Today, we start subscribing to RSS feeds that are relevant to you and your business. Ideally, you did your homework and opened a Google Account, yes? And you wrote at least one practice post on both Day 4 and Day 5, right? Excellent because that's where we start here on Day Six – Smart Infosumption with Google Reader.
Objective: To begin receiving a Relevant Signal Stream (RSS) through your RSS feed aggregator. This stream of information will help you:
- Build relationships with other writers and your readers
- Capture more signal than noise from all the content and communication being published on the web
- Provide a storage house for the more valuable information
Tools: Google Reader
Quickly, let's note that the popular definition of RSS is "Really Simple Syndication" – essentially it allows regular folks like you and I to publish our ideas to one place (our blog; Twitter, YouTube, etc.) and by the power of RSS – the content is spread to those who have freely subscribed to the feed.
When you think of syndication, you might think of the comic strips that you find in the newspaper. The comic strip is written, then pushed through a syndication house and out to those papers who have "subscribed" to that comic strip.
Of course, this is a crude example and to save time, just know that as a writer – RSS allows your word(s) to spread lickety split and far. But the real power, in my opinion, is the RSS benefits as a reader. Because of RSS I've become smarter, quicker. And if Time is Money and Knowledge is Power…
Out goal today is simply getting you into the habit of subscribing to RSS feeds
I'm sure you've seen the RSS icon in some variation or another:
It's usually on a sidebar of a site (though many mainstream or stuck-in-2000-AOL publishers hide these icons at the bottom of the scroll). You can also find an icon in the address bar of most browsers:
The first time you click on the icon (I'd check and try to use the sidebar feed icon first, you'll want to choose to "subscribe via Google Reader." You may see a screen like this (in which case, you just choose +Google)
Any of these will quickly get you to your Google Reader "Add Subscription" screen. From there we'll be able to choose a folder (though we'll do that in a few days) and organize your information smartly.
There is one more way to subscribe to a RSS feed Though I don't use it often anymore, it will help if you have an old browser or if you are subscribing to a search result. It's an easy four-step process:
- Right Click(CTRL + Click for MACs)
- Copy Link (aka Shortcut)
- Go to Google Reader an Add a Subscription (Under the Google Reader logo top left)
Easy, no? Repeat after me (out loud):
Right Click – Copy Link – Add a Subscription – Subscribe
Okay, ready to get started? Let's go to your site and find your practice posts.
Subscribe to your own RSS feed (remember, if there's no icon – look up at your browser address bar). Got it? Now go to my site and subscribe to the ConverStations RSS feed.
We'll go over a few more feed-reading techniques within the next few days. What I'd like you do to is find a few sites you might think are worthy of your eyeballs. Remember, don't bookmark or favorite them – subscribe to the RSS feed.
Here are just a few (business-centric) sites I'd suggest:
When we gather again, we'll go over some of the Skim, Scan, Save muscles you'll be building.
You can get the 0-60 Series emailed to you in a gradual release format (one-a-day) for only $150 $89
If you really want to go super-deep into RSS reading, with one-on-one coaching, try the TNT program for RSS ($225):