Two years ago next week I traveled to a Futuring and Innovation Conference where I learned how social media could mobilize communities. At the time the only thing I knew about blogs consisted of watching Jeff Jarvis and Glenn Reynolds be interviewed on CNN. The conference opened my eyes. It’s as if the Internet was Carlsbad Cavern and I had discovered a whole new series of caves representing the blogosphere and other forms of social media.
I came back convinced I was going to blog. I didn’t know on what I wanted to blog , I just knew I had a serious itch that needed to be scratched. Then several weeks later, I was standing in a checkout line of a nationally known retailer when I received some poor customer service. BAM! I knew I’d blog about customer service.
I started reading more blogs and bookmarked the ones i liked. I’d return to them using my bookmarks only to be disappointed when many hadn’t bee updated since the last time I visited.
Then I learned about RSS feeds. I learned that, by subscribing to RSS feeds, I could be notified when blogs were updated, then I could read them at my leisure. No more “manual clicking.”
If you’re not using RSS feeds to read your favorite blogs or to receive the latest news from your favorite media outlets, you’re doing things the hard way. Be kind to yourself.
Pick an aggregator such as Bloglines or Feedblitz. Bloglines puts a tiny “B” icon on your task bar. It checks sites hourly and a tiny red dot appears on the icon when your preferred blogs are updated. It’s less obtrusive than an e-mail notification (such as Feedblitz).
What’s even cooler is that you can add a button to your menu bar that allows you to subscribe to a blog with one click.
I currently track more than 130 blogs (no, I don’t read them all at once). Bloglines makes it easy. It’s also easy on your budget in that it’s free. Registration takes about five minutes.
Bottom line: Save yourself some time and subscribe to your favorite blogs including this one. You’l be able to devote more time to reading, less time to clicking.