsides: 1) there is a one time cost and 2) it is currently Windows only. However, it solved some organization and archiving issues that I had with Bloglines and allows me to do quite a bit of reading offline. I do plan to continue experimenting with Google Reader and may use it more in the future.
Darkside Alert: Tegan noted how easy it is to keep up with the 300 or so blogs she currently tracks. Newsreaders also make it easy to subscribe to too many feeds! E.g., FeedDemon just told me that I currently subscribe to 1680 feeds….I often don’t get past my “Regulars” folder.