Hopefully, you’re already browsing topics in the Reader to find interesting new sites, as well as tagging your posts appropriately to help others find you. The Reader can be a little overwhelming, though — especially in popular topics like “music,” “technology,” and “fashion,” where dozens of new posts are added every second. How do you get to the good stuff?
You could spend hours a day trolling the Reader at the expense of spending time with family and friends, eating, and basic hygiene, but not everyone is willing to forgo showers for blogging. The key to unearthing the gems is getting creative with how you use the Reader. Here are my top three tips for honing in on great posts and having time for lunch:
“Science” is a pretty broad topic. “Black Holes” is a lot more specific. If I want to find an interesting physics read, I find it a lot more quickly under “Black Holes,” “Singularity,” “Quantum Mechanics,” or even “Time Travel” (a personal favorite of mine). Ditto if I’m looking for a food blog — “Baking,” “Desserts,” or even “Chocolate Cake” gets me to goal a lot faster than “Food” or “Recipes.”
(Note: as a blogger, I’d still recommend that you tag your posts with the broader topics, but mix things up with some more focused tags as well.)
One of the reasons I love the blogosphere is the glimpse it gives me into others’ lives and experiences. I could look in a topic like “Life,” but I could also spend the seven thousand hours it would take to scroll through all those posts to solve climate change or watch a Top Chef marathon. Instead, I look for emotions, like “Frustration” or “Excitement,” or for terms related to life experiences, like “Moving” or “Mistakes.”
Think about what other tags might relate to the topic you’re interested in. If you’re looking for advice on dealing with unemployment, try “Job Hunt” or “Resume.” If you want advice on what beer will go best with your dad’s famous bean dip, try “Ale” or “Lager” instead of plain ol’ “Beer.”
Above all, remember that it’s your Reader — you can add and subtract topics as often as you like. If a topic’s a dud, get rid of it. Update it with current event-related topics for great opinion and analysis. We’re not looking at what topics you search, so try whatever you want; we’re not judging.