Consumption and creation of blogs for newbies

A number of my readers are new to the world of blogs and blogging, so I thought I would post a few tips to help them get up to speed.

Reading blogs is fun - but subscribing to blogs is even better. Perhaps you have your favorite blogs bookmarked and from time to time you click through your bookmarks and look for new posts. There is a better way.

You can subscribe to all of the blogs that you follow in one place. As soon as new content is posted to any of the blogs that you have subscribed to it will be collected and ready for you to read. That way you never miss a post and you don't waste time loading a blog that hasn't been updated.

In order to subscribe to blogs you need an RSS Reader. I use which is a web based RSS Reader. With a free account on bloglines you can subscribe to an unlimited number of blogs. Then to see what new blog posts you have to read you just go to one place - bloglines. Since it is online you can check from any computer - it is similar to checking your email on a website. Another good option is to use Thunderbird to subscribe to blogs. In case you aren't already using Thunderbird for email, let me just say that it has all of the features of Outlook Express but is much better.

Once you have your RSS reader setup, you just need to find out the address of the RSS feed for the blog you want to subscribe to. Most blogs have a link in the menu or at the bottom. Mine is on the side - the link looks like this:

You can paste that link into your feed reader (For bloglines you do that here). Bloglines also has some special forms that help you find feeds if you are having trouble.

Once you start reading blogs you might want to start writing them as well. Start by adding some comments to the ones that you are already reading - authors love feedback. Almost all blogs let you post comments. Then go to and get your own blog. Its easy, looks great and completely free - thanks to Google.

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