I have read several blog posts here and there that suggest that there aren’t many good ham radio blogs (or insert specific topic here), and certainly not many that are updated very frequently. This may be the case, the old 80%/20% rule where 80% of the blogs on the Internet are just junk not worth your time need help, and 20% actually have good, updated content.
I thought this was the case until I started utilizing my feed reader in a search format, then I found out that it wasn’t that there were no blogs that had good content, it was that I couldn’t find them. Of course some good SEO would help, but that is a topic for a different post. I am sure everyone has their own list of blogs that they look at, but this is a good way to find those blogs that don’t have such high traffic ratings that everyone can find them, (perhaps because it is a new blog on a new topic [like this one] and it just hasn’t built up a subscriber list yet), one ones that could be just slightly off topic of what you normally read, (and there are tons of those) in any subject or combinations of subjects.
If you look at the screen shots shown here it gives you an idea of a search feed on a reader. I used Google Reader here just because that is the one I happen to use but I have seen other examples of this search function being used and might post some others when I get a chance.
If you are not familiar with a feed reader, or an RSS feed, (also called an ATOM feed) you can visit the Google Reader link above for an explanation. What is different about a search feed than just a normal rss feed you would get off a website or blog is that you would normally subscribe to a specific blog’s url not a search string. For example, this blogs url for the rss feed is http://www.scottfillmer.com/feed (you can also just type in the main address line url and paste it into your reader as well and that usually works).
In stead of a specific url, you subscribe to the search term, and the results are all blogs you haven’t subscribed to before and many you probably haven’t even seen.
Here is a short step by step below using Google’s reader and blog search function as an example.
- Get Google Reader if you don’t have it and subscribe to a few feeds from various blogs using the add subscription link on the left side
- Go to Google’s Blog Search and put in a search term of interest (like ham radio <—- see results from link)
- Do not use the term blog in the search, it will narrow the results to far
- If you like the results scroll to the bottom of the screen (if not start over)
- At the bottom, click on the link that says “Subscribe to a blog search feed for [ham radio] in Google Reader“
- It will then take you to your Google Reader with the option to subscribe.
- It is a good idea to create a folder for the search feeds to keep them separated from your other feeds too.
If you look at the two screen shots here, they show the link at the bottom by the red arrow, and the other highlights the top results where it says related blogs. The red arrow is where you want to subscribe to that feed search term. The results at the top are good blogs to start with if you want to check out the results of the search term before adding it to your reader, but you can always removed it at a later date.
I hope that helps explain how to subscribe to a blog search term in your reader. There is much more to the blog search and I will try to highlight some more features in upcoming posts.