These days... it seems you cant really know and support a product well without keeping up on all the blogs surrounding it. Finding and digesting this information, and staying up to date is daunting. It is difficult to find time to go hit all your favorite blogs all the time. I get questions all the time that are documented in mine, or some other blog.... it is just a matter of being able to find the information. Usually Live Search will get you there... but sometimes not.
Well - serious blog readers... use.... well.... just that..... a "Blog Reader". I want to show what I use.... might help some of my customers stay up to date a bit easier.
First... on Blog writing.... I use Windows Live Writer. http://get.live.com/writer/overview It's AWESOME. Well... close to awesome. I wish it had more of a Word Interface for font controls, indent, spacing, etc... but other than that, I love it. It starts up really quick, allows me to paste images, and then publishes the whole thing. I can write a complicated post in about 1 or 2 minutes. If you blog... you should be using it. If you have something you like better - let me know!
Ok - on to blog reading. There are several blog readers out there... some web based... which is cool, because you can log into those anywhere you go. I just never found one I really liked. Until now.
Enter - Windows Live Mail. This is a downloadable program which blows Vista's little "Windows Mail" away. http://get.live.com/wlmail/overview Windows Live Mail lets you connect to your Live/Hotmail email... and any other typical Email account... plus Newsgroups, just like Outlook Express/Windows Mail. However.... it adds RSS feeds to the mix. An RSS feed is how you can subscribe to a blog and stay up to date. Window Live Mail simply connects to the same RSS feeds that Internet explorer uses. Here an example...
Download and install Windows Live Mail. Even if you just want to use if for Blog reading and nothing else. Then, anytime you are on a Blog site you like - you should see a "RSS" link somewhere on it:
Click that.... and that will show you the RSS feed in IE. Then Click "Subscribe to this feed"
Repeat this for any good blogs you like.
You will see - these feeds are now listed in Internet explorer. (ALT + C)
Now - open Windows Live Mail, and click "Feeds" at the bottom. Here they are..... and the cool thing - is that you can easily keep up with daily blog posts very quickly.... by selecting the "Unread feeds". Once you mark all your new posts as read - this will only show you new stuff coming in... from any feed. Works the same way Search Folders does in Outlook.
Using search - you can quickly peruse all feeds.... looking for a specific topic. Here is a search on hotfix:
Anyway.... if you aren't using a consolidated blog reader... or you use Windows Mail/OE.... get this... and get your mail, newsgroups, and blogs all in one place, with really cool search capability.