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.

Clubhouse Tags: clubhouse, how-to, live mail, RSS, feeds, blog, posts
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About technogran
A granny and a geek? You bet! Still trying desperately to keep up with it all.

25 Responses to Keeping up with your friends blog posts.

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Keeping up with your friends blog posts. « Technogran's tittle tattle -- Topsy.com

  2. Lost in France says:

    that makes it sound really easy. Thanks

  3. jkavanagh58 says:

    I have tried to use Windows Live Mail and Outlook to manage my RSS feeds and it just seems to miss the mark with me. I loved the my.live.com but when they pused that to my.msn.com with its limitations (i.e. the number of pages you can configure) I have primarily relied on google reader to keep current. While I wish I could dump all of the google services, I have found I can’t break away from Google Reader. Thanks for the article and I think it is very useful.

    • jkavanagh58 says:

      I have tried IE as well. Since I use multiple computers I still find Google Reader is the best as it keeps up with what feeds you have read, plus allows starring, sharing and emailing. There were a few competitors but all have seemed to fade away. I really wish there was an alternative to Google Reader but for now I will continue using it basically because it provides a quick list of all unread within going into each feed and even more important keeps what I have read synched so I don’t have to go back over all of the items when I get onto one of my other machines.

      • technogran says:

        As always John,it all boils down in the end into how we all use our PC’s and how many we have. I just own one, and although I have a mobile, I don’t go online with it ( too expensive for this pensioner!) so for me it makes perfect sense because I don’t have to ‘share’ or ‘sync’ with anything else.

        It explains as well why I don’t show much interest in any ‘syncing’ applications as they are never necessary. The big question of course is how many users are there in exactly the same position as me, and how many users are exactly the same as you, and more importantly for those who make all the decisions which way to go with their apps and software, who is in the majority?

        • Winston says:

          One could easily make a case that just about any other RSS capable reading application surpasses WLM usage solely due to the time frame that other readers have been in use on XP, Vista and continued use on Windows 7 and other capable o/s or devices. XP’ s primary reader would be browser or third party based since it largest email client base would not be WLM(14 yrs of loyal OE usages drives that picture), Vista’s pretty similar save Windows Mail which is RSS capable; Windows 7 (while void of an email client), its unlikely that WLM has significant penetration to override user’s past preferences for browsers and 3rd party clients for RSS. WLM is quite capable as an RSS client, but its doubtful that users like you(or maybe even John) are in the majority….once thing is certain, imo, the majority are not using WLM :)

          …winston
          msft mvp mail

        • jkavanagh58 says:

          Very true. I think your post is great and probably applies to a larger circle of users than fit into my scenario. I think WLM and even IE9 are capable RSS readers, my only point is if you need/want a way to centralize it, using a local method may not fit.

          • Winston says:

            A little late in responding.

            A local method may not be the one size fits all. I’ve tried all the MSFT options and find that I prefer RSS subscribing via IE but continue reverting to Outlook 07/10 for the majority of RSS ‘reading’ over WLM or IE8/9. That preference is primarily due to my use of other Windows Live integrated features that Outlook supports (Outlook Hotmail Connector) and the Outlook Social Provider for Messenger) allowing me to read/browse/absorb (take your pick) a variety of different content in a single client.

            ~w

    • technogran says:

      John I don’t use Outlook at all. Only Windows Live Mail. Do you use Internet Explorer as your browser? If so, all of your RSS feeds that you subscribe to in IE will automatically be synced with Live Mail. Do have another go with this by following this post. Its such a useful way of keeping up with friends blog posts and also any other website you want to keep track of.

      • jkavanagh58 says:

        I am not questioning the useful nature of the post. Yes on a machine, IE and Windows Live Mail use the same feeds repository so changes made from one application will effect how the feeds look in the other application. If I used a single machine I could rely on IE and Windows Live Mail. I use multiple computers as well as multiple operating systems and throw in a smartphone. The IE/Windows Live Favorites is stored central to a machine. Yes you can change the folder location so that multiple machines can access it but even that does not address being mobile. RSS feeds are a great tool for monitoring the items we care about such as friends, tech news, local news, etc and your solution is great, I am just saying that other options might be necessary.

      • jkavanagh58 says:

        It’s been a long time since this article started but wondering if you have seen Feed2Mail.com? You still get your rss feeds in your email but it wouldn’t be client dependent. Then you use your auto-routing to collect the blog posts in corresponding folders/tags.

  4. Pingback: Geek Squeaks’ of the Week (#93) « What's On My PC

  5. penpusherpen says:

    great blogging update advice there TG, thanks … xPenx

  6. quikboy says:

    Great article. Have you tried the IE9 beta? I’m pretty disappointed, but there’s no way to add a feed, directly from the IE9 browser. It’s very annoying.

    I also do use Windows Live Mail as my feed reader, though I kinda wish Microsoft would offer an online version, in conjunction with Hotmail, so I can access it from anywhere, and hopefully syncs back the ones I’ve read, flagged, and whatnot. Kinda like Google Reader…

    • jkavanagh58 says:

      When you say there is no way to add a fee in IE9 what do you mean? I am just asking because Feeds is pretty much the same implementation as part of IE Favorites and if you enable the “Command bar” instead of the pure chrome interface there is a Feeds icon that will turn orange when Feeds for the current page are available.

      There are also some add-ons available from ieaddons.com, the RSS Feeds Toolbar being one of them and doing some quick testing works pretty well.

    • jkavanagh58 says:

      Since the Release Candidate has come out, have to tried IE9 for RSS feeds? It is there it’s just not obvious. Use the “Alt” key to display the menu bar, if you go to the Tools menu there is a Feed Discovery function.

  7. technograns says:

    And I access my RSS feeds via Windows Live Mail because I don’t want to bother going ‘online’ to access them, preferring that Windows Live Mail fetches them down to me on my desktop so that I can read them at my leisure along with my emails. Its’ so much easier and quicker this way, and I am all for ease of use.

    • jkavanagh58 says:

      I understand the no going online preference. Not to harp on a Google service but using Seesmic desktop would offer a similar “presence” and include Google Reader as well as the social media streams without browsing to and logging into facebook, twitter, linkedin, etc… Personally I use a Google reader app on my Windows Phone but use my browser when near a computer.

  8. shadowcass says:

    wow…and here I thought that just having friends in Messenger Social was enough to keep me up to date since it tells me whenever they add to their blogs.

  9. alexis says:

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  10. Raven of Leyla says:

    This is the best blogging advice EVER, my dear!!! I will be so using it now, as I have had such a challenge to keep up with blogging and commenting. Easy and Simplified….thank you thank you thank you! :lol:
    love and warm feathery to you xx

    • Technogran says:

      Glad to be of help. There are other ways of course of keeping up via RSS, but how many of them allow you to read the whole post on your desktop or offline? THAT is the main thing that other commenter’s miss. Google reader is okay but its just the headlines of people posts and it looks fussy and busy so I don’t really like it. I prefer to read them from my email client on my desktop at the same time as I read my emails.

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