Using Feed Readers to Stay Connected

For many of us, being on the internet today means staying connected to friends, family and peers, as well as accounts, passions, and interests. The net is teeming with ways to stay connected! In the past, we've discussed several social networking options, like Facebook and Twitter, and connections like HootSuite, but I wonder... which programs are my readers actually utilizing? And which one(s) are the most invaluable to you? For diversity, in this post, I am focusing upon Using Feed Readers to Stay Connected.

RSS Button
Let's begin with RSS. Do you know what it stands for? Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a web feed that is used to publish frequently updated content, like blogs, news, audio, and video. To view these feeds, users must employ a feed reader. (Also known as an Aggregator or an RSS Reader.) Basically, the feed reader gathers, condenses and retains information, that you specify, into a single source. Each reader has a user interface, to monitor and read all the feeds you subscribe to, which then compiles the information into an easy-to-read format, tailored to suit your needs. In addition, these readers are now available on mobile devices!

There are two easy ways to add feeds to your feed reader.
  1. You may enter the url of the feed into your reader by hand.
  2. You may click on the RSS button in a website, to directly subscribe to that feed.
Two popular readers are from Google and Yahoo. Other popular readers include BlogLines and FeedDemon, but I would urge people to investigate the multitude of readers available, as each reader has it's own perks and pitfalls.

I've been engaging with my Google Reader more and more lately. Because I have my blog with Blogger, I am able to see recent posts from all the Blogs I'm Following on my Google Reader. I can also choose to follow people, like ThriftyVault, (who I follow on Facebook), and ColderIce, (who I follow on Twitter).

Google will also give you recommendations, which I've already put to good use. Just last week, I browsed their recommendations, and found an interesting blogger, CollectingVintageJewelry, who had a timely post about an upcoming Mosaic Workshop in Chicago which I may be interested in attending! Who knew? Not me! But now that I am frequently visiting my Google Reader, I am certainly more well-informed.

Another aspect of Google Reader that I enjoy is the Note in Reader button. It is a bookmarklet that you can drag and drop into your browser toolbar, instantly providing you with a way to share news, articles and just about anything on the web. Fast and easy... that works for me!

Want to connect with me? Find my profile here.

Let me take a moment to speak directly to my comrades at OnlineAuction.com. Did you know that there are RSS Feeds available at OLA? Find the OLA feeds here. To see feeds to your own items, sign into your OLA account before you visit the feed page. Once you've signed in, the following feeds are available to you:
  • Featured Auctions
  • Ending Auctions
  • What's Sold
  • What's New
  • User's Auctions (Your own items.)
  • User's Feedback Ratings (Your own current status.)
  • User's Feedback Comments (What did your customers say about you today?)
OnlineAuction also provides you with links to feed readers. Personally, I like Google. You, on the other hand, may prefer a different reader. The point is, this information is available to you, on your desktop, your laptop and even your smartphone... how will you use it to your advantage?

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