Have you heard about newsreaders and blogs and RSS and all that stuff, but don't know how to read those things? Are you leery about installing software on your computer? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, Google has the answer for you. Best of all, it is a free solution.
Google has launched a new service called Google Reader, which allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds and news sources, including the daily edition of this newsletter. Google Reader does not install any software in your computer; all you need is an Internet connection and a regular web browser. It works well on Windows, Macintosh, and Linux systems. Google Reader also works well on dial-up connections. (An RSS news feed is especially valuable to those on slow Internet connections as it delivers more data per second than a regular web page.)
Google Reader is easy to use. If you don't know what news feeds you want to subscribe to, simply enter a word or phrase such as "genealogy" or "Eastman's newsletter," and Google will find news feeds that match your search terms. Then it asks if you want to add the item(s) found to your subscriptions. At any time you can return to Google Reader to read the latest articles on the news feeds you have subscribed to.
Google Reader is available free of charge. You do need to have a Gmail account, however, as you are asked to log on with your Gmail user name and password. Of course, Gmail is also free, so that isn't much of an imposition.
To try Google Reader, go to http://www.google.com/reader
Here are a few genealogy-oriented news feeds to get you started:
Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter: http://www.eogn.com/index.rdf
EOGN's Other News: http://eogn.typepad.com/othernews/index.rdf
Genealogy Blog: http://genealogyblog.com/wp-rss2.php
Mac Genealogy: http://www.macgenealogy.org/feed/rss/
You can probably find another hundred or so genealogy-related RSS news feeds, as well as others on almost any topic conceivable. You can use the search capabilities built into Google Reader to find those of interest to you.