Friday, March 15, 2013

Flipboard {a reasonable way to read blogs!}

Blogs are the best thing to happen to speech-language pathology since Van Ripper. Ok. Maybe there have been a few good things in-between - but you know what I mean. Never has it been SO easy to find new therapy information. 

But... do you need a bloggervention? Are you spending too much time trying to keep up with all the good information? Don't worry, I've figured out a great way to keep up with the dozens of good speech therapy blogs without needing to attend BA (bloggerholics anonymous)! RSS feeds help you by pulling the newest information from every website/blog you ask it to monitor, compiling one source with updates from each blog you 'follow'.

Whether you're addicted to speech and school blogs, home decor blogs, foodie blogs or mommy-blogs, Google Reader has been the go-to RSS feed to keep up with all that goodness! You might have heard this week that Google is closing down Google Reader starting in July 2013. I wrote this post before that news came out, but luckily I have the perfect solution for you to save those subscriptions! Flipboard! This tutorial will show you how to get signed up and use Google Reader, import into Flipboard (an iOS app) and then be all set for when Google Reader goes to internet Heaven in July. 

You're going to start with a free app "Flipboard." Go download that and it'll be ready for you when we get to that point.  Flipboard is like a personal magazine of all your own interests. It can pull in your Twitter, Blogs, Favorite news articles, etc. You 'flip' through the 'magazine' by swiping your finger. 

The other thing you'll need is a google account. Google Reader, although on the way out the door, is a great way to get organized and imported into Flipboard. With google reader you 'subscribe' to blogs. The great news? Once you sign into Flipboard and connect your current GR account,  Flipboard will save those subscriptions for you. And you'll be able to add to them - making Flipboard your new RSS Feed! 

Here's what my Google Reader looks like. You can see updates from Blogs I follow. The arrow is pointing to the list of subscriptions (blogs I follow.)

Ok, so now you have Google Reader. Let's follow some blogs! On the right side of my blog you will see this widget. Click 'Join this site'.

A box like this might pop-up, then you can click on Follow This Blog. Viola. You're a follower and Speech Room News posts will show in your Google Reader.

Now lets move on to step 2. Open the new app that you downloaded called 'Flipboard'. This is going to give a magazine type feel to reading blogs (and more). I use Flipboard on my iPhone, but you can also do it on your iPad. 

Sign into Flipboard with your Twitter and Google Reader accounts. 

Here's what Flipboard looks like. The 'gear' you can see in the bottom right corner, is where you can log-in to your google reader account. Click on the Google Reader square. 

From there you will be able to flip through and 'browse' all the blogs in your google reader! Mine includes an assortment of SLP blogs, home blogs, beauty, and more! You'll see 1-2 images per page with the title of the blog and one picture. If you're interested in reading the entire article, just click on the picture! 

While it looks like a ton of steps, using Flipboard is super easy and FREE. It makes catching up on your favorite blogs each week super easy! The perfect 5 minute activity when you're waiting in line at the grocery store or when you're waiting for the water to boil for dinner!

Use another RSS feed? Don't worry you can always use Flipboard to read those - just tap on the red ribbon and search! 

If you're looking for a great place to start and find SLP blogs, the SLP Blogs Bundle from Sean is a GREAT! You just click and get over 70 SLP blogs inserted into your Google Reader. Then you can unsubscribe from any of those that don't fit your needs. Easy! 

I'm sure I'm not the only person searching for other alternatives to RSS feeds now the GR is on the way out - if I find something I plan to use after Google Reader I'll keep you updated! For now, I am happy I'll be able to save my current subscriptions - but not sure how Flipboard will allow me to edit my subscription list once GR goes away. 

Does anyone else use Flipboard? What other ways do you read blogs?