Five reasons your nonprofit should be using Google Reader
So you've created a branded Facebook Page, started tweeting, and got your LinkedIn Company Page humming. A great way to build engagement via these online platforms is to post interesting content that's relevant to your audience. Searching all over the internet for content can be a huge time-suck. Lucky for you there's Google Reader - a great tool that can help you find good content all over the web in a short amount of time. Here's five reasons your nonprofit should consider using a RSS reader:
Checking 20 sites for new updates every day would take forever (imagine all those open tabs and the inevitable distractions!), but when you sign up for Google Reader (requires a Google Account) you can have all the latest updates come to you through the magic of RSS (Really Simple Syndication). How does it work? When a website or blog makes an update, Google Reader captures the new information and pulls it into a central feed. Google Reader will do this for every website you subscribe to, allowing you to browse updates from several sites in one central location.
There are probably several local nonprofits in your area that you like to keep up with - to compare notes, identify partnership opportunities, etc. Subscribing to their websites’ feeds is a great way to get all the latest news. Click on the RSS feed button that usually looks something like this:
As a self-professed internet addict, I have many, many sites I like to stay up-to-date with. However, I want to keep separate the sites I check for work versus my friends' blogs or my favorite cooking sites. Google Reader makes it easy through the use of folders.
In addition to organizing separate types of blogs and sites, folders can also help you to stay focused on different tasks throughout the day. For example, I have a folder I use for high volume aggregators (sites produce a huge number of updates every day) that I only check briefly in order to grab a few interesting articles to share with my own followers. I have a separate folder for fellow nonprofits and individuals in my professional peer group - these are blogs and sites that I may want to follow more closely, comment on or otherwise engage with on a deeper level. By keeping my feeds separate, I can help keep my time balanced between finding interesting content to share and making meaningful connections with others.
In the end, I like Google Reader because it allows me to control my browsing of the internet, while staying up-to-date on all the latest strange things, helpful how-tos, insightful nonprofit reports or just random hilarious videos.