Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » I am Rssing around


A friend of mine recently social mediaized me a question. “Jared, how can I follow you so that I don’t miss a single blog post of yours? We have to fumble through the internet and print out a copy so that we can discuss your our favorite blogger.”

“The Legend of Bagger Vance” was a book written by an author named Steven Pressfield. The movie made the book more popular, well at least to me. I really didn’t notice the book until I saw the preview for the movie. Ok, I didn’t notice it then either. I initially discovered he wrote the book when I was reading another of book of his. “Gates of Fire” is a historical fiction of the Battle of Thermopylae, the same battle of the popular movie “300.” Remember the mention of the “hot gates,” well that is the reason for the title of the book. Don’t worry there is a connection going on, I will connect these dots.

It started during my initial teaching days when blogging was pretty new. I found this Catholic author that blogged and began following daily. It was a sequence of events to do so. Open Explorer, go to Google, search the name of the blog, open the blog, and find articles that interest me.

As time went on and graduate school was started, I began to follow the authors of the many books we had to read. I figured, “If I am going to read a book by someone, I also want to know more about the author.” Social media allowed me to listen to the conversation. So I would follow the person’s twitter, facebook them, find their blog, read the wiki, or search for current articles via Google or ERIC (a library database which includes scholarly work). Through the years, I developed conversations with some authors.

Also through the years, I could not find the time to keep up with each of the different areas of interest. I follow the Queen of Victorian bloggers, culture type bloggers, Catholic blogs, small business blogs including Inc. and Fast Company, and Seth Godin’s blog. Thankfully, a method was created so that each of the blogs I want to follow can be delivered to my computerized doorstep via an RSS feed. I am sure there are many methods in this madness, but I will give you my step-by-step on how to organize such a list.

  1. Google account. Open a Google account. A number of applications come along with this including: email, iGoogle, and Google Reader.

  2. For following your bloggers, create a Google Reader account. You will have to fill in some blanks.

  3. At the Reader’s homepage, click on “Add a Subscription.”

  4. A box pops up that asks you to enter a search word or blog website address. When you search for the key word or blog feed, and add it to your Reader account, Google then finds the updates and delivers them to your account which is similar to opening an email.

The next handy time saver is a smart phone. In my case, I have an iPhone 3GS. I researched different apps that sync with my Google Reader. Initially, I used an app called “Reeder.” As time went on, I switched to “Feeddler Pro.” These apps take the blogs I follow on Google Reader and puts in an app on the iPhone. When I open the app, all the blogs I follow are updated so that I can find the latest entries by the people I follow. I can also search and add more blogs through the app.

If time is money, I may have saved you plenty of dough. By the way, all this post is true except the first paragraph. I friend did ask how she could follow a blogger, but the blogger wasn’t me.

Do you already have a Google Reader account? If so, do you use an app on your smart phone to sync with it? Which one? Who is your favorite blogger to follow? Have you ever decided to follow an author of a book? A professor?