Google – Reader, Alerts and Aviary

Do you keep up with your industry specific news?

I do, and Google  makes it possible.

First step: set up a Google account.  Simply go to and create a new account.

Next, set up your Google Reader.  Go to the My Account tab (upper right hand corner).  Find the Reader link.  Follow the directions.  Here is a great explanation from Google about what RSS feeds are, and how you may find them useful.

What are feeds? I see “RSS”, “XML”, and “Atom” out there, but I don’t know how I might use these links when I find them.

Feeds are a way for websites large and small to distribute their content well beyond just visitors using browsers. Feeds permit subscription to regular updates, delivered automatically via a web portal, news reader, or in some cases good old email. Feeds also make it possible for site content to be packaged into “widgets,” “gadgets,” mobile devices, and other bite-sized technologies that make it possible to display blogs, podcasts, and major news/sports/weather/whatever headlines just about anywhere.

What Does This Mean?

You may recognize the universal feed icon or these “chicklets” from your favorite websites, blogs, and podcasts. These icons represent content in any format – text, audio or video – to which you can subscribe and read/watch/listen using a feed reader.What’s that?

Why is This a Good Thing?

Technology evolution in online publishing has made it really easy to not only publish regular updates to web-based content, but also keep track of a large number of your favorite websites or blogs, without having to remember to check each site manually or clutter your email inbox. You can now streamline your online experience by subscribing to specific content feeds and aggregating this information in one place to be read when you’re ready.

    • Consumer Bottom Line: Subscribing to feeds makes it possible to review a large amount of online content in a very short time.
    • Publisher Bottom Line: Feeds permit instant distribution of content and the ability to make it “subscribable.”
    • Advertiser Bottom Line: Advertising in feeds overcomes many of the shortcomings that traditional marketing channels encounter including spam filters, delayed distribution, search engine rankings, and general inbox noise.

Third step – set up your Google Alerts. Google explains it well.

Google Alerts are emails/rss feeds sent to you when Google finds new results — such as web pages, newspaper articles, or blogs — that match your search term. You can use Google Alerts to monitor anything on the Web. For example, people use Google Alerts to:

  • find out what is being said about their company or product.
  • monitor a developing news story.
  • keep up to date on a competitor or industry.
  • get the latest news on a celebrity or sports team.
  • find out what’s being said about themselves.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You enter a query that you’re interested in.
  2. Google Alerts checks regularly to see if there are new results for your query.
  3. If there are new results, Google Alerts sends them to you in an email or puts them into your Google Reader

Google has an application called Aviary that is a photo editing software and its free.  It lives in the cloud – and the picture of me above was created using Aviary.

Reader, Aviary and Alerts are just two things Google has to offer.  Browse your account and find more that just might work for you.

2 Responses to Google – Reader, Alerts and Aviary

  1. Deb says:

    I love the Reader and Alerts. I put my kids’ names and my business name in the alerts so I’m notified if any of them show up in the news! Sometimes I get overwhelmed by the Reader though, if I don’t keep up I can have over 500 blogs to read in a few days! I haven’t tried Aviary yet, thanks for the tip.

  2. Deb says:

    Deb –
    You’ll find that in Reader, you’re not reading everything. We get better at sorting over time!


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