Friday, February 25, 2011

Giving Google Reader a Try

As a recent convert to Google Chrome and Google Calendar I can't believe I am writing about starting up with yet another Google product! Now it's Google Reader and here's how it came about.

The other day I watched an archived webinar from Millennia Corporation (makers of Legacy Family Tree) on blogging for beginners. The presenter was Pat Richie, better known as Dear Myrtle. She gave a really nice presentation on how to get started with blogger. But the part that peaked my interest was a little side discussion about subscribing to blogs and using Google Reader.

Previously, well, actually a few years ago, I downloaded and installed an RSS reader add-on for my firefox browser. I subscribed to a few genealogy blogs as well as some technology and news ones (this was before I got into digital scrapbooking, so none of those at that time - LOL). But after getting it all set up and using it for a couple of months, I was finding that it just did not seem that useful to me, and so I eventually just stopped using it all together.

Shortly thereafter I started getting involved in digital scrapbooking - and from the beginning I knew that I wanted to learn how to design my own papers and elements. I joined a yahoo "learning" group and everyone was talking about designing freebies and setting up a blog. Now I already had a genealogy blog on wordpress, but, of course, I wanted to create a scrapbooking blog too. So I started this one on blogger because blogger allows for more flexibility in the customization of the layout and the background.

In addition to that, Blogger/Google has implemented a feature called "following." It's similar to subscribing, but not exactly the same. When I got immersed in the digital scrapbooking world, I started "following" other blogs because, let's face it, that's where designers post their freebies!

Now I know that you can read the blogs you follow from your blogger dashboard - but I just never really got used to that. So for the last year or so I've just surfed the blogs periodically to check for new postings. I know - not very efficient! Well, Dear Myrtle was just singing the praises of Google Reader. It handles "followed" blogs, as well as sites that allow you to subscribe through an RSS feed. Bottom line -- she sold me on it! I've set it up and I'm giving it a try. Hopefully I'll still be using it in a couple of months!!

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