Saturday, December 03, 2005

Use bloglines to compete

This article is about the number one most useful thing a business person can have today -- a news aggregator.

It will be a news aggravator if you don't do it right. There is something new on the web called RSS - (really simple syndication). It can be very confusing, however.

I've tried several services and methods -- here is the easiest and best that I teach my students to use. I have found the best use of RSS is to sign up for an account like bloglines and subscribe to the information that interests you.

Here are the steps:

1) Go to
The only required is an e-mail and password

2) Set up your free account
Remember, use another password other than your e-mail password -- some folks think that is what they are asking for-- it is not!

3) Pay attention to the choices when you are signing up -- they will help you pick the most popular choices in the categories you are interested in. However Do not select everything! You will become buried in information and not know what to do. (If you want to see my blogroll-- just go to and look at my blogroll. I read most of these daily, so check out my three blogs for what I think is going on.)

4) Go into your account! You will be tempted to start reading everything, but everything is marked to be read! It is just not realistic that you will sit down and read 200 articles unless you really have some time on your hands -- I strongly suggest clicking "Mark all as read." (I also do this when I've hit the highlights and won't read again until tomorrow - it prevents info overload.)

5) Wait a little while -- surf -- or wait until tomorrow. Then you can go back into your account

Learn to add feeds
The true power of bloglines though is in adding feeds. You can subscribe to this feed, for example. Here is the easiest way!

I prefer to use the "Sub with Bloglines" button that I've conveniently placed on the toolbar of my web browser. Then, when I find a blog (like mine) that I want to subscribe to -- I can just click that button and it takes me through the process of adding the subscription.

The easiest way to do add this button is to scroll down on the startup page (after you've logged into your account -- you'll see your feed list on the left and on the right a page that says Home > My Feeds)

You will scroll down until you see the words Subscribe to It -- then a link that says "Subscribe with one click from your browser toolbar."

Click on the link and follow the instructions! (Two steps) Then you can go to my blog, or any other blog or page with RSS and add it to your bloglines account -- just click on the button on the toolbar.

Use folders
It will then ask you what folder to add it to and other information. I highly recommend making folders to organize your info. When you do that -- just click on the folder on the left that you have been created and bloglines puts EVERYTHING in that folder together -- your news from the New York Times will be put in with the news from the WSJ and your Google news -- easy as Mrs. Smith's apple pie!

Check daily

Bloglines will notify you when there is new information -- just click and read.

Integrate with Google

I particularly like the feature in google where you can make a search-- you can then subscribe to that search through Bloglines -- when new search information arises, you're there! I've done this with Google News -- I find it to be much more comprehensive than the New York Times and it links to all of the articles on that topic.

Just e-mail me with your questions! If I have enough interest, I may do a class to help you set up your accounts over Christmas -- it would take about an hour. Get out there and get competitive!

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