RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication and it’s really very simple to use. I use RSS to get latest update on blogs that I love to read without having to visit all those blogs one by one. RSS saves my life when I found more and more interesting and useful blogs to follow. I use Google Reader as my RSS aggregator because it’s free and simple to use. All you need is a Google email account and automatically you can use the Google Reader.
Of course, all you really need to do is to add the blog’s link you want to follow in the reader and whenever there’s update, your reader will automatically show you the post.
Here is how your Google Reader looks like for the first time if you have not use it before. There are Welcome message and some tutorial to guide you on how to use it.
This is how my Google Reader looks like today. I’m a reading fan of ProfHacker as they are so informative and inspirational. I have aggregated quite a bit of blogs that I love to read over the years. To make reading easier, I have sorted them into different categories or folders. I first started using Google Reader for aggregating blogs that are for reading leisure. You can see a folder named NothingBetterToDo and it’s exactly what it means. Since I have become a graduate, I don’t really have time to read anything in that folder, so I just leave it be (normally until weekend if I have time) without worrying if I miss anything interesting later.
My every day reading is focused on the folders of Scholars, InterestingThoughts and PLENK2010. Most of the blogs in these categories are either inspirational to my study or are relevant to my research topic. I peruse my reading list every morning before I start work as a way to activate the mind.
To create your reading list, it’s simple to do by adding a subscription as it’s called in Google Reader.
Just copy the link of the blog that you like to get update from at this box. The content of the blog will appear in the subscription list and you can sort it into folder as you like.
If you have never use RSS or Google Reader before, I truly recommend you to start using it to aggregate your reading list. As a graduate student, it’s essential to read widely and up-to-date in the topic of your interest. Most importantly, you must read before you can write and you must write so that others can read to write too. 🙂
If you have been using similar tools other than Google Reader, please comment and share. Thanks!