Ditch Bookmarks; Read Feeds!

James, you’ve created a monster. Thank you… or damn you. I’m not quite sure which it is yet.

James and I had a little session where he taught me how to use RSS feeds. For weeks, he had been telling me, “Harry, you’ve got to get involved. Read feeds. Links are the wave of the future. Blogging is the future. We need the exposure…” I listened. I mmhm and yes’d him to death. “Sure Jamie, I’ll take a look at it. Okay. No problem. I’m on it.”

Truth be told, this was new technology to me. Anyone who knows me (read: James) knows I’m very slow to come around to trying something new. Part of it is the fear of the great unknown and part of it is the fear of looking like a fool while I try to figure it out.

So, James taught and I learned. I now have a huge list of feeds I check several times a day. I’ve taken to commenting and linking like a duck to water.

I have discovered several hidden benefits to subscribing to feeds and having them delivered right to my virtual doorstep:

  1. New Ideas. I’m usually the one to say I can never figure out what to blog about. Problem solved, and practically overnight. The ease of reading feeds provides me with a veritable banquet of ideas. You might say it’s a Las Vegas buffet for topics.
  2. Being Part of the Blogging Community. I have to admit, I used to feel a little envious of James. He was making all these great comments elsewhere. In turn, he had people read his posts on this blog and comment on them. I set myself so much in the background that I became invisible. Now I’m out there too, meeting these people and building a reputation for myself and this blog. It’s still a little intimidating, I’m always wondering, “Am I saying the right thing? Hope I don’t piss anyone off,” or, “I hope I wrote the code correctly so this link shows up.” (I goofed yesterday – sorry, Deb!)
  3. Staying in the Loop. If it hadn’t been for feeds, I never would have learned about Blog Expo or any of the million other things going on in the blogging community.

I’m sure I’ll come up with more benefits as time goes on. So far, I can’t see a downside, other than that reading, posting and commenting is extremely addictive.

If you try it, you might just like it – too much.

[tags]feed readers, feed reading, benefits of using RSS feed[/tags]

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