Gmail web clips

For those among us who have been initiated into the glory, majesty, and GUI that is Gmail, I offer this tip on how Gmail can help you follow all of your favorite blogs (for instance this one!)

It’s called Web Clips.  You probably have noticed that, above your Gmail inbox, there is always some link to a news item from Wired or CNN or ESPN.  Well, what that is is a RSS feed reader, and you can customize it.

Now there are plenty of free RSS feed-following softwares out there, but if you are like me, firewall policies beyond my control prevent their use (which is certainly a good thing).

This page tells you how to insert URLs for your favorite RSS feeds into your Web Clips list. 

To get the URL of this blog’s RSS feed, for instance, click on the red box that says “FULL” below my Categories & Blog Roll in the right margin; the URL you then land at is what you need to copy & paste into the Gmail Web Clip form.

For Blogspot blogs, I couldn’t find a button with a link to the feed, but you might be able to just add “atom.xml” to the end of the blog URL, for instance

http://i-need-sheet-music.blogspot.com/

becomes

http://i-need-sheet-music.blogspot.com/atom.xml

which is what you paste into the Gmail Web Clip form.

Take care also that for some blogs (i.e. Stranger and 111:2) I had to edit out “feed:” which somehow copy & pasted in before the http://

Once I got my blogroll entered into my Gmail WebClips, I removed all of the 3rd party WebClips that Gmail had set me up with as a default.  So now, instead of opening all the different blogs separately, I can use the little WebClip controls to see if any of my blogroll has posted anything new to read.

The only problem is that, even though I deleted all of the Gmail-default WebClips services, Gmail still inserts advertising WebClips.  This is the first time that I have found Gmail’s usually unobtrusive advertising methods problematic.

However, it is amusing to see how Gmail assesses my email traffic to provide relevant advertising.  Anyone want to buy a baptismal gown?

 

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