Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tech Tina: Google Reader

I haven't done a Tech Tina in a while. I guess I felt the pressure to go out and find the coolest and newest technology to introduce everyone to. After teaching a workshop at last week's Saddleback Small Group Conference, I learned that some of the tools I use everyday might be a better feature. Many people are still not using RSS. This one thing revolutionized my online experience. When I sit down at the computer I do not surf through website after website looking for updates and news. I log into Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader and have all the news I would want about those in my life that I'd want.

I wrote an article on the small groups blog at Saddleback on Rss and how I use google reader. Check it out here or read it below :)

When you are on a website have you ever seen something that looks like this and/or says "subscribe", "feed" or "RSS" and wondered what it meant. Even more so, why you should do this? I hope this article helps you to not only understand these things, but see how using them will revolutionize your online experience.

So, let's say you find a blog or website that you really like. Most people would bookmark or add that site to their favorites, so they can go back and see it again. As you find more and more sites that you like, your bookmarks/favorites grow and grow. It is left up to you to go to those sites and see what changes and updates are made.

When you subscribe to a site you use an RSS Reader, such as Google reader, My Yahoo, or bloglines (to name a few), and they will gather all the new and updated information from these sites for you. This way you only have to visit one site instead of each site indiviually to keep up with your friends, current news, or information you would like from a website.

Let me walk you through how this would actually look if you were not using feeds and if you were. I am going to use Google Reader as my "catch all"/RSS device.

Without Google Reader:

I sit down at my computer. I go to my bookmarks and find my favorite news website and click on it. Read a few articles. Then I go to my bookmarks again and go to my friends blog to see what is going on in her life. There is nothing new, so I go to my bookmarks and go to the Saddleback small groups blog to see if there are any new posts there. There is one and I read that.

With Google Reader:

I sit down at my computer. I go to my bookmarks and go to Google Reader. I scroll through and read all the articles, entries, and posts from my favorite websites.

This video does a great job explaining this in more detail:

Once you have an account setup you can click the icon and it will take you to a page to add this to your RSS Reader. You can also add them directly on the google reader, my yahoo, or RSS reader site.

Now that you know how to subscribe, here are some Saddleback links you may want to add to your RSS reader:
Small Group Blog
Men's Ministry Blog
Women's Ministry Blog (coming soon!)
Married Life Blog
Element Singles Ministry Blog
Epic Post-College Ministry Blog
The Fuse Blog
Saddleback Youth Blogs

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