Saturday, August 27, 2011

Internet Tools: Google Reader

Its come to my attention that a lot of really intelligent people aren't familiar with the concept of feed readers.  I'd like to change that, if possible, just so you guys know how much easier they can make your internet life.

I am a big fan of RSS readers, particularly services such as Google reader that are integrated into my browsing experience.  I was introduced to RSS feeds as a way of following my favorite oft-updated websites a few years ago when I was still a Mac user, and I haven't looked back.  I realize that there are other sites such as Piperka that allow subscribers to follow their favorite webcomics, but with few exceptions, I find Google Reader better suited to my browsing habits.

Google reader is a free service, all you need is a Google account, which you can create using a variety of ways.  You don't even need a Gmail account to register.  Once you have your account, you can start adding feeds.  In the address bar of most browsers, there's a little orange button with radiating signal lines.  That's the feed button.  When you click it, there should be a few options.  Usually it's 'follow this feed', 'follow comments' and an option to allow you to follow it using Atom.

The screenshot is mine, the website is http://www.loveelycia.com/

I selected the RSS option.  The next page you'll see is:

From there you're going to select the dropdown to Google reader and click subscribe.

Go ahead and select Google Reader again.


This is what MY Google Reader looks like.  I've been collecting feeds for the past four or so years, so there's really a lot.  I am particularly interested in art feeds, webcomics, and fashion/style blogs, so that's mostly what's on my Google Reader, but you can use it for anything that interests you and is updated on a regular basis.  If you're interested in checking out what I follow, you can actually subscribe to my Google Reader Feed, and check it out.  This'll save you four years of internet hording, if you happen to have the exact same interests as I do.

My Reading List

HOW I UTILIZE GOOGLE READER:

1) Inspiration:  I'll often sketch as I read.

2) To keep up with what's going on

3) To organize my online reading

I find that following the work of other artists helps me improve at a faster rate.  Comparing myself negatively does nothing, but when I am able to look at art objectively, I can often see ways I can improve.    A positive outlook on your work is important to your growth as an artist.  You do not have to like everything you do, and becoming complacent and overly satisfied is bad, but you need to feel a sense of pride.  You work hard at what you do, and you need to respect your work and effort, even if no one else does right now.

I began following fashion blogs because my character Remi is a fairly stylish girl, and at the time, I was most definitely NOT stylish in the least.  I didn't have a clue about what looked good and what did not, and I knew I needed help.  Fashion blogs have made me more conscience (in a positive way) about how I look and how I dress, and now I take pleasure in my wardrobe.  So much pleasure, in fact, that I want to share it with you in the near future.  Anyway, if you're interested in doing comics, it really helps to know what REAL people wear.

Now for the pathetic part.  If you haven't done so already, please consider adding me to your feed reader.  I promise, this blog is only going to get better.