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Google Reader: What, Why and How to Guide

The internet is full of blogs on almost every topic and by almost every person who has something to say. While surfing online you come across many useful blogs, you think they are important and should be visited regularly. I don’t need to tell you how difficult it can be to visit all your important blogs regularly and check if there are some new updates.

What is Google Reader?

Google Reader is a web application which helps you read your favorite blogs of authors, motivators, news channels, best friends, celebrities, companies, tutors and so on, at one place. All you need to do is subscribe to the blog’s Atom or RSS feed.

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.

Once you have subscribed to blog’s RSS feed, you will get notifications in Google Reader, whenever there is a new blog post or article added to that website or blog. RSS file is automatically updated by blog/website.

Why Use Google Reader?

Google reader is not the only RSS feed reader, but there are plenty available on various platforms in the form of web applications, desktop applications, mobile applications, etc. Sure, you can use any other application of your choice. I prefer Google Reader for the following reasons.

  • It’s a web application, I can use it from anywhere internet is present
  • I don’t need to sign up another form, I can use it with my Gmail account
  • I have seen and used Google’s services. I am satisfied with this service too.
  • Almost every blog’s feed has Add to Google Reader option. It’s easy to subscribe to any blog.
  • I decide what to read and when to read, daily, once a week or once a month, without worrying if I missed something.

How to Use Google Reader?

Choose Google Reader to subscribe RSS feed

To start using Google Reader, you must be registered to any of the services of Google, e.g. Gmail, Blogger, Orkut, etc. If you do not have Google account, you can click Create New Google Account on http://www.google.com/reader page and follow the instructions.

Once you have a valid Google account, visit the above link and log in. Since you are new, its time to subscribe to a blog. There are two ways of subscribing to a blog. The first way is to follow these three steps:

  1. Look for the RSS feed Icon! There is a unique symbol used to represent a link to RSS feed. The image of this symbol mostly comes in a rectangular shape, in orange-white combination, but this is not necessary. Other popular variations come in round shapes, blue-white color, etc. This image link is provided somewhere on the blog or some browsers like Firefox automatically show a small image near the address bar. Click the link.
  2. Choose Google Reader when opted
    As I said earlier, there are many other RSS feed readers available, you can choose your reader at this stage. Choose Google Reader to subscribe. Sometimes it may ask you one more time to choose your reader.

Another way to subscribe blog

You can simply subscribe to any blog by first logging into Google Reader and then clicking Add a Subscription button. Just enter blog’s URL and then click ‘Add’. This procedure will automatically search for RSS Feed file, you don’t need to manually enter the link of RSS feed.

Rakesh Tembhurne

Rakesh Tembhurne

Rakesh is a father, software engineer, author and mentor having more than 8+ years of experience in web apps development.

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