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Tuesday, July 04, 2006
RSS and how to use it.
I've certainly given you more than enough talk and examples about aggregators, rss feeds and the like to at least let you know they exist and a little bit about how to use them all. Now let's take it a step further and let you in on how to put it all together and make it work for you.

First of all you need an email address on Google or Yahoo or both. Once you have those you can begin to use RSS to your advantage so you don't have to spend so much time surfing to find what you want.

Since Google has the process set up much better than Yahoo does, lets use Google as our first example. Once you have your aggregator set up on Google you will be able to do it on Yahoo much more easily.

In Google it is simply known as your Google home page. The way to get your own Google home page is through your Gmail account or you can do a search in Google for "Google Home Page" and it will tell you all about it and how to do it. If you don't have a Google Gmail account all you need to do is send me an email and I"ll fix you up with a gmail account.

Google's home page is far more advanced than MY Yahoo! is and it has a ton of goodies you can add into it that MY Yahoo! doesn't have but it is a lot more difficult to find and make it private. They start with what is known as a Google "classic" homepage and then you make it private by clicking on a link at the top of the classic home page.

Once you have your private home page set up you can add or remove feeds to your hearts content. You can add your blogs, other people's blogs that you happen on in the internet by adding their RSS feeds to your Google Home page. When you do that then you can see or go to their blog right from your home page and you can keep up with what is going on from one central "control panel" It is much faster than simply going there by typing in the URL each time you want to go to a webpage or a forum.

Now then, in order to facilitate that you need to learn to use another great tool which is known as "backflips" which is a great bookmarking tool. First you set up an account with and then get their bookmarking tool which you simply drag and drop to your browser's tool bar. Each time you want to bookmark a page you simply go to that page and then once it is loaded click on your backflip tool and add it to your backflips. I've been doing it for about 3 years now and needless to say, it saves an awful lot of time and helps prevent losing your bookmarks in the event of a computer crash. You can also download your backflips into your browsers book marks through a simple import-export process and then you have a file on your computer that you can import into your bookmarks. The really neat part about the Google home page is that you can get an add-on right from your home page that puts bookmarks right into your home page and you can load that with the bookmarks from your computer in any one of two or three ways.

Now then, let's take it a step further. For those who have a blog and know how to use it, what you do is put a headline animator on your blog like this one.

And that lets people know at a glance what the latest headlines and topics on your blog are. Then directly below that you add a chicklet like this one

Add to Google

which is clickable and leads to your feed which they can easily add into their Google Home page and you can also add it to the Google Reader pages. Now you know what all those rotating headline banners are for.

You really should learn about and use an aggregator such as the Google Home Page and the Google Reader as well as backflips because learning how to use those will save you a whole lot of time and scratching your head wondering where in the heck is the link to that great webpage or blog or article I found but now can't remember where you found it.
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