Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Monday, October 4, 2010

How do I know what's new in the genealogy world today?

There are a number of programs called aggregators. These aggregator programs do all the work for you of going out onto the Internet and gathering any changes in posts to websites and blogs. Google Reader and other similar programs are also known as feed aggregators. They may also be referred to as feed readers, news readers, or rss readers. (RSS stands for really simple syndication). Aggregators reduce the effort needed to check a number of blogs or websites for any updates or changes by automating the process and creating a virtual personal list of headlines. Personally, I use Google Reader as an app (application) on my iGoogle page. Every time I log onto the Internet, from any computer, including my iPhone, I can see a list of the updated websites and blogs in my reader list.

I must admit, sometimes I get behind in even reading the headlines. But normally, I review the list several times a day and save off by bookmarking any articles or news events that appear interesting. Most of the time, I review the saved articles for comment or ideas. I do not have time to look at all of the many, many articles and posts that get listed by Google Reader every day, but I read enough to stay in touch with what ever is going on that day. This all takes time. But it takes far less time than searching the web and trying to open individual websites.

Many websites and blogs (most blogs) have an RSS feed link. This allows the user, like me, to subscribe to the posts and/or comments on the webpage or blog post. Once you subscribe, any posts to the website or blog will appear in your reader. I once subscribed to a major technology website. Unfortunately, they posted about 50 or so posts a day! I finally had to un-subscribe because there was no way I could physically read all of the titles every day and still keep up with the genealogy posts. Here is what my Google Reader looks like on my iGoogle page:
It is uncharacteristically empty. Google Reader is a Google App. On the Google start up page, there is place where you can sign in or register. Once you register, you can create your own iGoogle page and add Google Apps. Here is a snapshot of my iGoogle page showing where you click to add stuff to your page:

If you click on the above image, you will see the "add stuff" link. One of the apps you can add to your iGoogle page is the Google Reader. If you need more explanation, do a Google search on Google Reader and read their very basic instructions.

That is how I keep up with what's new.

No comments:

Post a Comment