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How many blogs does it take …

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Recently I remember (well I had to search for it actually, even though I only wrote it three weeks ago) writing:

Blogs aren’t just something that you have to write to make use of them as a teacher; there are hundreds if not thousands of psychology related blogs out there, some useful, some not-so-useful, and reading these can give you and your students a great idea of what’s going on in psychology at the moment. You could use a search engine such as technorati to search for articles or blogs of interest. When you have found them rather than having to return to the website to see any new ‘breaking’ stories you could use the RSS feed and a news-reader of which there are many.

Following on from this, and a desperate attempt to get more people reading this site and subscribing to the RSS feed I have decided to write a little “how-to guide” (aka Idiots Guide to reading this site in some form of a RSS reader — must come up with a more succinct title). Here I will try to give an overview of how to use RSS for reading fab blogs like this one (very modest you see) and others like the BPS Research Digest and Mind Hacks.

So without further ado …

… How many blogs does it take to need a News Reader?

I assume that the first question that you raise is why do I really need a news reader? I know that Mark had this question although I’m hoping that he continues to read this site through his new Google Reader account. Personally, I read over 30 blogs (at the last count) on a regular basis, and pop in-and-out of others at semi-regular intervals, so I would be lost with out one. But if you’re only reading a handful of blogs do you really need one? I would suggest yes!

Now the sales pitch must begin…

There are many different ways of reading blogs: if you only have a few that you read regularly then you can visit each site whenever you please; but what if you’re wanting to keep an eye on lots of different blogs from the comfort of one site/place? Well this is where a news reader will come into play. A news reader will, as if by magic, collate and store all of the posts from those blogs which you frequent. There are many choices as to which news reader you choose; there are online ones such as Google reader and NewsGator, or software readers that you can download and install.

What is all the fuss about these readers then? Well, basically, they ‘visit’ all of the blogs for you and ‘harvest’ the most recent posts so you don’t have to visit each-and-every site when you want to know what’s going on. Even if you’re not sure, give it a go. Open an account with one of the online news readers, add a few RSS feeds so that you can see what’s going on, and see where you go from there.

Here are links to some of the most popular free online news readers:

You can even convert any sites feed to emails that are sent to your inbox – why not get psychBlog’s sent you you?

Once you have got your reader software set up why not add the following site – I would defiantly recommend them:

When you’ve finished with those blogs you could use a blog search engine to search for other blogs of interest or just sit back and wait for the posts to roll in.

Happy reading :-)

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