This post will take us a little bit further into Google Reader by way of the settings. Here’s the video from Ed Dale:

Google Reader – Part 3

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to get started using to Google Reader. You’ve signed up for a few feeds and you’ve started using list view to get through your feeds faster.

Let’s take a peek under the hood and give it a few tweaks – to start, log in to your Google Reader and click on the “settings” link in the upper right corner:

Google Reader - Settings

From the Settings > Preferences tab you can set:

  1. Language
  2. Start page
  3. Scroll Tracking in Expanded View
  4. Navigation Pane Display
  5. Confirm when marking all as read

The key setting here is to set the start page to “All Items – as shown below:

Google Reader - Settings-Preferences-Tab

Google Reader - Settings-Preferences-Tab

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Next up, the Subscriptions tab – here you can really dig in and manage the feeds you are subscribed to.

You can perform various searches from the search box in the upper right corner.

Google Reader - Subscriptions-Tab-Search-Box

Google Reader - Subscriptions-Tab-Search-Box

You can also “add to folders” or create a new folder from the “add to folders” drop down menu
In addition, you can delete a feed or you can rename a feed.

Google Reader - Rename-Delete-AddToFolder

Google Reader - Rename-Delete-AddToFolder

You can select multiple feeds and perform “more actions” from the drop down menu – like adding or removing tags – for search and filtering purposes.

Google Reader - More Actions Menu

Google Reader - More Actions Menu

The example given involves adding a tag to the feeds you follow for a particular niche – this technique will give you extra search leverage later on. It sounds like we will hear more about this as we get into the thirty day challenge content in August.

Ed also touches on the issue of having multiple Google Reader accounts to cover multiple niches. His answer – and it makes sense – just keep one Google Reader account. It’s organizational capabilities combined with its search functionality will be more than enough for you to be able to keep track of lots of feeds from lots of niches.

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Let’s look at the “Tags” tab:

You’ve got tags that you can make “public” or “private” – you may want to keep some of your niche information “private” – here’s the place to do it.

So far, I don’t have any tags like Ed does – guess I’ve still got a ways to go…

Google Reader - Tags Tab

Google Reader - Tags Tab

You can view the public page of your shared items. You can also email a link and add a clip to your site. We’ll get into this later in the challenge – teaching you how to use Google Reader as part of your internet marketing arsenal. For now, we’re more concerned with getting used to using it.

Now, on to the “Goodies” tab:

At this point, we won’t be covering or using anything in the way of these goodies – unless you are lucky enough to have an iPhone. I hear the implementation is brilliant!

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Moving along, let’s click on the “Import/Export” tab – if you’ve been using another feed reader, this will be pretty crucial – and pretty painless.

A lot of people, myself included – have been using Bloglines as a feed reader. And now, I get to “Say Goodbye To Bloglines” by exporting my feeds as an OPML file so they can be imported to Google Reader.

First, I’ll open up a new tab so I can log-in to Bloglines.

Google Reader - Bloglines

Google Reader - Bloglines

Then, on the left side – I scroll down to the “Additional Features” section and click on the “Export Subscriptions” link.

Google Reader - Bloglines-Export-Subscriptions

Google Reader - Bloglines-Export-Subscriptions

From there, a dialog box opens called “Opening export.opml” I want to save this file to disk – (my desktop) – so I select that option and click okay.

Google Reader - Opening-Export-OPML-dialog-box

Google Reader - Opening-Export-OPML-dialog-box

Now that the export.opml file has been saved to my computer – I just click back to my Google Reader Tab – where I’ve left the “Import/Export” dialog open…I browse for the file and click “upload.”

Google Reader - Import-OPML-file

Google Reader - Import-OPML-file

I love it when a plan comes together… Now instead of 3 feeds, I have the 75 I know and love…

Google Reader - My Subscriptions

Google Reader - My Subscriptions

That’s almost too easy – can I just say thanks, Ed? – Thanks Ed!

By the way, this will work with any feed reader that will export your subscriptions as a .opml file. Nowadays, almost all will…

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The last tab in our Google Reader Settings is the “friends” tab.

Google Reader - Friends Tab

Google Reader - Friends Tab

We won’t be doing much with this tab for now – there are ways to maybe use this within your teams, but for internet marketing purposes – we’ll be using other, more effective tools…

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Back to Google Reader – one of the major issues with feed readers in general is that once you read a post, it goes away. If you decide you want to read it again, you pretty much have to go to the blog – which means you just left your feed reader.

With Google Reader, the items don’t get deleted. You can mark them as read, and still find them later. Oddly enough, with Google being “pretty good” at search technology – now that your feeds don’t get deleted from your reader, you can search and filter through in several ways.

You can search through all items for a particular keyword or phrase. You can also filter through posts that you’ve read or starred or shared – there really are a lot of filtering options for this. If you’re new to this, it may not matter much – but when you’re following feeds across several niches, this will be a powerful resource for you.

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“One other thing” – Google is pretty good at determining “relevancy.” Based on the kinds of feeds you are subscribed to, Google can help you find additional feeds that may be relevant to you. And they do it from the “Discover” link:

Google Reader - Discover

Google Reader - Discover

Once you have added several feeds to your Google Reader, try clicking the “Discover” link and see what kind of feeds Google suggests. You may be pleasantly surprised…

Now, on the one hand, you don’t want to get in over your head – there’s no point getting overwhelmed with feeds. But on the other hand, Google Reader makes it so fast to scan through posts and so easy to manage and search through your feeds – Ed basically says, “Go for it.” I guess all I would add to that is 1) Know your limits 2) Use good judgement 3) Prioritize 4) Make sure you’re focusing on taking action.

You can learn and learn and learn and learn – if you don’t do anything with that knowledge, you’ll never get where you want to go. Focus on taking some action every day. You’ll be learning specific action steps throughout this year’s Thirty Day Challenge – the best thing you can do for yourself once you learn them…is to take them.

Here’s an action step you can take away from this post – go hug someone you love. 🙂

And if you appreciate this post, please take a moment to spread the word…

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I have a confession to make, I don’t have a Mac.  I would like a Mac.  I would really like one very much – but for now…I don’t have one.

When I ordered this laptop, they said – “Dude, you’re gettin’ a Dell.”  I’ve been happy with it so far – but when the time is right…I want a Mac.

Why should you care?  Because in today’s video, Ed talks about setting the preferences in Flock….and shows you how to do it on a Mac.  But, I don’t have a Mac – so, I’ll do my best to show it being done on a PC.  The differences are minimal anyway.

Here’s the video:

How to Configure The Flock Browser

First, we’re assuming you’ve already installed Flock.

Second – as a reminder, you should go through their tutorials to learn more about Flock and how to get the most out of it.

For current FireFox users – you may notice, some of your FireFox extensions come through.  But this session is mostly about how to set up your Flock options or preferences.

On a Mac, you would go to your >Flock>Preferences Menu.
On a PC, you would go to your >Tools>Options Menu.

Here’s what you’ll see on the Main Tab of the Options Menu:

Flock - Options - Main Menu

From here, we can set up things like: where Flock starts and your home page.  In addition, you can tell Flock how you want it to handle downloads – and you can make Flock your default browser.  Aside from forgetting to check the box to make Flock my default browser before I took that screen shot (whoops) – the picture above shows how I set up both computers for Stephen and myself…

Since the Thirty Day Challenge emphasizes action steps – here’s how I’d break this down

1) Select where Flock starts – Ed recommended the “Show my windows and tabs from last time option” – you can go back and play with this, even change it later if you’d like…

2) Enter the home page you’d like to start from, if applicable.  For instance, you might like to start with news from yahoo.com or google.com – wherever you’d like your browser to start…

3) Tell Flock how you would like it to handle downloads – check the “Show the Download…” box – tell Flock the default location you would like to save files to.

4) Make Flock your default browser.

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Moving right along to the <tabs> section:

Flock - Options - Tabs Menu

As Ed says, “Tabs are fantastic!”  He’s right – new pages should be opened in a new tab.  I agree with Ed – it’s easier to manage several websites from tabs, than to try and scroll through multiple windows.  Again, the settings shown above reflect Ed’s recommendations from the video.

Here’s the steps:

1) Click on the “new tab” option

2) Check both “warn me…” boxes

3) Leave the “Always show…” box unchecked.

4) Check the “When I open…” box. – So far, so good…

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Onward – to the <Content> Tab:

Flock - Options - Content Menu

I think all of these were left at the default settings, at least for me – but here are the steps.

1) Check the “Block pop-up windows” box

2) Check the “Load images…” box

3) Check the “Enable Javascript” box

4) Check the “Enable Java” box

5) Check the “Enable Digg flyout” box

You could play with Fonts & Colors – the video doesn’t really cover anything about “File Types” – which probably means, it’s irrelevant – at least for now…

Ed does mention that most of this right now is “technical set-up” stuff – we’ll be learning more about how to use it and why some things are done certain ways as we get into the challenge.

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Moving forward to the <Feeds> tab:

Flock - Options - Feeds Menu

THIS IS BIG!!! – It may seem like a little thing now, but you’ll see 🙂  We won’t be using the Flock Feed Reader – instead:

1) Click on the “Subscribe to the feed using” option

2) Choose “Google” from the list

Simple enough – it will become apparent later on how much time you just saved yourself.

Sidenote: Ed mentioned the term “Girly swots” – If you’re not familiar with that term, this might help:

Girly Swot

Someone who works extra hard, who goes that extra mile. If a typical thirty day challenger is looking for one, two or three umbrella phrases, the girly swot will be looking for a fourth. Now that I think about it, posting to this blog is kind of a “girly swot” thing to do…

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Next up – the <Searching> Tab:

Flock - Options - Searching Menu

It’s pretty obvious what this tab is going to be about – so here are the steps:

1) Select your default search engine – Ed picked Google, so did I…

2) For the “Live Results” – which is kind of a supplemental search – Ed recommends selecting the “Favorites and Recently Visited” and “Technorati” option.  He does make mention of using some of the other options – particularly for US users maybe trying to find items or products.

3) For the “Include In Search Elsewhere” – Ed had Ask, Google, Amazon, Wikipedia and eBay checked off – that’s all I could see from the video – feel free to play with these.

The more places you’re searching, the more results you’ll get – of course, that’s more data to have to sift through.  I guess it depends on how you want to look at it…

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Now, by way of demonstration – Ed shows us Michelle Macphearson’s Social Marketing Blog – I’m not sure if he was going to have us subscribe to her feed – or if it was just a way to demonstrate tabs.  But she does have a feed you can subscribe to – and she does know what she’s doing…

From there, Ed takes us to his Underachiever Life Blog – and shows us how to subscribe to his RSS feed and get that feed into Google Reader.

One more example – we zip over to the Thirty Day Challenge Blog – and get subscribed for that RSS feed as well.

This is all done with the assumption that you already have a Google Reader account – if you don’t – no worries.  We’ll learn all about getting a Google Reader account set up a few lessons down the road.  You can refer back to this post and use the links to get subscribed to those feed at that time…

Here ends the lesson – go hug your kids…

If you appreciate this post, please take a moment to spread the word…

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