Saturday, June 12, 2010

Technology tidbits: getting smaller addresses and more efficient news

Having three people between 15 and 25 in the house is a major enhancement to my cyber-skills.  Here are some things I've learned that way.

Tiny Urls
Want to send someone the link to a website--but finding the address (the url)  impossibly long?  To shrink it, copy the whole address and go to  With a couple of keystrokes, can become

Really Simple Syndication for occasional blog-reading
If you regularly check on blogs and other sites with frequent updates, you've probably seen the orange RSS icon (usually much smaller than the illustration to the right, with the name being short for "really simple syndication").

When you're on a page you visit often, click that icon, and you'll get easy steps to create up a link that shows you the updates on a regular basis.

Goog/e Reader for constant blog-reading
As this blog probably proves,  I've been going to many websites many times each day.  Using RSS feeds isn't enough to make that quick work.  Instead, I've moved to Google Reader.

The account is super-simple to create, and free.  If you already have a Google account (or blogger or gmail acount), you can use the same sign-in.  Otherwise, you can set up an account in less than a minute.

Next, you go to each site you want to read regularly, click that RSS icon, and copy the address into the "add a subscription" space on Google Reader. 

When that's done, you can go to your Google Reader any time, and find all the new articles and posts from all your chosen sites.

For example, I get up in the morning and click one link to see everything new from Richard Day, Commissioner Holliday, EdWeek's Politics P-12, the Herald-Leader education page, the Courier-Journal opinion page, and 26 other sites.

I'm still an addict, but the software makes my habit much easier to feed.

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