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Page history last edited by niilo 11 years, 10 months ago




If you've been using the web since the dawn of time, you most probably also use RSS pretty much every time you use your computer. However, in case you're not quite sure if this RSS thing really is any good - or, even better, you've never heard about it in the first place - then keep reading! It is fully possible that this three-letter acronym will radically change the way you gather information on the net.



Main idea


There's tons of information available on the net and regardless what you're interested in, I'd guess there are at least a dozen sites you'd like to watch really closely. However, surfing the web to check for updates takes time - all too much time! There should be an easier way, huh? Well, there is, and that's what RSS is all about: instead of you chasing the updates, you subscribe to the latest news from your favorite sites. And yes, your favorite sites have conveniently seen to it you can subscribe to their latest updates, or RSS-feeds (in geek talk).





In order to subscribe to RSS-feeds you need a tool for this, an RSS-reader. All modern web browsers let you subscribe to feeds but it's a lot more efficient to use a standalone RSS-reader. Again, there are numerous RSS-readers around, both free ones and commercial. All RSS-readers can be divided in two groups: either the user must install a program in the local computer, or the RSS-reader can be used anywhere through the web browser.


To me, it doesn't make sense to have a local installation since I want to use my RSS-reader wherever I happen to be - at the library, home or at work. So, I use a web-based reader and my choice is the free one from Google, not surprisingly called GoogleReader. Let's take a look what it takes to get started!





GoogleReader - Reader för short - is one of the many services available for free to anyone who has a Google account or uses Gmail. So, the first thing to do is to register the account; you don't need to use Gmail at all but why not give it a spin? These days, a web based e-mail account is a must-have and Gmail is one of the very best available. If you don't like it, forget it, but it's a convenient key to all Google services you might want to check out.



Google registration


If you just want a Google account, no Gmail, you can head right to the GoogleReader page and move on from there. Alternatively, get a Gmail account first - then go back to Reader and sign in with your Gmail user and password.



Using GoogleReader


Before moving on you might want to check a really neat, quick video about the basics of the Reader on YouTube - Google Reader in Plain English:






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