One of the early things that you recognize on this ActiveRain blogging network is that is a very good thing to SUBSCRIBE to others. Subscribing is a way of saying, "you have very interesting and valuable content and I want to make sure to see your upcoming posts too!" Members of ActiveRain can subscribe to other members. When you do that, your "Blogs" page comes alive with activity with lots of good stuff for you to read each time that you check back in. When I first joined AR, I wrote a post called "You've Subscribed - Now What?". This is going to be a newly revised version of that post with certain insights that I've gained along the way since then!
Let's use the example of me signing on this morning to see what has happened since I checked in last night. I go to my "Blogs" page first and this is similar to the "inbox" analogy if we compare it to getting email. This view shows you the order of the persons with new content, newest on top and each blog entry is time stamped. So we see that we have some "late night" bloggers and some very early bloggers too! (BTW, there's a group called "Late Night - Early Morning at ActiveRain" (founded by Vegas Bob) - I think these friends of mine should all join! :)
So I see that the lights are on all hours at the house of ActiveRain! Our "inbox" view gives an idea of who has been posting recently, but it doesn't tell us what they have written about. So I usually head next over to the link that says "Subscribed". In that view, we will see post titles and introductory descriptions. That way, we can pick and click the posts that sound most interesting to us.
There is another view of your subscriptions that you may or may not know about. It is called the "Social Blog" view. What is great about this view is that it lets you see whole posts without needing to click in, click out, click in. It is such a timesaver! It really is great for seeing all that your AR friends have been up to. We all know how much hard work goes into each of our posts. I love to see the hard work and great information from others. You are bound to see things that you would have otherwise missed in this view! The way to get into the "Social Blog" view is to go to "My Home" and then notice it on the left-hand sidebar menu. Since it is a favorite way to view, I have also put it onto my AR custom toolbar for easier access!
And though I have MANY MANY worthy subscriptions, the twelve gold stars from this morning's check in that you see above are Andrea, Dorie, Ginny, Karen, Barbara, Jay, Kathy, Michael, Cheryl, Laura, Kristine, Richard - I highly recommend you check these folks out and consider subscribing yourself! :)
Finally, one other way to watch your subscriptions is to use a RSS reader. My favorite reader is Google Reader. This is a great way to see all the recent articles in an easy to read list view so you can see what you might otherwise have missed if you weren't watching at the moment that it flew by on the newsfeed. If you want to learn more about using RSS, see my article RSS Feeds in Google Reader
Keep in mind that "Members Only" posts will NOT show up in RSS so they will not be visible from the RSS reader vantage point.
Well, what are you waiting for? Go check out these different views of your subscribed to bloggers and go see what new and interesting articles we have next to read! =)