Great program for blog-reading.

Those of you who aren’t using Firefox as your browser really should switch. (Unless you’re on Mac OS X and using Safari, of course!) I’ve been using FF for nearly a year now, and I’ve never considered going back to IE for one second.

Firefox renders CSS amazingly better than Internet Explorer; it’s more secure, and it’s lightning-fast. Some pages on my site load nearly three times faster in Firefox than IE!

It offers “tabbed browsing” which allows you to have several Web pages in the same window, instead of a new window on the taskbar for every single page. That might not sound like much, but once you get used to it, you’re never going back! But the best thing of all is the array of extensions that are being written for Firefox, which are easily downloadable from the Firefox Web site, which automatically, painlessly install.

This weekend I downloaded a Firefox feed reader extension called “Sage”. If you don’t know what a feed reader is, allow me to explain. Blogs and other frequently updated sites have “news feeds” in one or more formats?Atom, RDF, or several versions of RSS. (All Blogger blogs come with an Atom news feed, for example.)

A news reader takes the news feed and displays it on screen, and can manage your subscription to all your favorite blogs, let you organize them as you like, and show you when there is a new post.

When you open up Sage in Firefox, It will display all of your subscribed blogs in the sidebar of the browser, along with the titles of the posts. The posts themselves appear in the main window, allowing you to see at-a-glance what’s new. If the feed is summarized, the post, only a short digest will be seen (allowing you to see even more at-a-glance). If you want to leave or view comments, or read the full text of a summarized post, just click on the title of the post. If you just want to view the page in your browser as normal, click on the title fo the blog.

Here are the links and step-by-step instructions.:

1. If you haven’t already, download Firefox

2. Install Firefox, import bookmarks, etc.

3. Install Sage

4. Close and restart Firefox.

5. To start Sage, click on Tools, and click on Sage.

6. To subscribe to feeds, go to a blog you want to subscribe to, and you’ll see a blue “RSS” appear in the right-hand side of the bottom status bar. Click it and it will ask if you want to subscribe to a feed on the page. If there is more than one feed available, it will show. you. My blog is published in two feeds, Atom and RSS. The Atom version will feed the entire text of each post, with pictures; the RSS version will just present the first sixty words, and no pictures, unless you click to read the entire post. Click on the feed you want to subscribe to.

7. A small window will ask what you want to name the feed, and where you want to create it. I recommend clicking on the dropdown and choosing Sage Feeds.
7. Do this for all the blogs you track. You can then organize them however you want, rename them, etc.