Apr 2, 2008  •  In Geek, Tutorials

Google Reader, Part 1

(I felt compelled to write this two-part series because I still have daily run-ins with people who have never heard of Google Reader. How? Why? The concept boggles my mind, because G-Reader is my favorite Google App and I can’t imagine why any regular web user would NOT use it…)

Do you have a lot of websites/blogs you visit daily? Do you bookmark each site and diligently click over to check for updates?

Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but if you have a lot of sites on your bookmark list, visiting each individual site could take hours. There is an easier way to do this, and it’s called RSS (Really Simple Syndication).

If you are familiar with RSS, feel free to skip this portion. If you’re not, you’re a moron. Just kidding. 😉

Here’s a really simple way of looking at RSS (thanks, J!):

(image from http://cravingideas.blogs.com/backinskinnyjeans/2006/09/how_to_explain_.html)

Take a look at the website above. They do a great job of explaining RSS in a clear and simple manner.

Still stumped? Watch RSS in Plain English:

(This video was created by Common Craft, a website dedicated to explaining complex ideas and concepts in simple and easy ways. Go check it out – they have so many great articles and videos!)

So what does RSS have to do with Google Reader?

Google Reader is a FREE application for reading RSS feeds. One of the most important things that sets G-Reader apart from other RSS readers is that it is web-based, meaning that I can check my feeds from any computer (or my mobile phone) and G-Reader will update itself accordingly. This is a big contrast and improvement from desktop RSS readers, which only update the feed based on what I checked from that particular computer.

Next up…the many useful features of Google Reader and how they can help you save time, share ideas, and learn more!

On a side note, my friend’s been writing an interesting series on his blog about the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell and the three types of people who make it possible for a social epidemic to take place.

My friend is convinced that I’m a Maven, and used me as an example in today’s post.

What do you think? Am I a Maven? Do you think you are (or know of others) who are Connectors, Mavens, or Salesmen?

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