This post originally appeared at Librarian in Progress as part of an assignment for class.
So one thing I tend to not talk a lot about is my avid following of Webcomics. Whenever someone brings them up, I am all over that conversation like jam on toast.
Overall, I follow 54 webcomics and 5 blogs, not including the webcomics I follow on Tumblr (3) or the blogs I follow for my MLIS course (47). “Wait a second, you liar,” I imagine you’re thinking at me as you check your WordPress notifications. “You’re not following my blog.” Well, to some extent, you’re right. I’m not following your blog through the WordPress platform because it’s not what I’m used to and it can’t follow my webcomics. Instead, I use an RSS feed reader. (What a mouthful!)
“What is an RSS feed?” you may be asking. I’ll just show you an example: http://www.apparentlyapril.com/feed/ It’s a big ol’ mess, huh? Sorry about that, some websites format their RSS feeds using code, but I’m just too lazy. This is an HTML representation of the posts on my website, but it’s not organized in a way that’s easy for me to read.
“Well how is this helpful then?” Well, you find an RSS reader. Personally, I use Feedly. First things first, you should probably sign up. After all, a Feed reader isn’t very useful if you don’t have a way to get back to the feeds you’ve saved. Next you’ll want to add some RSS feeds! The easiest way to do this is to copy the URL of the website you want to follow and paste it into Feedly’s search bar. For the most part, it will find the feed pretty quickly! Unfortunately, some websites aren’t as compatible, although that is less and less of a problem as websites like Feedly become more popular organizational tools for those of us who follow a lot of websites. You’ll have to dig a little deeper than I’m willing to go in this post for those kinds of websites, but it is (often) possible.
One of the best features of Feedly, to me, is the ability to change the website’s display in your Feedly account and add it to a category. I have three categories: Blogs, Comics, and MLIS. Sometimes the webcomic I’m trying to follow has something weird in their RSS coding that makes the title show up as something other than the comic’s title in Feedly, so it’s handy to be able to change how it shows up in my Feed.
Once you’ve followed a few feeds, you can quickly view everything you haven’t read by returning to Feedly! I alway go to the “latest” page Feedly offers and have it organized to show only Unread and Oldest First! (You can change the settings of the Feed’s display by clicking the gear-cog at the top-ish right of the page.)
There’s a lot to explore in the world of RSS feeds, including reader services, this is just the one that I like the best! (After Google Reader, which is no longer available. :'( )