The way it works is like this… I visit the Bloglines website, where I’ve got bookmarked those sites I want to keep up to date with. When those sites are updated, it shows me the updates on the site, as well as linking to the entries on the actual sites. I also have a notifier in my system tray (down where the clock is) that lets me know when a site has posted an update. It’s been very convenient to remain updated on when any of my favourite sites post a new entry.
Bloglines also has the facility of ‘sharing’ your bookmarked sites so that other people can see them on your own website. Every time you automatically add, edit or remove websites from Bloglines (and the automation is very easy), the blogroll is automatically updated on your site.
A small problem I’ve discovered is that if you stick to this, then it means that you don’t actually visit those favourite websites. How are those authors going to know you were there? They don’t. In fact, as far as they’re concerned, you’ve just stopped visiting their site!
It’s often easy for them to know, because many good blogs have a ‘sitemeter’ which tells who has visited and from where. I’ve gotten a lot of visitors to my site simply from the referral list on other sites’ sitemeters, so I know that a good way of increasing traffic to your own site is to visit other sites yourself.
So RSS feeds is a good idea if you don’t have your own blog, and/or you don’t care about bringing traffic to your own blog. But if you do care, then you need to make sure that you continue actually visiting your favourite websites, just so they know you’re still there, and you’re still interested in them.
The blogosphere, the community of blogs and bloggers, needs you to visit them. And you need them! 🙂
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