Sunday, December 7, 2008

Organizing And Subscribing To Blogs

I have been asked a few times about RSS Feeds and how to organize the blogs you may subscribe to. As you probably know there are well over a couple hundred genealogy related blogs out there that you may want to subscribe to. I know many people, especially newbies, get overwhelmed with so many blogs and trying to keep up.

When people first subscribe to blogs they tend to have the blog updates sent to their personal email. At least I know that is how I started and have spoken with several others who started the same way.

Then RSS Feeds came about and it tends to intimidate some people. RSS means "Really Simple Syndication". And believe me, it is really simple!

First you need to download a RSS Reader. The reader will check all of your favorite blogs and let you know when any of them are updated. The program I personally downloaded is at this link~

http://www.rssreader.com/.


Here are the basic directions of how to get and install this particular reader.

You must have Windows 2003, or Windows XP for this to work. If you are not currently running one of these Windows programs you can download the free Microsoft.net framework through this site.

Once you are sure you have the correct Windows program or framework you download and install the RSS Reader. That is it! The instructions are spelled out for you in the link I provided under downloads, but what I have explained here is all there is to it. And, did I tell you it is all free?

After you have the reader set up, you look for "subscribe" in the blog you are interested in. You can set up your subscription through this, looking for either "XML" or the "RSS" link. Or, if either of these links are available to you can right click, copy and paste into the "ADD" on your Reader, in other words you are adding a new blog to your feed.

There are several Readers available for different set ups and preferences, for example, if you have a Mac you may need to download a reader that works with the Mac system. Keep in mind you can google to research different reader programs if need be.

Now I know not all bloggers and sites are set up to run through a feed reader. So there are those you may need to sign up to have sent to your personal email. As a blogger I also have a feed through my blog that will update me on new blog posts. There are many ways you can have blog updates sent to you, and you need to find what works best. As a none blogger I found that subscribing through the RSS feeder was the way to go for me. The "non-feeder" blogs went to my email. I actually set up a e-mail account just for genealogical related items to keep them separate from my regular e-mail.

Organizing and deciding how many blogs you wish to follow is really up to you. Start out with a manageable amount of subscriptions. Once you follow a few for awhile and feel comfortable with how everything works, decide if you would like to add more, and how many. After a period of time you will find it gets easier to follow more and more blogs easily.

Believe me when I say I do not subscribe to every genealogy blog that there is. I subscribe to my favorites and add a few once in a while. As much as I wish I could leave comments on every single blog post I read, it is just impossible for me to do. However, I do leave comments as often as I can, bloggers LOVE comments! Bloggers want to know there are readers out there who appreciate there postings, give feedback, maybe additional information, encouragement or even just a quick Hi!

Most of all, if you are a newbie to blog subscriptions and/or RSS feeds, don't let them intimate you! Think about starting small and adding new blog subscriptions as you are comfortable and time allows. Of course every blogger would love to tell you to subscribe to "their blog," but in general most genea-bloggers are there to support you and I believe would give similar advice.

How about it genea-bloggers? Any other advice for these newbies we don't want to see intimated or overwhelmed with blog posts? Please leave your ideas and thoughts!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success with all of your genealogical treasure hunts!

Msteri

4 comments:

  1. Greetings Msteri,
    You did a great job explaining this sometimes confusing process.
    Kathryn

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  2. Hi Kathryn, thank you, just trying to help some folks! Been thinking about you, need to check out your blog too!

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  3. from a "newbie" THANK YOU SO MUCH for this very informative write up!!

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  4. Cindy,

    I am happy this post was of help to you!

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