Leaving Facebook means this old dog needs to learn some new tricks

Facebook certainly has a dark side. Perhaps the darkest is its apparently indispensable nature.

For some folks, Facebook might just be indispensable.  Friends that I’ve talked to are actually flummoxed when asked what it would take for them to kick the habit. It’s their one stop shop. Believe me, I can see that. Days into the quit, and I’m feeling it.

Meanwhile, the blog must go on. While Facebook served up more than a heaping helping of suitable news every single day, I’ve got other resources, and I’m starting to add more.

For one thing, I cannot recommend Inoreader highly enough. If you used Google’s news reader and miss it, Inoreader might not just be a replacement, but a huge improvement. The free version that I’d been using until today was, for the m most part, perfectly sufficient for my needs. Today I discovered that the user can set up rules by which new articles coming in that match criteria set by the user can be automatically tagged and even distributed to a handful of other services. In my first experiment with rules, I discovered that the free account only allows for one at a time. So I upgraded to pro for a whopping $4.99/month. To top it off, it has loads, scads even, of sharing options. and it’s own social media component. Now my RSS reader has a learning curve and more power than I know what to do with.  By all means, check it out.

One of the services that Inoreader’s users can send articles to is called Pocket. I hadn’t heard of this one before. Pity that. For those of you who, like me, end up with tons of articles open in tabs that you mean to get to later, Pocket will be a godsend. Add the Pocket button to your browser. Click the button. The article goes to your Pocket account for viewing later. Even better, you can view the article in its original format, or in “article” form, which strips away all the web clutter. Added bonus, as with the Amazon Cloud Reader, you can change the background from light with black print to dark with light print, or sepia with dark print. You can also choose serif or sans serif font as well as change font size. You can also tag, favorite, and share to a handful of services, including one called Buffer that will queue up those articles in your Twitter feed so as to scatter them throughout the day. As if all that is not enough, by installing Pocket on all your devices, the articles you save to read later become available to all of them, somehow webmagically even making them available offline.

Last, but not least, I started up an Evernote account. Another learning curve, but from what I’ve seen, it offers all the power and flexibility I could possibly want as a blogger that seeks to increase the scope and quality of his work over time.

I can’t promise great things in the future. But I can certainly take steps to make the effort. This is as good a start as I could have imagined.


Image credit: Internet Archive Book Images @ flickr.com. In the public domain.



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