November 19, 2009

Tutorial - Google Reader

See. . . .I really am trying to provide more than just food for your belly here. If I were to call all the other randomness food for your brain then I guess it is a food blog. That pleases me yet doesn't please me. On the one hand I like things that go together. Food/belly and food/head go together. On the other hand I really did start with more than a food blog in mind. I am full of useless information and helpful tips. I enjoy finding things that make my life easier and sharing them with others. Heck, I even like searching for information for others, oft times it ends up helping me as well. At any rate, here is the first tutorial. (Yes, graphics and diagrams would be nice. . .maybe next time. If anything is confusing, send me an email and I will be happy to clarify.)

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I subscribe to quite a few blogs/websites. I do so by using Google Reader. It makes quick work of scanning through the blogs/websites I like. Instead of physically (you know via the Web browser address bar) visiting each blog I add all of them to Google Reader and they all appear in the same reading pane. A few of the blogs/websites I subscribe to only allow the first 200 or so words to appear in Google Reader. I click on the post title or the "Click here to read more" link, if provided, to visit the blog/website if I want to read more of that particular post.

Tutorial - Using Google Reader
1 - If you do not have a Google or Gmail account (yes, they are different*), create a Google account here. When you sign up for a Google account the email address you enter when you sign up will be your login name.
Create a Gmail account here. Once you sign up for a Gmail account your login information will be the first part of your email. Example: If the email address is, newreaderuser, would be the login name.
2 - Once you have created your account, login to Google Reader.
3 - Once logged in you will see you already have several new items in the reading pane. Those items will help familiarize you with Reader's features. READ THEM!

To add a subscription in the Google Reader window is simple.
Option 1:
1 - While visiting your favorite blog/website (we will use Sparky Under Wraps for this example). Highlight the website in the address bar (click in the address bar and press Ctrl+A--this selects all). Then copy the highlighted text (press Ctrl+C).
2 - In the Google Reader window click on the "Add a subscription" button.
3 - In the little window that pops up, paste (press Ctrl+v) the link then press Enter or click "Add".
4 - In the reading pane you should now see a list of posts from my blog. (I have my blog set to only post the first 200 words of a post, click the post title and a new tab or window will open.
5 - You have now added a subscription to your Reader and each time there is a new post it will show up in your Reader. No more fruitlessly checking your favorite blog just to see they STILL haven't updated for two weeks. Once they finally update in a month or so the happy little post will be waiting for you ever so patiently in your Reader. Awesome!

Many blogs/websites have direct links for signing up. Again, let us refer to Sparky Under Wraps. In the sidebar on the right hand side there is section "Subscribe to Sparky Under Wraps". Under the title are two options "Subscribe by Email" and "Subscribe in a Reader". I prefer to subscribe in a Reader because it is brought to my attention sooner. It can take 10 or more hours for a post to show up in your email but it is almost instantaneous (in most cases) in your Reader. Whichever option floats your boat, click on the link and follow the directions. Easy!

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*A Google account allows you to login to Reader, Blogger, and many other Google services without having a Gmail account. If you have a Gmail account you have access to the Google services by using your Gmail login information. The difference? If you already have an email client you love then create a Google account. If you want or wouldn't mind having a new email address sign up for a Gmail account. Personally--I like Gmail and that is what I use for all my personal email. I use to import my work email also, but decided to change to Outlook (I could view my Gmail in Outlook if I chose.)

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