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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Check back every Monday for tips on topics from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.
Jess Stratton and welcome to Monday productivity pointers. A news aggregator is an app that takes the content from your favorite websites and blogs and pulls them down for you in an easy to read way. Over the day the aggregator will periodically check these sites to see if there has been any new articles. And if there has it'll pull it down for you and it will wait until you're ready to read it. You don't even have to go to the original website to view the content. You can read the content right in your favorite newsreader.
Think of it as a magazine that's been created just for you. It uses technology called RSS feeds, which stand for Real Simple Syndication. Google used to have a product called Google Reader, which they discontinued after years of use. So thousands of Google Readers finally flocked to an app called Feedly to use as their news aggregator. Feedly is like the most interesting magazine in the world, because it's one that you've built, and it's custom tailored. That's why I like it. I can come to my Feedly from all the sites that I've added.
And read all the articles that I care about. Over time, I can add sites and put new ones in. So as my interests change, so does my own personal magazine that I built with Feedly. So today I'm going to show you how to install the browser extension, so that you can start adding all your favourite sites to Feedley and build your magazine. I've got my website open, I'm using Chrome, and I've got it set to feedly.com. So right at the bottom of the screen, I can click get Feedly for Chrome.
Now, this will work with all browsers. But if you use Chrome or Firefox, you'll get some additional goodies that you don't get with other browsers, like Internet Explorer or Safari. So after I click that link, I'm going to click add to Chrome to keep going. And, I want to select add, so now Feedly's going to give me some options. I can explore how Feedly works, import from my old Google Reader if I was using that. Though you certainly didn't have to be using Google Reader to use Feedly. I'm going to click Log In.
Now, I'm already logged in to my Google account, so you'd either get prompted to log in if you weren't already. Or you can click Allow Access if you're already logged in. So, here's my existing Feedly account that I already have. It's slightly built right now because I'm using it with all the sites I like. This is what it looks like, so this is my magazine. So here's my featured articles for today, here's all the sites that I've added to my Feedly over here on the right. On the left is where I can navigate through Feedly. These are some categories that I've already set up.
Now I'm going to show you how to do that in the next video. This video were focusing on how to start adding content to Feedly. There's are a few different ways you can add content. For example, in the top left I can click Add Content. That's the quickest way to get started. So, there's a few ways i might know the direct URL of a particular feed that I want to add. It will end with the file extension rss and that's how you'll know that it's a web feed. You can also put in a URL directly, such as Gizmodo.
Hit Enter, your search results will come up. Now I could do that, but the last way that I could do it is to just put in the title name of the site. For example I could have just put in Gizmodo. So Feedly is smart enough to know what I am looking for. Now you'll see that for any site, you can see how many subscribers it has. So clearly a site with a lot of subscribers, you can tell that it's probably a quality site. You can also tell what key words go along with that, so you may decide to add those. So this is all well and good if you know the site that you want.
What if you just looking for some good content for your magazine, and you want to know what's out there. You can also type a subject. For example, I can type cooking. I can see the amount of subscribers under all the results that come up to know if it's a quality site, to know if it's a site I want to subscribe to. So when I find one that I want, I can click the plus sign beside it. And that's going to add a new source that I've selected to my Feedly. I can change the title if I want.
I can also place a checkbox here to add it to my must read category. This means that it's important to me and it will show up in a different view on the left hand side. And this is a good option, say if you like to come and go through your Feedly while you're having your morning coffee. You could put it in your must read category. Now you can also add additional categories. For example, these are categories that I've already setup. So you could add it to one of those, or you can create a new category. For example, cooking. So I can click Add way down at the bottom of the screen when I'm all done.
It'll add it to my content. And now I'm going to click My Feedly at the top left here, to go back and see what it did. Here's my new cooking category. And here's all my articles that are sitting here waiting for me. So, if I want to read an article at any time, I can click on it and start reading. Now, it's pulling this content directly from the site. I can also tweet it and add it to social networks and email it to people if I want to also. I can also click on the title and it will take me directly to the website.
So that's how you can use an aggregator like Feedly to custom build your own personal magazine. You can have all sorts of things that you want to read. You can scroll to only certain categories and only certain blogs, go through and see what's there. They'll all be sitting here waiting for you until you can come and read them. So you never have to feel like you're going to miss any of your important content.
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