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Monday, 3 January 2011

Keeping up with your friends blog posts.

We all like to keep tabs on all of our friends blogs and to be able to read their latest posts as soon as they are published. However, this can often mean trawling around blogging sites, or in the case of Wordpress, subscribing to them and then keeping up with reading all of our subscriptions.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if every time a friend published a new post to their blog we could not only be informed but read it straight away on our computers?  Well you can do exactly that! Without leaving your desktop, you can see all of your friends blog updates and read their posts just as if you were online! Here’s how.

1.  Firstly you will need to download Windows Live Mail if you don’t already use it. Get it from HERE 

2.  As soon as you have set up your email in Windows Live Mail, you need to set up all of your friends blog feeds to send updates to Windows Live Mail, so next, go to your friends blog site. 

Anne's blog RSS feed in IE

If you are using Internet Explorer as your browser, then simply click on the orange icon and a drop down list of all the available feeds on that page will be listed, so choose the blog one from that list in order to subscribe to it.  Any feeds that you subscribe to in Internet Explorer are automatically added to the feeds in Windows Live Mail.

Here's Anne's feed drop down from the RSS in IE8

3.  Many blogs also contain the RSS feed in the sidebar or in the header. Click on this to access the feeds URL address and subscribe to the feed.  If you are using a different browser than Internet Explorer, then you will need to Copy the URL address of your friends blog feed, so here’s how to do that.

Copy the URL address of the persons feed

4. Visit your friends blog and click on either the RSS icon if it is present in either the browser or the blog page itself and then click on the words in the address bar at the top of your browser window. They will usually change colour so right click and choose to Copy from the drop down list that appears.

Click on the orange icon in WLM

5. Close your browser and open Windows Live Mail on your desktop and select the same orange icon at the bottom of the email accounts column on the left hand side. If you used Internet Explorer to subscribe to your friends blog, the Feed will already be present in the left hand side column. If you use a different browser, then select the orange icon from the ribbon at the top.

Click on the feed icon in the ribbon

6. The Add RSS Feed window will open so place your cursor inside the URL bar in that window and then right click and choose Paste. The URL of your friends feed will then be inserted into the address bar. Click on OK.

Add the RSS feed.,

Your friends blog feed will now be added to the RSS feeds in Windows Live Mail. You can now choose how you view all the posts from that blog, either Ascending (oldest post at the top) or Descending.  Next, let’s change the view of those posts in Windows Live Mail so that they appear exactly the same as if we were viewing them online.

Changing your Feeds

7. From the ribbon interface, click on the File icon at the very top left hand side of the ribbon, and then select from the drop down list, Options and then select the orange Feeds icon on the right.  You are now in the Manage Your Feeds window.

To edit the feed

8. Click on the name of your friends feed. The feeds name will appear for a second time under the first one.  Select the lower second name to bring up the Edit Feed window. 

9. In this window you first need to tick the box next to Show articles as web page, instead of summary. Next you can choose to update your friends feed using your own schedule or the default for updating your emails. Lastly you can choose how many blog posts to show and keep in Windows Live Mail.

Show articles as a  web page

10. Once you are happy with your choices for your friends blog posts, click on OK to exit the Edit RSS Feed window and save your settings, and then click on Close in order to close the Manage Your Feeds window.  Now you can read all your friends blog posts just as they appear online but still from your desktop. Just simply repeat this for every one of your friends blog posts that you like to keep up with whether on Wordpress or some other blogging platform.

The whole post is now viewable in WLM!

After reading your friends posts,  if you decide you would like to leave a comment on that post, then simply click View Online at the top of the post.  You can read all of your friends blog post updates at the same time as you read your emails! How easy is that!

TG   Remember, Windows Live Essentials is all about making your life easier.

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  1. Great info, TG. Who knew all this could be read offline, wow.

  2. That's okay Beth, I am here to help. JennyD Yes,and you can then read them at any time at your leisure.

  3. Technogran, thanks not only for the explanation, but also the very detailed screen captures to show exactly how to do this. I follow several blogs, but not always on the same PC (desktop vs. note book) and may try this method at least on the desktop. You are a great font of useful tech info (but then you already knewv that) and so do we!

  4. Thanks Beatrice. I aim my how-to's firmly at the novice computer user who has either just bought one or not owned one long. Its still fresh in my mind how lost I felt when I first put fingers to keyboard and hand to mouse.

  5. I need could really benefit from something like this as I'm an exspacer too I must have happened by here by some mutual friends, we are certainly scattered now so thanks for your post Tecnogran("-")

  6. Technogran, I have moved my recipe site to blogger. Can you please help me to set up a table of contents or categories. I can't figure this out.
    Thank you!!

  7. Beth do you mean just below the Header or in the sidebar? Where do you want your table of categories? In a post? Can you be more specific please

  8. I would like this in the sidebar. Thanks!

  9. Right. So look at my sidebar and at my categories. Do you want it to appear just like that so that folks can find all your different types of recipes (as a list of some sort) or do you want it to appear like mine?

  10. I would like it to appear as the different types of recipes. Thanks!

  11. Right Beth I will do a post on how to make a list in your sidebar of all of your recipes just for you! It might not be today but I will try and do one this week. Okay?


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