Google Reader, it’s a tool.

I didn’t think I needed organization for my blog reading. In Internet Explorer I have a blog favs folder where I opened, clicked and read. That method served me well.

Then I started reading on a different computer in Chrome, no problem, I started a new folder. Better yet, I Googled ‘how to import my favorites’ to the 2nd computer. Then I took it a step further  and shared the folder on my home network so it was accessible for all. Those methods worked with varied success.

Enter Google reader. My Mom sent me an article about Google Reader and asked if she needed it. I read the article, said no, she didn’t need it, but I sure did.

It’s not really a big deal but it does make blog following on any computer easier. I am not suggesting you read blogs at work, but if you do, Google Reader is where they all live and are easy to get to.

In case you’ve never used the reader follow these easy steps:

1. Log into Google.

2.Chances are you will land in your Gmail. On the top select the last choice, More.

3.In that drop down, select Reader.

Now, there are few ways to add Blogs to your reader.

In the top left corner there is a red button with the word subscribe.

Click on that and a box comes up where you can paste the address of a blog you want to add. Let’s try it. Go to the address bar of this blog, left click so it highlights, right click and hit copy. then go to the Google Reader page, click the subsribe button and paste the address in the box.

Hit Add. You’ve added your first blog into your reader. I must compliment you on your excellent choice of blog following.

There is another way to add. Most blogs give you a choice to follow them in one of several ways: RSS, email, Facebook, Google. Simply click on RSS and you’ll get a choice of readers, select google. Then this page comes up, select reader. You’ve subscribed!

Google Reader lets you know if there are blog entries you haven’t read by having a number in parentheses after the blog name. The number is how many posts you have to read. Mine says I have 261 posts I haven’t read. Not to worry, once I view the blog in the reader, I can hit J or K to quickly scroll through the posts. (J goes backward & K goes forward).

You may not hold it in your hand, but Google Reader really is a cool tool.

On the right side of your reader you have a choice between expanded and list view. I always choose expanded because pictures are usually why I like a blog. List view is only titles and very boring to look at. That’s enough for now. Click around the reader and see what features you like. Then let me know!

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