Okay, before everyone piles on to me about this blog, I know for the vast majority of us “social media types” this is beyond 101 content. This is not written for you It’s written for this massive wave of new iPad users here at EMC (and partners) that are trying to get their hands around keeping up with today’s conversation around “next generation datacenter” and “IT Transformation” – how about that for buzzy catch phrases – and the massive amount of change happening within IT. I’ve been sitting in more then a few Quarterly Business Reviews, as well as sales training with sales teams and what I’m hearing and seeing is a sincere desire to read and try to absorb as much info and content as possible. Just like any other tradecraft, sales people work on honing their sales skills. This blog post is written specifically for them (and others that might find this useful).
My first assumption is you have an iPad/iPhone/Android/WindowsPhone/Blackberry, or some other tablet device and you probably starting to use it more and more for business reasons. Don’t get me wrong, it has angry birds, HBOGO, and Facebook but you also have things like Evernote and Salesforce.com apps like Chatter etc that you use for business. The next app you want to install is something called an RSS aggregator. As you know, EMC sends out a ton of content, both marketing and blogs etc and our collective inbox fills up fast and it’s hard to keep up with everything. Sometimes we create rules and folders with our hope that at some point we will read it all but we never do. An RSS aggregator is simply a tool you can use to collect some of this information on your iPad to read at a later date. For instance, I catch up on a lot of content on planes as well as when I’m laying around the couch on the weekends trying to get out of doing all the “Honey do’s” my wife has for me This is usually the perfect time to catch up on a couple of blogs.
So, I use a combination of Google Reader (www.google.com/reader) which is what I use to manage my RSS subscriptions as well as an RSS reader on my iPad. The net-net, when you subscribe to a blog, you are essentially agreeing that as they update and add content, it will be pushed to you or in my case, it’s pushed to google reader. If you are new to all of this, just plow forward with a standard google reader account. It’s actually tied to your google account you probably already have for gmail so this should be REALLY easy !!
I’m going to walk you through 2 things. First is how to subscribe to a blog, and second is how to setup you iPad or device to read what you are subscribing to. Feel free to skip the first part if you already know how to subscribe.
Lets use Chad Sakac’s VirtualGeek.Typepad.com as the test bed for your first subscription. Let’s assume you already have a GMAIL or Google account. Here are 2 different ways you can subscribe to a blog site.
1. Go to Chad’s blog and look on the left hand side of the window, you will see “Subscribe in a reader” link. – Click on it.
2. This will take you to a page that will look something like the picture below. Click on “Add to google” (again, assuming you have a google account)
3. This takes you to another page – click on “Add to Google Reader” – you might not see this page unless you’ve already logged into Gmail or Google. Feel free to log in and then you should see this screen.
4. At this point, you are done. You have subscribed to Chad’s blog. You can do this on pretty much every blog site, or website that offers this form of syndication. Just look for the RSS logo on the site !! Lets move on to another way to subscribe.
The other way to subscribe is within Google Reader itself. let me walk you through that short process. You might find this a lot easier when you are first setting up Google Reader.
1. log into to www.google.com/reader with your account information and you will see a RED Subscribe button. Click on it:
2. Do a quick search for a blog, or persons name. In my case, type in vTexan and click Add (this will actually do a search) with the results on the right hand side
3. It will then present you the results of your search and you can simple click on the subscribe link
4. Once you click on it, you will see it change to subscribe.
That was pretty easy and painless right !!
So, now you have some choices. What I like about Google Reader is it allows me to have 1 site that manages my RSS feeds and opens me up to opportunities to take advantage of really good RSS readers on the market today. I use NewsRack for my iPad <http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/newsrack/id288815275?mt=8> as my RSS reader of choice but I know a few people that really like FlipBoard < http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flipboard-your-social-news/id358801284?mt=8 > and I’m sure a few others will chime in about the ones they like as well. In fact, I encourage my readers to post in the comments section.
Let’s assume you are going down the path of using NewsRack to read your RSS feeds from. Download it from the link above and then launch NewsRack on your iPad or iPhone/Tablet/Laptop etc.
1. On the iPad – click on the circle wheel thingy (technical term) on the bottom right hand side of the window. It looks like this:
2. Next click on Sync Settings:
3. Next fill in your google reader/gmail credentials.
Once you have that all setup, you will see NewsRack start filling up with the content you subscribed to. It’s that easy. Now, each time you find yourself with a little free time, you can just click on NewsRack, it will sync up all the unread information and you can start catching up on the latest and greatest info. By the way, Flipboard might interest you in that you can sync your Facebook, Twitter and various other content into it and it’s like flipping through a magazine. The good news is with Google Reader, you can try out all sorts of RSS readers without having to spend the time subscribing in each one of them. You just use your Google account and it does it all for you. By the way, you can get RSS readers for just about anything OS, not to mention Outlook has this capability as well.
So, get out there and start subscribing to blogs !! Again – specifically for the EMC’ers and our partners – a great first place to start is here: http://www.emc.com/social-emc/index.htm – click on the “all EMC Blogs” to get a good start. I will tell you not all EMC Bloggers are listed, but like I said, it’s a good first start. If you are looking for VMware content, check out http://blogs.vmware.com/ for a good list of bloggers that contribute. On the left hand side of the page is the official VMware blog roll that you can pick and choose from.
Good luck and if you run into any issues, feel free to leave comments below !!