Introduction and Help With Blogs

Hello there, I just wanted to introduce myself here on the blog. My name is JR Rozko and I am TAing along with Wess. You can contact me at “jrrozko at gmail dot com” (everything is spelled out to avoid spam. You can also visit my blog at lifeasmission.com. I recently finished an MAT degree here at Fuller with an emphasis in a missiology of Western culture.

For those of you unfamiliar with blogs, there is a lot of good help out there and I will be happy to assist in any way I can. I wanted to mention another feature of blogs that you might find useful.

Blogs come with a feature called RSS feeds. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Basically, what this feature allows you to do is subscribe to as many blogs as you would like through a feed reader. The feed reader will then alert you when each blog has been updated. This way you don’t have to remember to check all the various blogs that you want to read to see if they have been updated (I currently subscribe to over 50 rss feeds to blogs of friends, tech stuff, news, sports, etc., can you imagine if I tried to remember to check each one!) It is very much like email.

Feed readers come in either online or desktop versions. Online versions you can access from anywhere and desktop ones are specific to your computer. If you have a mac, Safari has a built-in feed reader. Also the web browsers, Firefox and Flock, both which can be used on either a pc or a mac, have built-in methods of collecting and reading blog feeds. While there are feed readers which cost money, most are free and incredibly versatile.

Here is a good wikipedia article on feed readers (aka. aggregators).

If you do not want to use a feed reader that is integrated into a web browser, there are still a number of feed readers you can choose from, but since so many of you are familiar with Google and their services, I would recommend Google Reader. It is very easy to use and can easily be added to a Google Homepage if you are familiar with that.

Click here to be visit the Google Reader home page. If you already have a Google account simply enter your information. If not, it is free and quick to sign up.

Once you are logged in and on the page, it is simply a matter of entering the web addresses (URL’s) that you’d like to add. Simply click on add subscription, enter (or paste if you are copying addresses from the class blog) the web address, wait for it to load, and then create (if you want) a folder to add it to.

That’s it.

Now whenever you visit your Google reader home page (maybe you will want to create a bookmark for it) you will see whether or not the blogs you entered have been updated and you will be able to see their content.

If you use a Google Homepage, simply go there, click on “Add Stuff,” search for Google Reader, and add it to you home page. Now, when ever you see your Google Homepage you will be alerted of new articles on the blogs you subscribe to.

We are hoping that this facilitates even more interaction and dialogue with regard to the content of the course among students. Please fee free to email me with any questions. I am happy to help.

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