Blog Post Roundup

Keeping Up With Blogs: Read ’em with Google Reader

By Posted in - How To & Spring 2012 UMW Tricks on February 10th, 2012 4 Comments

Part of your class participation credit in ds106 is commenting on the work of other students in the class (you are doing that, correct?). But with 26 blogs in this class, and a few hundred more on the main ds106 site, how to you know where to go?

Be smart- use the syndication tools that your blogs automatically create and an RSS reader such as Google Reader. This provides an easy way to quickly see what is new without even visiting the blog sites.

I made a screencast for how to do this:

Of course the starting point is having a free google account. Every Gmail account comes with the suite of tools, including Google Reader.

You can add blogs one at a time, say.. like this one? Copy the URL, click the SUBSCRIBE button, and paste it in. One at a time. You can find all of the student blog URLs for our section on the right sidebar on

There is a more efficient way, and it uses another file format structured for subscriptions, OPML. I have assembled all of the feeds into one “bundle”, from there, or also on this blog’s front sidebar, you can find a link to download the OPML file.

Download that file!

Then, in google reader, go to settings (under the gear menu in the top right), and click on the import tab. Choose the file you had downloaded, upload it, and SHAZAM! You have just subscribed to all 26 blogs from this class.

By having them in one folder, you can either scan all 26 at once, or click an individual blog url to read just one person’s updates. If you click on the title link from the main pane, you will go to that blog post, which you will need to do to add comments.

I forgot to get it in the screencast, but I prefer the compact view, where I see just the blog post titles, and ones on bold are ones I have not seen. To toggle this mode, click the right button (stacked lines) in your reader main view toolbar.

This is how I keep up on all your work, and this is what you should use as a basis to choose where to spend your comment energy.

For a basic overview of what makes this work, see the Common Craft video, Google Reader in Plain English

Reader helps you with the ABCs- Always Be Commenting

(4) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Liz - Reply

    February 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    This was enormously helpful, thanks for putting this up!

    As a side note which may be helpful to some people: I’ve been using this as a way to keep track of my comment activity as well. Wherever I leave a comment, I star that post in Google Reader. Then I can go to starred items and have a list of all the places where I’ve been commenting. Presto participation organization! May not be practical for people who use this for reading other things, but all I’ve got going on is ds106. It’s been a lot easier than trying to organize comment subscription emails in my inbox.

  • Jonathan Worth (@Jonathan_Worth) - Reply

    February 13, 2012 at 3:40 am

    This is great and I’m passing it on to the students in my picbod class too – thank you.

  • […] made a screencast for how to do this …. the rest of Alan Levine’s post can be found […]

  • Today’s Design Activities | ds106 tricks - Reply

    February 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    […] Blog Comment activity: find your method of tracking. Try Liz’s idea to star in Google Reader […]

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