Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hints on Following the Vasona Branch Blog

Just as a little side note: I know I haven't been blogging regularly lately. If you've been keeping up by visiting these pages every week, you're probably a trifle annoyed that nothing's changed. Remember that there's better ways to watch for new articles from me than just checking the same link day after day:
  • Twitter: follow me at @rwbowdidge. I always post Twitter entries when I publish a new entry, so you should see a quick mention in your Twitter feed. I also share random comments and links on Bay Area history, so you should regularly see some fun content.
  • Google Plus: I also share new blog entries on Google Plus. Add me to one of your circles to get notifications when new articles are added. I also tend to use Google Plus to share computer-related content, but if you like Google Plus, it might be the easiest way to watch for new articles.
  • RSS Readers: There's a bunch of programs on desktop and tablet computers called "RSS readers" that watch a set of web pages you like for new content. (Don't ask what RSS stands for, just realize it means that you'll see new stuff on websites you care about.) Google Reader was unfortunately my favorite way to follow a large list of blogs, but it was recetly shut down. I currently use Feedly to give me a single web page showing new articles from a hundred blogs and online magazines - some history-related, some architecture related, and some just plain weird.
  • Flipboard and other rss-like readers: Flipboard, an iPad-based electronic magazine reader, takes the RSS reader idea, and makes it beautiful. Flipboard allows you to create a new section for items shared by a set of Twitter users, or that would be displayed to you on Google Plus. You can create a section for a specific Twitter user (press the magnifying glass in the upper right, and type @rwbowdidge to get a section just on my Twitter posts), or a section for a Twitter List (list of twitter users to watch simultaneously), or just have it show all the messages you'd see in Twitter. You can also create your own "magazine section" by adding articles you find elsewhere, and let other people see the items you share. If you've got an iPad and aren't using Flipboard every day, you're using your iPad wrong. I love Flipboard; it's part of my morning read-the-newspapers routine.
And now that you have a way to watch for interesting new blog articles, remember that there's some great historians and model railroaders out there writing interesting articles on tons of topics; check out any of these tools so you can always have a ton of great stuff to read! Some of my favorites include: Take care, and keep your fingers crossed that I write more regularly!

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