I’m not exactly tech-savvy, and I’d convinced myself that using an RSS reader wouldn’t be much more efficient than just visiting individual blogs.
Finally, however, after getting a pep talk and some email coaching from Ben Casnocha, I decided to try to set up an RSS reader for myself.
I’d heard that Newsgator’s FeedDemon was a good service (there are many other good ones too), so without any further research, I signed up. Zoikes, I love it!
If, like me, you have only a vague sense of what an RSS reader might be, About.com has a good explanation.
In brief, an RSS reader allows you to open up your reader to see a list of all your chosen blogs, neatly lined up; by clicking on the title of the blog, you see an updated list of posts. This way of reading blogs allows you to cruise the blogosphere with vastly greater ease and speed.
The disadvantage is that you can’t see the comments, or post comments, without visiting the blog itself—but it takes just one click to do that, so it’s not very hard.
I still haven’t figured out how to use the bright orange icon (see top left-hand column) to add a blog to my RSS reader. I enter the URL in, instead. So I’m hardly a whiz at using the service – and still I love it.
One key to happiness is to challenge yourself, to learn something new. It can be frustrating and intimidating to learn something new, of course, but nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction when you finally figure it out.
In figuring out how to use an RSS reader, I reminded myself of several useful rules:
“Ask for help” (thanks, Ben!)
“Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good” (i.e., don’t do endless research to find the “best,” just find a good choice and act)
“I am as smart as most people” (if lots of other people can figure this out, I probably can too)
“Put myself in jail” (pretend that I’m in jail, so I have all the time and patience in the world to tackle a problem).
So give using an RSS reader a shot! And if you do, please consider subscribing to my RSS feed: Subscribe to this blog’s feed.