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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Too Many Blogs?

It's true that blogging begets blogging. Once you start reading blogs, you find more blogs and subscribe or bookmark them to read later. Some bloggers post once a year, once a month, once a week, once a day, or even more often! I am subscribed to 35 blogs, and they all post at a different frequency. Once you are following several blogs, things can get out of hand quickly!

At first, I tried bookmarking all the blogs I was following and tried to check them every so often, but sometimes there would be nothing new and sometimes there was a lot to catch up on! This was very time consuming because I had to physically click on each blog to see if something new had been posted.

Then, some of my blogging friends offered subscription via email (with FeedBurner or FeedBlitz). This worked pretty well for the ones who offered it, because I would get an email each time they updated their blog, so I was able to take those off my bookmark list. It helped, but not everyone offered this option. Plus, sometimes my email would play tricks and people's blog posts would get buried in my inbox, or I'd get the update much later than they had posted it.

Now I keep tabs on my blogs with Google Reader. It's like a separate email box for your blogs, and it makes it easier to organize them. It has REALLY simplified things for me. (Again, thanks to Ted for helping me set it up!)

Once you have set up your iGoogle page, add a gadget for a reader. When you click on this gadget, it will open up a new window with your Google Reader. On the left side, you'll see a green bar that says "Add Subscription" and "Discover". If you know the exact web address of the blog you want to subscribe to (like, just enter it into the box and you're done! If you don't know the exact address, you can click "Discover" then on the "Browse" tab. Scroll down to where you can search and browse based on keywords. You can subscribe to any blog that is public. (You'll still have to manually check the ones that are private.) This is called an RSS feed, and is what the little orange box is for on my right sidebar. After you have set things up, if you see a blog you want to subscribe to, you can click on the orange button and it will add it to your Reader.

Now when you open up your Google Reader, the blogs with updated posts will be in bold. As you scroll through them, they will be marked as read and won't be bold anymore. However, if there's a post you want to read, but don't have time for, or one that you want to save for later, you can mark it as unread on the bottom of the post and that will leave it in bold. Another option is to star the item and then it will be kept in a special box. Ted uses this option a lot, but I'm not particularly fond of it, because "out of sight, out of mind" means I'll forget about it if it's not in bold!

Another benefit is that the Google Reader is updated throughout the day, so you rarely miss anything, whereas an email subscription usually only goes out once a day. I hope this helps you with your blog management! It sure has helped me!


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