RSS hat

Subscribing to Blogs 101 : the why, the how, & the where

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Simple Mom reader Mindy wrote me recently and asked this question:

“I don’t have a lot of extra time but I find that blogs can eat up the little bit of time I do have. I find that some people don’t update their blog daily or even weekly but I can’t remember if I checked their blog today or I check again later in the day if they didn’t update. … Do you have a good way to set this up? I don’t subscribe to blogs either, because I don’t really understand why I would do that.”

Well, Mindy, I’m about to tell you how you can save time from continually checking those blogs. You can go to one place to read your favorite blogs’ updates, eliminating the need to wander from site to site to see if they’ve updated.

It’s called subscribing! Really.

A recent survey showed that only 5.4 percent of internet users use RSS feeds to subscribe. It’s easy for me to overlook explaining certain things that I personally use daily, simply because I forget that not everybody uses them. I’ll talk about subscribing to this blog, or to other blogs, but I won’t stop to tell you what that means. For that, I apologize.

Consider this your step-by-step guide for explaining what it means to subscribe to a blog, how to do it, and most importantly, why it makes your life simpler.

What is RSS?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication.” It’s a little piece of technology that allows you to receive up-to-date information from sites in one spot, where you can then read them on your own time. Many times, a blog’s RSS is simply called a “feed.”

RSS subscriptionA subscription is a good description for receiving these feeds – think of it as you would subscribing to a magazine or newspaper. It comes to your mailbox when they have new stuff to give you.

What’s an RSS Reader?

An RSS reader is a place you go to read your feeds. The most popular ones are Bloglines and Google Reader. I formerly used Bloglines, but I switched to Google Reader awhile back, and I love it. If you already have a Gmail account, I suggest starting with Google Reader, simply because your account is already set up and ready to go.

If you don’t want to set up an account at a feed reader, you can also have blog updates sent to your e-mail. Not all blogs allow this yet, but more and more are adding this feature, and it’s good for those of you who want everything you read in just one place. By subscribing via email, you receive the exact same updates you would via a reader.

How do I subscribe?

RS icons Smart blogs make it easy to subscribe. You’ll see little buttons that say ‘RSS’ (or sometimes ‘XML’ or ‘ATOM’), and you can click on those to take you through the steps. The common, universal symbol is an orange box with three white diagonal stripes. Sometimes you’ll also see a little button with a subscription count, and clicking on that will let you subscribe as well (Simple Mom’s is in the top right-hand corner).

Smart browsers, like Firefox, also make it easy to subscribe. To the right of a site’s URL, you’ll see an orange or blue icon if it has a feed. Here’s what Simple Mom’s URL looks like in Firefox:
firefox

Click on that, and you’ll be able to subscribe. You’ll want to make sure your preferred RSS Reader is defaulted in your browser. Go to your ‘preferences,’ and choose Google Reader, Bloglines, or whatever as your default choice.

If in doubt, you can always copy the blog’s URL and paste it in your reader. It looks like this in Google Reader:

google reader

Why should I bother subscribing?

It’s simpler. Here at Simple Mom, I share information on how to make your life simpler as a home manager. Your time and energy are precious, so you don’t want to needlessly waste them – you have plenty enough to do as you spin all your plates.

Subscribing makes your life simpler because:

1. It saves you time. Instead of you going to all the sites you enjoy, they come to you. And they only come to you when they have something new to share.

2. It saves you mental energy. You don’t have to remember the sites you want to read – they’re all waiting for you in your reader or your email inbox.

Also, more and more blogs provide perks for their subscribers – extra information, free downloads, e-books, and other things available only via RSS. An example: for Simple Mom’s two most recent contests, there was a secret code at the bottom of every post during the contest. You could email me the code, which gave you an extra entry in the contest, doubling your chance of winning.

What should I do now?

1. Sign up for an account with an RSS reader.

2. Click on one of the buttons to subscribe to Simple Mom’s feed (shown below with the red arrows).
feedburner

rss

3. Repeat with all your other favorite blogs.

4. Watch this video if you’re a visual learner – it’s an excellent RSS 101 tutorial.

5. Link to or email this post if you’d like RSS explained to your blog’s readers or friends. Also consider sharing it on Del.icio.us, StumbleUpon, or another bookmarking site by using the buttons below under “Share and Enjoy” (and thanks in advance!). Here’s the link to this post, in case you need it:

http://theartofsimple.net/rss-explained/

6. Ask questions or share your thoughts in the comment section of this post.

Was this helpful for you, Mindy? What about everyone else – is subscribing to a blog something new to you? Do you have any other questions? Or is this old hat to you, and you have something to add to the conversation to help other readers like Mindy? I’d love to hear your feedback.

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Comments

  1. This is an excellent explanation, and I find that I’m asked about this more and more often. I could not read blogs in a time-effective way without using my reader. Stumbled!

    Rachels last blog post..3rd Week of No Spend Month

  2. Thanks, Rachel! I really appreciate it.

  3. Hi toblerone, i was thinking of doing a post to explain to my readers how I organise my blog reading, (which can easily take up most of the day), using google reader and this is a great demonstration of how you do it..wonderful..thank you

    Lauras last blog post..Organising my Email

  4. @Laura – Feel free to share it with your readers!

  5. I definitely need to write a what is RSS post. Thank you, thank you for explaining it so clearly that I can now explain it to others :)

    Jennae @ Green Your Decors last blog post..Discarded by Nature: Coconut Pod Bowl

  6. Thanks so much for this. I’ve come across a ton of great blogs lately I want to read but it’s hard to keep track of what has new content when you’re also reading the old. This’ll hopefully help keep everything a bit more ordered for me.

    Leannes last blog post..Cure for the Blues

  7. Good post for the technologically impaired (myself included). I don’t like RSS readers, so I have subscribes to my favorite blogs by email. That way I’m sure to keep updated. However, and this might just be me, I find there is a big downside to subscribing.
    Part of the reason I enjoy reading blogs, as opposed to magazines (although I love them too) is the interaction with the writers and other commenters. It’s one of the reasons I started my own blog after all. I find that when I receive an email update in my inbox I am reading the content less mindfully, I don’t take the time to click through to read the comments and overall I get less out of the blog reading experience. When I sit down at my computer after lunch, with a sweet and a cup of coffee, I enjoy consciously clicking on my favorite blogs’ bookmarks and then I can really appreciate what I’m doing.
    I don’t have a lot of time either, but I’m dedicating this time to something I enjoy instead of halfmindedly giving it a skim.

  8. What a great explanation! I have a question as a non-feed-reader–I click from the links on my own blog sidebar to read my favorites. If I put them into a reader, would they appear just as they do clicking through to the site? In other words, does a feeder show the blog site just as it appears on the web, or is it text-only? Do the comments appear as well? Thanks for answering! Part of what I enjoy about blogs (rather than web surfing) is the give-and-take among commenters, so losing that via a feed would make me more likely to stick with click-through blog lists.

    Amy G.s last blog post..Handle with care

  9. @Kelly – You bring up a good point. For me, I find my RSS reader simply keeps my subscriptions organized in one place. Yes, there are times I just read the post in my reader, but many times, when I know a blog is engaging, I click right over to it when I see they’ve got a new post up. And then I comment (I try to make it my policy to comment almost every time I’m at a site – makes browsing worth my while).

    So I think if a writer goes out of their way to make their blog engaging and a talkative community, a subscriber might naturally be up for clicking over right away. Maybe that’s just me being naive, but it seems to work for me so far. ;)

    Also, it’s good to remember that people scan blogs, they don’t read them. I honestly don’t mind if some readers just scan my content, take what nugget they need, and move on. I want them to do more than just idle away time online! (Of course, I’m talking to myself on this one, too…)

    But good point, Kelly. It’s a toss-up, really.

  10. @Amy – You must have commented when I was responding to Kelly. :)

    Yes, you get the photos and the text from a post in a reader. You need to click over to be part of the comments section, as I mentioned above.

    If you’re unsure, why not try setting up a feed reader, subscribing to a few blogs, and seeing what you think? If you don’t like it, you can always go back to your blog sidebar.

  11. I try to make it my policy to comment almost every time I’m at a site

    Wow, I’m so impressed! I’m a bad blog reader — I “lurk” way too often. You’ve inspired me to improve that. :)

    As with all your other posts, this is a clear, excellent explanation of what RSS is. I will be linking to it.

    Jennifer (Et Tu?)s last blog post..On heat and Slip N’ Slides

  12. You explain things really well! I use Bloglines (perhaps more than I should!) but I haven’t figured out how to put one of those linky buttons on my own blog to help people subscribe. It seems like I can either get the image or the link, but I can’t get a linked image. Any suggestions?

    Jenis last blog post..WFMW – YouTube Playlist

  13. Great explanation. I am trying to get my church into the present by setting up a website. When I mentioned RSS feed, I got blank looks all around. I just emailed them the link to this article, and will also suggest we link to it on the eventual site to explain the subscribe option.

    Will also be linking on my blog.

    Jenn @ Frugal Upstates last blog post..Frugal Food Series Finale-Everything Else

  14. Shucks, and I always assumed everybody knew how to subscribe to RSS feeds!

    Thanks for explaining so well. Now I can refer the newbies asking me to your post. :)

    Francoiss last blog post..Financial Freedom Quick Tip #10: Ditch the car payments

  15. Great explanation thanks!

    I’ve been using separate iGoogle tabs for the blogs I like to follow – they are divided up into “daily”, “weekly”, “giveaways and reviews” (that is for the blogs that only do giveaways and reviews)

    I can close up the blogs window after I’ve read it for the day/week and only visit all the great freebie/review blogs when I know I have time to comment on the post, visit the site, and follow up or if I’m looking for information about a particular product.

    It works pretty well for me (because I like to see the comments) – if only I had more time in a day… :)

    A Frugal Housewife – Blesseds last blog post..The 24-Hour Waiting Period

  16. Thanks for the great post! I love using the Google Reader too, it saves SO many headaches and wasted time. I especially love that I can check all the same blogs whether I’m at home or at work!

    Amy Lemaniaks last blog post..Your Summer Smiles

  17. Hey, thank you! It really would help people organize their internet lives to subscribe rather than clicking around so much!

  18. Thanks for those great tips – I am always a little clueless about ALL the techy stuff!

    J :)

  19. I get this question a lot, and never explain it well. From now on I’ll just point people to this post (and ask them to come back after they sign up for Simple Mom!). Great job with this one!

    Frugal Dads last blog post..Online College Degree Programs Offer Maximum Flexibility

  20. Glad it’s helpful to you all! Please feel free to link to this post on your blogs, in your sidebars, whatever.

    @Jennifer – I don’t think it’s a problem to lurk. :) I just try to make blog surfing worth my while, since I don’t have much time to spare. Commenting on blogs is one of my little ways I network.

  21. I just started using Google Reader for RSS feeds. I’m amazed at how much easier it is to see which of my favorite bloggers are posting. It’s very bad for when I’m at work – to see those numbers popping up that I have new blogs to read and I’m supposed to be paying attention to boring paperwork. However, I will prevail:D

    Mary Beths last blog post..SUMMER READING

  22. Just this last week I discovered Google Reader. Oh.my.I.love.it. I have tripled the blogs I read because it’s so much easier to check the blogs now.

    I haven’t used the RSS before because I was scared I would loose all the blogs I read. Why? I don’t know. I’m strange like that. Although, since I took the plunge my life is so much easier.

    Thanks for the article. I’ll be linking to it Friday.

  23. This is an excellent post on blog subscriptions!

    I use Google Reader in Firefox with the “Better gReader” add-on. The add-on makes it possible to see the posts as they are on the site (“Preview”). Not all feeds show the post content, only the title. This feature alone is such a time saver for me. It also allows for commenting without leaving the reader.

    Another benefit to using a reader is being able to sort the blogs into different folders. I’m not sure if all readers are this way, but I love it in the Google Reader! When I want to read about “Organizing” or “Photography”, I can click on that folder, and learn away! And since it is a Google product, the search features are wonderful for those times when I can’t remember where I saw that recipe I wanted to try, etc.

    Thanks again for the great post! This one belongs on your “Useful Links” page!! :)

  24. @momof5 – Thanks for the great tip! I’ll be checking out this addon right away.

    Here’s the link of what she’s referring to, in case others want to check it out: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6424

    This, my friends, is yet another reason I love Firefox as an internet browser. And another reason why I switched to Google Reader from Bloglines.

  25. Hi Simple Mom! This is my first comment on your site, but I’ve been one of your lurkers for awhile now! Love your site and especially your ideas for simple living.

    I have been using Google Reader as well (and love it!), but have a quick question on it: Some of the blogs I subscribe to do not show their full content. Just the first few lines of text and no pictures come through. Is this a Google Reader setting that I need to correct, or is it how the blog’s author has their feed setup?

    Take care,
    Jonda

    Jondas last blog post..The Verdict

  26. I started using Google Reader about a year ago, and I love it.

    I’ve never used Bloglines, but I like I can divide up my blogs by topic (or however I want). I have a folder for RSS feeds from news sites, which I tend to read last. I have one for cooking blogs, one for personal finance blogs and one for blogs by moms. That way, if I’m short on time, I can go straight to what I want easily. Or I can be disciplined and say I’m just going to read all the updates in one category.

    Great post!
    http://chelsey.wordpress.com

    Chelseys last blog post..The obsessive compulsive’s guide to calendars

  27. Google reader changed my life. It only took a day to get over that feeling that I needed to see the blog to enjoy it. I’ll be checking out that better g-reader add on.

    Thanks for this! I was planning an appeal for subscribers and will be linking to this post.

    Laurins last blog post..Plumpy’nut Donations Update

  28. This is a great article. Very helpful and clearly written. I am always amazed by the number of bloggers who do not use a reader for blogs. Then I started thinking maybe it was because I was the only crazy person trying to follow a hundred some blogs. I like being able to see what’s new with everybody rather than hearing news days later. There is always some concern that nobody will click over to your site rather than just reading it in the reader, but honestly if you wrote something comment while then people will click over. I try to comment on most of the blogs in my reader a few times a week so they know I’m around. Some I comment every day because they always write about something I want to comment on. Oh and I use Google Reader and love it!!

    Mels last blog post..Can you believe it?

  29. @Jonda – It’s something the blogger has set up for themselves, so there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s actually kind-of a topic amongst bloggers, because I think they think if they allow the whole post to be seen in a reader, then people won’t click over to the site. I haven’t found this to be the case, so fellow bloggers – I recommend allowing full posts in feeders! :)

    By the way, I installed Better GReader, and I love it! To be able to see the site completely, go to Tools ->Add-ons ->Better GReader ->Preferences -> then under General, check ‘Preview automatically’.

    Thanks again for this, momof5!

  30. I’m a Bloglines user. Of course, I find that it can be a little slow to update from time to time, but it’s still a much more time-efficient way of keeping up with my blogs than just going through my bookmarks (which I did for over a year!)

    bees last blog post..Just Linkin’

  31. This is a brilliant explanation Simple Mom! I’m going to link to it on my blog under the RSS button, so that the uninformed can learn about readers. I myself consider my Google Reader to be akin to my right arm….can’t live without it!

    Procrastamoms last blog post..Does this happen at your house, too?

  32. Great info. I have no idea what I would do without my Google reader. It would be impossible to manage all the blogs I am reading.

    Vereds last blog post..Who Cares About Truth In Advertising? Sugar Can Help You Lose Weight! (Wordless Wednesday)

  33. Very comprehensive and excellent write up of RSS feeds, great job. I linked to it from my blog I hope you do not mind! I just couldn’t have explained it better myself!
    Zendad
    http://www.zendad.net

    Zendads last blog post..Link Love: RSS Explained-Read it if you do not understand RSS Feeds!

  34. avatar
    Felicia says:

    My only question is: can you search through older posts with the RSS feed? That is why I have only subscribed through email so far, because I can archive messages/posts and search for them later. But if you can do this with RSS then I am a convert!

  35. Hi- I am a newbie at reading blogs and so I appreciate today’s info.
    I came across your daily docket and am having trouble printing it. I want to print a nice copy and then copy it many times for a notebook system. Can you tell me exactly how to print it? Thanks

    Melanie Mixons last blog post..Daily Games & Free Trials

  36. T, thank you SO MUCH for the nudge to set this up! I’ve proudly been a ‘net gal since 1992 when I got my first email address, but I tend to be the last one in the room to try on the new technology. I’ve set up my Google Reader and it’s already saving me time. I’m clicking through to the sites I want to comment on, and reading otherwise. MAJOR blogreading breakthrough for this busy mom! Which is the point of your blog—so thank you for simplifying it and making it less daunting.

    Amy G.s last blog post..Birthday Eve

  37. Oh my, I am so excited to learn about this! I am so not computer savy and even though these feeds may be basic info to most people I didn’t know they exsisted! I had a few of my favorite blogs on my blog with some sort of feed telling me when they were updated but I didn’t think I could fit all the blogs I like to read (I found quite a few favorites since I recently got high speed internet before that dial up took too long to look at too many blogs). So today I opened a gmail account and set up my blogs in google reader. I even made folders for them. I see a lot of benefits to Reader too. First I don’t have to be blasted by everyone’s taste in music on their blog (even though I have music too — I like mine not others). I can use that list feature to quickly locate a post that I want to go back too or mark it for later. If I get interrupted while reading my blogs I can easily jump back on later and see what I haven’t read yet. And something that may seem silly but I’ve thought about is I can’t lose these blogs. This happened to my sister a while back when her computer crashed. She and I save our blogs in files in our Favorites. When her computer crashed she had no idea the addresses or could remember the names of many of her blogs. I just thought the other day I should write down all the addresses of my favorite blogs just in case. Not that it’s a tragedy if you lost them, there’s a million out there just that when you find one you REALLY like (such as simple mom) you don’t want to do without!
    Thanks for answering my question and for saving me so much time in blogworld!

    Mindys last blog post..Here’s your Sign:

  38. @Mindy – I’m so glad this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions – if I don’t know the answer, I’m sure someone here will.

    @Felicia – I know with my Google Reader account, I can see 10 posts in each blog, unless there are more I haven’t yet read. In other words, if there are 23 posts in that blog I haven’t read yet, it will show all 23 of them. But if I haven’t read the latest 4, it will still show the most recent 10. But if e-mail works for you, then that’s great! From what I know, you’re receiving the same subscription as those who use readers.

    @Melanie – The Daily Docket is a PDF download, which I’m guessing you found either in the post about Home Management Notebooks, or on the Downloads page up top. If you have Adobe Acrobat downloaded, you should be able to simply click on the link, and the document should pop up and ready to print. Let me know if you have more questions.

  39. Thanks! I’m new to blogging and reading – and now I love you.

    Autumnesfs last blog post..Autumn Asks: How do you hold people accountable for their WORDS?

  40. I love blogs and reading them. RSS definitely saves time and hassle. As a net marketer though, I have to keep blog reading in its place. I do it every two days, at night after my work is done. It’s relaxing. And I learn a ton! Esp. from personal finance blogs. :-)

    Carrie at Natural Moms Talk Radios last blog post..When Attached Babies and Kids Grow Up

  41. Thank you for this post, very helpful!

  42. “A recent survey showed that only 5.4 percent of internet users use RSS feeds to subscribe.” — The Simple Mom
    Now that’s an interesting statistic! I remember back when I didn’t know what an RSS feed was either… I simple saved the web address to my Bookmark Toolbar folder & it was a pain (don’t ask me why but I didn’t want to subscribe via e-mail). Anyway, I’ve since learned the beauty of a feedreader and let me just say, life is that much simpler!
    You’ve offered an excellent explanation of RSS feeds here, how & why to subscribe! Had I read something like this back in my early days I woulda’ felt much better :-)

    Ricardo Buenos last blog post..Damn…it’s only Tuesday!

  43. What a great little tutorial. I’m very green to actually being a blogger, but I’ve been using RSS feeds for long enough that I get frustrated when a site doesn’t have an RSS option (right in front of my face).

    Katies last blog post..Peek-a-boo: Infant development or all about fun?

  44. Great article – I was also planning on doing a post like this, and I’ll certainly link to this one.

    I use bloglines and, because I subscribe to SO many blogs, I make good use of the folders – I have one for each of my blog’s main themes (simple living at home, simple family living, sustainable living, color in simplicity, and simple living via crafting) and I only check each one on that topic’s “day” – i.e. today’s Thursday so I’m only reading blog posts that are in my GREEN folder for sustainable living posts (I actually came across this article via a search engine today, not bloglines).

    I also love how it integrates with firefox, so I’m forever subscribing to new blogs, especially up-and-coming ones I find or people who comment on mine, and if it turns out after a few weeks that I’m never really interested in a certain blog, I just click and delete it from Bloglines. Talk about simple!

    The other feature I like is what I just did with this post – I marked it “Keep New” so it’ll show up next week when I’m ready to blog and want to remember this post to give it a mention.

    You’re in the HOME folder, by the way, though you also bleed over into other categories :-), especially family, but at least this way I read your new posts at least once a week!

    Thanks for another great article!

    Lori Anns last blog post..HOME: Desk Drawer De-clutter – Simple Tips

  45. @Lori Ann – Sounds like you’ve got a great system with Bloglines! Thanks for sharing so that others can learn about that option as well.

  46. I was a little late to the scene on this one, but better late than never. ;-) This is quite a resource. I will be passing it along in the future to anyone who has questions about RSS.

    Stumbled. ;-)

    Marc and Angel Hack Lifes last blog post..20 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Every Sunday

  47. Great explanation, even for a new blogger! I do the same thing and bounce from blog to blog so I plan on signing up fo Gmail and email feeds. Thanks for sharing!

  48. +1 stumble, nice post for RSS newbies, I still get asked by a lot of people what it’s for, I’ll have to link here.
    Now I just have to get round to building my own RSS reader.

  49. Thank you so much for this explanation. It was very clear, visual, and easy to understand. My RSS is growing already. I linked to this post as well, so hopefully we can spread the news. I am sure most of the 95 percent of people who don’t use this would like to know how as well.

    Thank you!
    Erin

  50. Glad this post is proving itself helpful to so many of you!

    I’ve noticed that on a few of your own blogs, you mention being not quite sure how to enable your blog so that it has a subscription option. All blogging platforms (WordPress, Blogger, Typepad, etc.) are different, but more than likely, you do have a subscription feed address built in. I suggest looking around your blog’s dashboard, or perhaps your platform’s forum to find out what you need.

    I also HIGHLY recommend Feedburner to streamline your blog’s subscription options. I think it will be fairly self-explanatory once you’re over there.

    Let me know if you have any further questions!

  51. Adding the RSS visibly to my site was way easier than I expected. Took me maybe 3 minutes!

    Thanks for the nudge I needed to look into this more.
    ~Erin

  52. avatar
    Jeannie says:

    Thanks for explaining. I didn’t realize you could use Google Reader to subscribe to blogs that didn’t have a “subscribe button” on them. I read a few “for profit”/large following blogs, but most are of friends and family. I didn’t really use Reader because I figured I still had to go to each individaul’s blog- such a blessing to find I could add them all! Now I just check one place for updates instead of clicking on each address in my favorites. I love it!!! Thanks again!

  53. Thanks! I’m loving Google Reader! I would never have tried it without your explanation!

  54. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    I am a blogger and, gulp, I don’t understand RSS feeds. Thank you for this. Everything else I have tried to read and learn about it hasn’t made any sense!

    Perhaps now, I’ll figure out how to offer a better subscription feature on my blog and actually get more subscribers!

  55. Wow–looks like we had the same idea on Wednesday, though explained it much better!

    Mrs. Sprinkless last blog post..Spina Bifida Clinic

  56. Great post! I do subscribe in google reader, but have a question though… if I click on the orange button in firefox to add a blog it gives me two options RRS or ATOM. Is there a difference? Should I be choosing one over the other? Thanks :)

    Michelles last blog post..The Miracle of Swaddling

  57. I’ve been running a series called “Techie Lingo 101″ on my blog, Monster’s Blog, off and on the last month or so and will be linking to this post! Fabulous! You’ve done all the leg work for me. Thank you! (P.S. I found your site via the ProBlogger Twitter list…social media really does work, huh?)

  58. I just discovered bloglines this week and it is AMAZING! It was a little startling to discover that I subscribe to 130 blogs, though!! :)
    missy

  59. all this time I’ve had firefox, and never looked at the orange thingy…thanks! I wonder what else I’m ignoring?

    just followed you on twitter so more of your knowledge can flow into my computer!

  60. avatar
    Christie says:

    Hi, I am a new reader, coming via Soulemama. One thing I have discovered about Google Reader is that posts that come through it are then searchable by me later. So when I discover that I didn’t bookmark that geodesic dome out of newspaper idea, and I can’t remember which blogger wrote about it, I can just search my reader and it finds it for me! Brilliant!

  61. I’d been planning some blog optimization–with a little helpful advice from Darren Rowse–for a while and finally got around to it last night. I found your RSS post very helpful and linked to it for my readers. Thanks for such a concise adn well-organized article.

    Also wanted to tell you how much I’ve been enjoying your blog. I only discovered it about a week ago. Great content–great layout and branding, too. I have my eye on that stuff lately. ;) Keep up the good work.

    Jonah Lisas last blog post..Subscribe to The Toby Show!

  62. I was linked here by Frugal Upstate, and when I say “RSS feeds” I was like Jiggah what? About a third of the way through the article you mentioned google reader, and I sighed a sigh of relief.

    I agree that google reader is really handy. I even organize my people so if I don’t have time to read all the posts, I can still take care of the ones I need/want to. Hence it goes “Family-cide” “Friend Stalking” “Frugal” “Foodies” etc. Don’t ask why they all have F titles, but they do.

    beccamon’s last blog post…Phones make me sad

  63. Thanks for the clear explanation. I stumbled you and bookmarked you. I’m going to try what you suggested. I live in Beijing, China, and I find I often can’t get into my favorite blogs over here behind the Great Firewall of China – unless I go thru a proxy server. (Often I can’t even see my own blog, though now they’ve unblocked me, probably because of the Olympics). Maybe Google reader will help.

    Donna’s last blog post…Small Victories

  64. @Donna – We deal with the same thing where we live, too! I hear ya.

  65. Hey Simple Mom,
    Thanks for this post. I just added most of my favorite blogs to bloglines and it is really helpful and a timesaver. I went for Boglines because I thought I had to have an email account through gmail, I just did some looking and you just have to have an account which I think is what you said and I just misunderstood. Someone left a comment about the Better gReader add-on which I am curious about because that is one thing I don’t like about bloglines is the format that the posts show up in.
    Thanks again!

  66. You have explained RSS so well! From now on any time I mention it on my site, I will have it link back to this article. You have done a great service for all of us. Thank you.

    Laurel Plum’s last blog post…Laurel Plum Scavenger Hunt 5 – Socks

  67. Hello–I have been lurking here for a while. I love your ideas. I especially loved this idea, but it took me a while to implement it. I finally set up everything on Google Reader, and OH MY WORD! I am beyond excited at how much time this saves me, and how easily everything comes to me. I also set up other sites that I look at periodically that add information to a feeder (is that a word?), and I am so amazed at how well this works! Thank you!

  68. Hi,
    This post is wonderful! I have been trying to find a way to explain RSS to my readers, and you have nailed it so beautifully that I decided to send my readers here instead! My post on this is at http://tinyurl.com/3evo6j. Thanks for writing such a wonderful blog. I learn so much here. Happy to recommend you to my readers!

  69. As always, very very helpful, Simple Mom :)
    Happy Weekend!

    sandy´s last blog post…First Bite of Strawberry!

  70. Wow–this is the best explanation I’ve read on RSS feeds. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Your name is correct–you put things “simply.” Love it!

    I’ll be linking this article on my website.
    .-= Parenting Ink´s last blog ..Dropping Luke Off to School =-.

  71. yeahreader – – also good rss feeds reader

  72. avatar
    joyful423 says:

    Thanks for a great explanation. I’ve just recently started reading blogs regularly, but I’ve been going to check for new posts regularly because I didn’t understand the subscription and reader process.

  73. Thanks for this, I was confused and don’t look at my reader. I like things by email. But now I will look and I also got some great ideas just reading this.

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