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Aug 3
Monitoring the Blogosphere - Part 4: How to Use NewsGator Online
As Part 4 of this Business Blog Wire series on monitoring the blogosphere, we'll discuss how to use NewsGator Online, a popular Web-based feedreader (and the one I use on a daily basis).  Don Dodge shared several months ago why he saw NewsGator as an innovator, and I think that trend of innovation contiues today.

NewsGator Online is free, easy to use, and can help you know whenever someone mentions your name, your company, your corporate blog, your competitors, your stepmother, your industry, etc.  All you have to do is set up a free account, subscribe to some Web feeds and check your feedreader regularly for automatic updates from your favorite sources.

Here are some tips to help you make the most of NewsGator Online.

First, before I forget, click and drag the following words to your browser toolbar area: Add to NewsGator.  Congratulations - you've now got a handy bookmarklet that you can click on to automatically add any feed you come across to your NewsGator Online account.

Next, go to your NewsGator account main page.  We're going to change a few settings to help speed up your feed reading.

NewsGator Logo.gifClick "My Settings" at the top right.
Enable the "Mark items read on view" option.
Enable the "Open links in new window" option.
Disable the "Show the welcome to NewsGator page at sign in" option. 

In the "My Settings" area, you can manage all of your feeds by clicking the "My Feeds" tab at top.  Here you can edit, delete, and copy each feed.  This page also tells you how many feeds you are currently subscribed to.  (I am currently subscribed to just over 200 feeds.  What about you?)

The next tab in "My Settings" says "Organize Folders".  Here you can add, edit, move, and delete folders to keep your feeds organized.

Now shift gears.  At the top left of your account screen, click "Add Feeds" to access several NewsGator feed finding tools.  Here there are four tabs.  The first, "Find Feeds," lets you browse feeds by catagory or find feeds using search keywords.

Bonus tip: Add your own feed to Newsgator's directory!  One more place to promote your blog.

The second tab, "Recommended Feeds," has four pages: Editors' Choice, Recommended For Me, Highly Rated Feeds and Popular Feeds.  All of these options provide new ways of finding feeds to track.

I don't use the "Smart Feeds" tab because I haven't found the options there to be as useful as feeds I get for myself elsewhere.  If you had a different experience, though, let me know.

The fourth and final tab in the "Add Feeds" area at NewsGator Online is called "URL & Import." It allows you to add feeds to your feed reader by entering their Web addresses or by importing multiple feeds in a format called OPML (very handy if you want to grab your own or someone else's feeds from another location).

I know this is a quick and dirty look at NewsGator, but I just want to get you to try it out and have a look around - see what you can find.  NewsGator Online is my favorite feedreader because it's fast, I can access it from any computer, and it suits my needs very well.

As we continue this series on monitoring the blogosphere, we'll get into the details of other popular feedreaders, and we'll also discuss some great blog search engines and how you can put search feeds into your reader to save you even more time.  Time is money for any business blogger, and I hope these tips save you a bit of both.

4 Comments/Trackbacks




I use Bloglines and I really like it. Thanks for the tip about submitting my blog - I just clained my blog feeds. Chad
PS - I put together a feed icon library that you may be interested in. Chad H.

Same here Easton, NewsGator Online is my reader of choice.

Nice job of reviewing it.

What about me? 167 feeds, down from 400 last year. Gotta be ruthless sometimes to keep sane.

I love NewsGator Online - the bookmarket is a great time saver.

My NewsGator page is permantently open in its own tab all day.

And if you use Firefox you can get the "Reload Every" plugin and set it to reload at whatever intervals you want - rather than refreshing it manually.

I got to check the Smart Feeds feature - but basically like yourself I go out and find my own feeds.

Chad, Bloglines is my other favorite - excellent choice. ... Feed icon library? What's this? Genius!

Martin, nice to see that you've slimmed down your number of feeds. It just takes so much time to read several hundred items a day, even though the feedreader makes it much faster than if you were to visit each site individually. I might try that Firefox "reload every" plugin!

Thanks for the tips Easton - I've been using Newsgator for a while now, and your suggested modifcations make it even better for me. Now I just need to do a better job of cleaning up my feeds..... All the best.

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