Nothing is so simple that I can’t complicate it. Last week’s move from Safari to Firefox inspired me to take a step I’d been thinking about for almost a year: using Google Reader (GR) for the blogs I’m following.
It took me a while to discover the world of blogdom, and in the beginning I just bookmarked the ones I wanted to follow. Then I discovered RSS (Really Simple Syndication), which automatically checks each blog you tell it to for updates. For three years I’ve used the reader that comes with Safari because it was there, and it was easy.
When I moved to Firefox, I discovered it doesn’t come with an RSS reader. I suspect there’s an add-on available, but decided to give Google Reader a try, since I’d been reading good things about its ease of use. The way Reader works is… oh, just click here for Michael Hyatt’s very clear explanation. No sense re-inventing the wheel.
Being the many-tentacled albeit still-benign entity that it is, Google automatically adds any blogs published via Google’s platform (cleverly known as Blogger) to Reader as long as you’ve clicked on “Follow this Blog” at some point.
As far as I can tell, blogs on other platforms, such as WordPress or a custom platform, have to be imported manually. This means copying the URLs and pasting them, one at a time, into Reader’s “Add a Subscription” box, then pressing the “Add” button. It’s quick and easy…unless you have to do this two or three dozen times. For me, adding blogs ate up a chunk of the day I had planned to devote to the Work in Progress. The only consolation is that it’s one of those tasks, like reorganizing the bookmarks I imported, that I won’t have to do again.
I had a bug in the system for several days. Literally.
Reader seems to make the very first blog you add the first one that pops up on your screen, so for several days this week, every time I opened Reader I was greeted with this visual from Tim Eisele’s The Backyard Arthropod Project.
I can’t thank you enough, Tim.
Eventually I discovered the “Mark items as read when you scroll past them” option (hidden in Preferences, which itself is hidden in the Manage Subscriptions link at the bottom left of the page) and made the millipede go away.
All of this took far longer than it should, in part because I kept reading as I kept transferring, but I finally got the list moved over, pruning some in the process.
So far it has made keeping up with things a lot easier, especially the bug o’ the week posts.
© 2011 Anne Bingham and Making It Up as I Go