Lately I have had a handful of people ask questions about which tools I use to a.) keep track of all the blogs I read, b.) find awesome new blogs and corners of the internet to read and c) share it all while working a full time job. Therefore, a post on the internet, about the internet, to answer these questions!
My favorite tools for organizing great stuff online:
- For lifestyle, fashion, food & beauty blogs: Bloglovin’- At it’s core, Bloglovin’ is an RSS reader with a pretty user-interface tailored to bloggers and their loyal followers. Most lifestyle blogs have a link or button to their Bloglovin’ page and I’m pretty sure you can link it up with your Facebook. Bloglovin’ is also an awesome way to find new blogs to follow based on your interests. I’ve found it to be super dominated by the ladies of Blogland (you won’t find many males on it). The iPhone app for Bloglovin’ is also top notch. You can get started by following All Things E on Bloglovin’, if you’d like.
- For news, views, podcasts & even more lifestyle blogs: Feedly. Feedly IS an RSS reader and has quickly established itself as the go-to replacement for Google Reader in most circles. I like it because it’s pretty. Articles look awesome in Feedly. Also, Feedly recommends new feeds for you to follow based on the ones you’re already subscribed to and lately, the recommendations have been spot-on. Adding a feed to Feedly isn’t quite as intuitive as it probably should be, especially if you didn’t have Google Reader set up before but once you have it set up, the app is AMAZING and it’s easy to organize everything to make scanning headlines fast + easy.
- For the best of, most interesting content on the web: Twitter. I could go on for ages about how much I’ve learned simply by being an active user on Twitter. I will say this, however: The key to unleashing the power of Twitter is to follow the right people. My approach for this has been to follow a lot of people, use Twitter Lists liberally, and to abandon the fear of someone finding it “creepy” that I follow them. My thoughts on following people you might not know personally on Twitter is this: If they’re making their tweets public, they want people to follow and interact with them. SO, eh, go ahead, follow them. The worst way that this could end is in a simple unfollow. Nobody will be that upset. Need a place to start? For bloggers, check out my Blogger list. For Inspirational People on Twitter, check out this one. There is so much more to Twitter than celebrities.
Now, when it comes to sharing, I have been using a few tools that allow me to have a steady stream of tweets throughout the day even though I really can’t spend the entire day checking Twitter and reading the Internet (ahem, I do have a demanding, full-time JOB, though if you follow me on Twitter, you may not believe me on this).
My favorite tools for sharing great stuff online:
- Buffer. I read a lot online. Probably between 10 and 20 articles per day, plus my fair share of other bloggers’ posts. But the thing is, I usually do it in big chunks. I’ll spend a half hour in the morning before getting into my groove at work. Or on occasion, I’ll sit down late at night and “catch up” on all of my favorite blogs. If I find something I like that others might like, I’ll share it on Twitter. If I find something SUPER GREAT, I’ll share it on Facebook. Buffer allows me to spread out the sharing – so instead of 20 tweets in a 30 minute period, those tweets are spread out throughout the day. I love it. Check it out here.
- Tweetdeck. Using Lists on Twitter really loses it’s effectiveness if you’re only looking at Twitter on your phone or through the normal Twitter website. Tweetdeck allows you to make a bunch of Twitter streams, including streams for your Lists, and has a scheduling functionality. I use Tweetdeck’s scheduling function for my personal blog post promotion. Get yo’self a download of it here. The Chrome App is great too.
As for finding the best corners of the web?
My biggest recommendation is to click on the links in posts you’re already reading (the best curators of the internet are also creators) and to follow a few biggies that consistently create thought-provoking reads: The Atlantic, The Verge, Fast Company, Thought Catalog and Buzzfeed are a few of my favorites.
For fashion/lifestyle/girly bloggers, one of the best ways to find new blogs is to click on sidebar buttons featured on blogs that take sponsors (like this one). I have found some really great blogs in this way!
Finally, for your reading pleasure, I added a “Daily Reads” section to the sidebar at your right… so you can get started on reading some of my favorite blogs, if you’re in the market for a new read.
Well. That’ll do it. Hope this posts enables your internet-ing and makes it more efficient, less time-consuming and extra enjoyable.
What are your favorite tools for finding and sharing awesome reads on the Internet?