Why (and How) to Use a Feed Reader

This is a guest post by Mike Anderson of The Resurgence.

Here are five reasons to use a feed reader (such as Google Reader) to keep up with blogs:

1. You never miss a blog post from your favorite sites
Once you subscribe to a feed, your feed reader will make sure that you see every new post from that feed. Whether you want to read your websites once a week, once a day, or every ten minutes, any unread items will be saved for you.

2. You can scan a ton of articles quickly
When using a feed reader, you can quickly filter through the articles that you don’t want to read. When surfing the web, you have to shuffle through different interfaces, type in web addresses, and surf bookmarks. This takes a ton of time. It’s much better to have the content you want delivered to you than to have to go find it every time you get online.

3. Melting-pot learning
One of the great side-effects of using a feed reader is that you begin to learn about various memes in a melting-pot fashion, where ideas flavor each other. You’ll learn new ideas over time, and understand the relationships between them.

4. You can save articles for later
Feed readers allow you to save articles to read for later. In Google Reader, you can put a star next to items you like and come back later to read them in full. You can also tag articles and search for them later.

5. You can always be up to date with the Resurgence
I am so excited to see theResurgence.com have an impact by training missional leaders. I want more people to sign up for the feed so that they don’t miss anything here. We’re bringing in numerous experts from different backgrounds to help form a Christ-centered vision for our lives, and I don’t want any of you to miss out on that.

So those are five reasons to use a feed reader to keep up with blogs. This leads naturally to the question of how to use a feed reader. Mike also has a video that shows this in very simple terms, using Google Reader:

  • Brian Current

    i use google reader and the one downside is that you lose some interaction with the blogger because comments are not captured in a feed reader (that i can see). So, i had to click over here to post this comment, even though i read this initially in google reader.

    overall, i comment a lot LESS now that i use Google Reader.

    Any thoughts or ideas on this? I’d love to if there’s a solution for this, or if, for now, we just have to click over to comment…

  • Matt

    I agree entirely with that, Brian. I see the effects to some extent on the other side, also, because most people read this blog in readers.

    I don’t know a good solution. It would be great if Google Reader at least showed a comments link (with the number of comments), reducing the friction of clicking through by even a small amount. Other than that, I’m not sure.

    Has anybody come across a good solution on this?

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  • Brian Current

    I just noticed that a blog i subscribe to in Google Reader that is hosted by WordPress *does* show a comments link (with the number of comments) at the bottom of the post… so we know it’s possible. Hopefully others follow wordpress on this