September 17, 2010

PH Explains: RSS Feeds, Google Reader, and Wowhead Tooltips

So, last night I decided I had found too many wonderful blogs, things, columns, etc to read and wanted to try this "RSS"  (Really Simple Syndication) thing out.  I discovered Google Reader by clicking around like a blind bat and had it import the blogs I "follow" in the Dashboard of Blogger.  That was a start! I then proceeded to add every blog from my list on the side of the page and also any new ones I found while reading last night.

Morynne from Marks-365 made a post today with pointers about taking care of your subscription collection and managing your time wisely so you don't get completely lost in your reader.  When I read her post, it makes me think of my new Reader like a new library--you want to keep it maintained from the start if you are new to RSS like me!  If you have a quality reading selection already, then utilize some of the other tips in her post to prune and organize your collection.

I am sad to say that RSS has been around for a WHILE and I feel so deprived for not realizing the full potential of it sooner.  Whenever you see a "Subscribe to RSS Entries" or "Posts (Atom)" or "RSS Entries" it means that you can "subscribe" to anything posted by that blog in the future (and it seems to pull in a few extra posts too).  RSS was around for a while, and then The Atom Syndication Format came along as a "fresh and updated" version. 

From: Wikipedia
To get started, you can go to -- of course you need a Google account (or a Gmail) to make it work.  Once you have your account made, you can go around to all your favorite blogs (and check your favorite websites too) for that little orange icon above.  You can usually click right on the link next to the icon or on the icon itself.

Once you've amassed a few blogs that you enjoy reading, this is what your Google Reader should begin to look like:
Google Reader in Action.

 Yes, I took my email address out so you guys don't send me creepy pictures of yourselves. I like you nice and anonymous just the way you are (with a few exceptions)!  But anyway as you can see, the blogs are on the left, the entries are on the middle and right. If you click the little blue link on the bottom left that says "Manage Subscriptions", then, wallah! You can add/remove ones you don't like or aren't updated anymore, or put them in a separate folder. You can add folders for topics, different games, different subjects--the list goes on and on.

"Manage Subscriptions" Page.
And so, once you have all this information at your disposal, you'll want some help in managing it.  Remember, as I mentioned earlier, Morynne from Marks-365 mentions a few ways to help you do just that.  

But, what if you want to see Wowhead Tooltips in the posts you read?  I never knew this was possible, but theanorak from Mysterious Buttons figured it out.  If you are using Mozilla or Chrome, he has instructions for you. I don't want to copy them to here because inevitably I WILL leave something out and then everything will be broken! Right now I can't get any of the links to open, if you can't get it to open either, don't worry.  The site is probably down and it's not an urgent thing.  If anyone has an update on the status of that site, though, that would be great!

This should be enough information to get you started.  If you have any questions, send them in, and I'll do my best to bumble along with you through Google Reader!
Happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. I've been doing a lot of studying on RSS and all that good stuff. One of the things I was pondering today was google reader. Thank you for posting this, you answered my question. I'm off to get google reads. Cheers!