For those of you familiar with RSS feeds and Google Reader, you can stop reading now. For everyone else this short post is a CALL TO ACTION.
If you are passionate, dedicated and committed to your practice area then you are already receiving updates from PLC or one of the other subsription services. But I wonder how many of you have worked out what that orange shaped button is at the top right of your browser? Or better still opened up a Gmail account and started using Google Reader to find and subscribe to all your favourite sites, Twitter feeds, Facebook news or anything else that comes with a regular update from the web? Too few that’s for sure judging by the number of lawyers I have spoken to lately who haven’t got the foggiest what I am blathering on about.
The thing is if you are using the web to search sites – using Google or Bing etc – then you will find a history whereby you are either looking at the same sites or those that are in a similar category; but it is so damn time-consuming.
Google Reader streams all your favourites and better still makes suggestions of other comparable sites. In that sense it is a bit like Stumbleupon. RSS is not quite as good and to be honest if I was going to start afresh then I wouldn’t have spent any time with RSS.
Google Reader also allows you to stream your own firm’s news to your computer. Why would you want to do that? Well, it means if people start following you on Google Reader (I will deal with this in a subsequent post) then you can hit the ‘share’ button at the bottom and it will send it round to those people. In other words it is a way of syndicating your news. You can also bookmark what you find with the a star system. I find this helpful if I really like something but perhaps I haven’t got time to fully read it or more likely it requires me to do something with it.
How long does this take? Less than 5 mins to set up your account but perhaps a bit longer if you want to get an all singing and dancing affair. But the power that it gives you is immense.
Once you add a few subscriptions and a few Twitter feeds you will realise how much time it can save you but better still if the plug-ins have been enabled correctly on the site that you like, you will be able to use those from Google Reader. What do I mean, well in the case of my blog I have Posterous, Tumblr and Delicious all enabled and that means I can do everything from my Reader rather than having to dash around various sites. Again this is a way of syndicating your content and by heck it saves some time.
If you have a few minutes this weekend then set yourself up with a Google account or if you have one then go and sort out Reader. It may be the best 10 minutes you spend.
For more on developing profitable business, innovating in professional practice and implementing social media, subscribe to the RSS Feed of my Blog. Follow me on Twitter at @0neLife, or @Ju_Summerhayes connect to me on LinkedIn or friend me on Facebook. If I can help you or your practice, check out my coaching and consulting firm via LinkedIn, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 075888 15384.