Huffington Post was sold recently for $300 million. Huffington Post is a blog. Therefore, blogging is clearly more important than it used to be.
If you haven’t yet caught on to the trend, I want to encourage you to do so. If you still treat blogs like websites, visiting them occasionally when you have free time, I want to encourage you not to treat them that way. On another day, I’ll give you a few suggestions for blogs you may find interesting. In the mean time, I want to tell you how to read them.
I have been avidly reading blogs since about 2007, when I met my friend, Carl. Carl introduced me to RSS feeds, which completely revolutionized the way I read blogs and continues to help me digest a surprising amount of content in a relatively short amount of time. RSS Feeds also allow me to digest said content at times that work for me and my schedule, without missing anything important. By subscribing to blogs and constantly receiving new posts without clogging my Inbox, I give myself the opportunity to read what I deem necessary, when I feel its appropriate.
If you already know about RSS feeds, you might want to come back some other time.
Here are four ways to read blogs and never miss a beat:
- NetNewsWire for Mac: If you have a Mac, this is the best way to read blogs. First of allit’s free. Second of all, it integrates with other RSS readers so you can sync your feed across multiple devices. Finally, it works with Instapaper, so you can save pages to read later for times when you will not have an internet connection. How do you add blogs to NetNewsWire? Navigate to the site on your default browser (it needs to be a blog or have an RSS Feed), and copy the URL. Then, in NetNewsWire, click File >> New Subscription and paste the URL into the box. This should download the past 10 or so articles from the blog you’ve selected on the left hand side of the program. I subscribe to more than 100 blogs, so I sort them into folders based on their subject content. There’s a blog for just about anything you want to read about, you just have to do some googling.
- Google Reader: Google Reader may prove beneficial to you if you like Google’s interface, already use Google Chrome & Gmail or if you prefer basic text when reading blogs. Google’s RSS reader allows you to subscribe to blogs and websites that publish new posts regularly by using a “bookmarklet” in Google Chrome. Google Reader also syncs across devices, and I use both NewNewsWire and Google Reader to stay connected with my Mac, my computer at work and my iPad. Getting started on Google Reader is easy.
- NetNewsWire for iPad: NetNewsWire for iPad works with the two aforementioned services to provide you with updated content on your iPad in a user-friendly format. In addition, the iPad version makes sharing blogs with your social media friends even easier by integrating the $9.99 app with your Facebook, Twitter, Mail and InstaPaper apps. I love reading blogs on the iPad and find myself sharing more content with friends on the iPad than I do when I read blogs on my Mac. Since I have both versions of NetNewsWire synced with my Google Reader account, I see only the posts that I have not yet read on my iPad when I refresh the app, a great feature, considering apps like Twitter can not yet offer this functionality.
- FeedDemon: For my Windows friends, don’t let the name scare you. FeedDemon is a free windows program that looks and feels similar to NetNewsWire. You can also sync your account with Google Reader, allowing you the same ability to only see unread posts on your PC that you have on your iPad, etc. I use FeedDemon for work-related blogs and find it to work well for my needs at work. Subscribing to new content is relatively easy and reading is equally user-friendly.
- Honorable Mention: If all of this seems a little too intricate or you aren’t interested in devoting that much time to reading and subscribing to blogs, will you consider receiving my blog updates via e-mail? If so, scroll to the bottom of this page, enter your e-mail address, and decide how often you would like to receive updates. I promise not to offer up content that I wouldn’t read myself and I also vow to stop when I turn 30.
As we get this blog going, I appreciate all of the feedback I am getting. This blog offers me the chance to learn new things and I hope I’m passing along information that you consider valuable and useful to your life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your support and please continue to engage if you find this new idea beneficial.