Monday 2 August 2010

Following or subscribing to a blog....

What the dickens are you talking about? This is often the reaction I get in real life when I say that have been catching up with blogs on my reader, hands up if you have no idea what I am talking about - right, this post is for you!
I am assuming here that you know what a blog is, when I first stumbled across blogs year ago I fell in love The Black Apple was one of my first and from her list of favourite blogs I discovered there were even more cool blogs out there, so when I started my blog I had a list of links for the blogs I liked reading and everyday I would log onto my blog and work my way through the list visiting each blog one at a time. Sometimes the blogger wouldn't have a new post for a few days so there was a lot of clicking back and forth going on. THEN I discovered google reader and my life changed, seriously, I can now have 300+ blogs in my reader and not miss out on anything, brilliant.
So lets start with google reader, there are a number of readers out there but I have only used google, if you use a different one then please leave a comment and tell us about it. If you have a gmail account, log in and at the top left of the screen you can see a menu, click on Reader.

You will come to a page which looks something like this...

So working down the left hand side (I recommend opening another window so you can play as we go along). First is the google reader search box, this is brilliant, you might remember reading a post but not which blog it was on, stick your key words in the box and bingo, it will search through for you.
Add a subscription, click on this and a a box will open, you can add the http address for a blog such as and it will add the blog to your reader or put in a a keyword to find the blog you want such as jojoebi and it will come up with a list of suggested blogs and you can subscribe from there to the one you want.
So you have subscribed, what does that mean? Well it is like the old fashioned newsletter, every time a blogger you have subscribed to writes a new post, that post gets delivered to your reader and will sit there unread until you you read it, which means you will never miss an exciting post ever again.
I am not going to go through everything now, I will do a follow up post if anyone is intereted but if you continue down the left side you will see Explore and recommended items & sources, this is a good way to find new blogs, it will give you a list of blogs that post about similar items to the others in your reader.
Below that is Subscriptions, this is a list of all the blogs you subscribe to. You can make folders to keep them organised and add tags so that you can find what you want more easily.
Now you are probably thinking, that is all a bit of a faff just to subscribe to a blog but wait... some genius made an easy way to subscribe, you just need to look for something that looks like this... (top right on my blog)
Sometime it will be just the little RSS symbol, usually in orange but you can have them in other colours, if you click on the posts button this little window will open

click on +add to Google (or alternative reader if you have one) with the google button a new page will open asking if you want to add to the google homepage or the reader, for this exercise use the reader button.
Alternatively you can follow people, not everyone has this set up on their blog but you need to look for this (mine is at the bottom right)
If you click on follow a new window will open, just click the follow button. If you choose to follow a blog, their feed (new posts) will also be delivered to your reader. Clever huh?
If this was useful and you would like a follow up post about using the reader please let me know.


  1. This *was* useful, thank you! Usually I just use the 'email' button-thingie, which means I get an email into my Inbox when something new has been posted. But some blogs don't have that feature. Can you please tell me, what is the difference between subscribing and following, using a reader? Thanks :)

  2. Glad it was of some use!
    I don't think there is much difference, the blogs I follow still show in my reader.

  3. Cheers for this Jo, I'll link to it in a future post on my blog too. Do you have an RSS app for your iPhone? I use MobileRSS, very handy!

  4. Ta di, I was going to ask you what you use.

  5. No corned beef, please. Lol. Thanks for this handy post! I've been confused about the difference between following and subscribing...


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