Tag Archives: bloglovin

Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: Feed Readers

21st March 2013

bloggiesta

Hello, bloggiesta-ers….bloggiesties…BLOGGERS! I hope your Bloggiesta weekend will be productive and fun. As most of you know or have heard, Google Reader will no longer be available after July 1, 2013. What to do? Agh! Instead of panicking, check out this primer. I did the research so you don’t have to! I’ve taken the most popular feed readers and checked out what they look like and what they do. Depending on how important a number of elements are to you (availability of apps, pure RSS, ability to view original blog), you can make a decision below.

Some biases to be aware of: I disliked pure RSS because I enjoy seeing the individual blog. Therefore, what I may see as a benefit, you may see as a drawback. However, I detail what each one is, so you should be able to distinguish. I also use minimal organization within my reader, so if you want more bells and whistles, look for that within the descriptions.

For instructions on how to save your Google Reader feed, check out Charlie’s post and scroll to the bottom.

Here we go:

Feedly

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 10.07.05 PM

Benefits:

  • Powered by Google Reader, so you have the same data/support Google gives to all its products, and same goes for if you already have a gmail account.
  • Has an app.
  • Easy to share posts through Twitter or on your Facebook account, directly from the site.
  • Also, aesthetically pleasing with links opening in a new window. The beauty of this is you can actually see the website.
  • Ability to manage blogs via folders and tags.

Drawbacks:

  • Must be installed on your computer. This could be viewed as a benefit because you can instantly add a site to feedly using a bookmarklet; however, this isn’t easily accessible from all computers – say your work computer when you need a 15-minute break.

Import: Feedly has worked on a transition just for the GR switch, called Normandy. If you switch before July 1, 2013, you should be able to “migrate seamlessly” – go here for instructions.

Feed Demon

Benefits:

  • Simple customization but similar to Google Reader – very technical, not so attractive.
  • A bit primitive.

Drawbacks:

  • Again, must be downloaded.
  • If you’re not a techie, there are LOTS of different tools you may not need and that may inhibit your viewing.

Download: Download Feed Demon here.

Bloglovin

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 10.10.52 PM

Benefits:

  • Simplicity.
  • Aesthetically pleasing. (I’ll be honest, this is the feed reader I currently use and adore.)
  • No installation. Just log on to see your favorite sites.
  • Easily customizable.
  • The dominant image and a teaser of the post is shown Click on the link, and it opens the site in a new tab. Love. It. (And no, they don’t pay me to say that).
  • Ability to view blogs in folders, alphabetically, or by date updated.
  • Has an app.
  • Once you open one site, Bloglovin gives you a utilities “frame”, from which you can “share” or “favorite” the post or click to the next post in your feed. That way you aren’t opening multiple tabs. It’s quick and easy.

Drawbacks:

  • Few bells and whistles. If you are used to mass data and organization options, this won’t be your feed.
  • Also, Bloglovin’ was originally a fashion blog aggregate, so there are occasional ads at the top for fashion blogs.

Import: Import your feed here.

Newsblur

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 10.16.23 PM

Benefits:

  • Lots of customization and organization.
  • You can view the original site or just the plain RSS.

Drawbacks:

  • Newsblur is free for up to 64 sites or $1 a month for unlimited access.
  • Not as intuitive because of all the options available.

Import: Import your feed here.

Bloglines

Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 10.19.44 PM

Benefits:

  • Familiar to many.
  • Simple to use.
  • Traditional.

Drawbacks:

  • Signup required instead of immediate import.
  • Since changing hands, has less of a reader feel.

Create account: Sign up here.

WordPress

 Screen shot 2013-03-14 at 10.22.01 PM

Benefits:

  • Perfect for those with WordPress accounts (keeps all data in one place).
  • Aesthetically pleasing.
  • Opens blog in new window.
  • Gives preview of post.
  • Ability to share post within reader.

Drawbacks:

  • For those looking for a pure RSS reader, may not like.
  • Not ideal for non-Wordpress users.

Import: Go here to import your feed.

Blogger

 Screen Shot 2013-03-19 at 11.19.27 AM

Benefits:

  • Perfect for those with existing Blogger accounts.
  • Opens blog in new window.
  • Gives preview of post.

Drawbacks:

  • No ability to share post or favorite it.
  • No customization options.
  • No settings to change blog list/viewing options/folders.
  • Not ideal for those without existing Blogger accounts.

Import: Visit site here and click “Add” – this will give you the ability to import your feed.

Challenge: Post about your first impressions and which feed reader you think you’ll like. That way, if you’ve experienced any others or have tips, others can benefit! Link your post below for a chance to win a $15 gift card to Book Depository.

New Social Media Buttons

10th March 2012

Just a quick post today because you may or may not have noticed that I got new social media buttons in the sidebar over there. For a while now, I have been really tired of my design and wanted a total rehaul of my site, but you guys, whoa, is it expensive! There are a lot of other things I need/should spend my money on right now, so I decided maybe I would just redo my social media buttons because I had a random collection of them and felt it looked disorganized. So I thought, Hey! Why not create some myself? You know, there are a lot of things I can do, but apparently, graphic design ain’t one of ’em. I knew exactly what look I wanted, but using the tools in the right way to do it? Not so much. Instead I spent hours and hours using different sites and looking up icons and ended up with nothing usable. So I did a little search and came across Natalie from Moxietonic. She’s really, really reasonable, and she’s super fast and easy to work with. I’d highly recommend her if you’re looking for social media buttons, a blog button, or a header.

Anyway, since Google Friend Connect is supposed to go away for non-Blogger blogs, I thought I’d give a short explanation as to what all those buttons over there do. I know not everyone will use them all; for example, I’m not an RSS reader and love Bloglovin’, but to each her own. Here’s the breakdown of those icons over yonder:

Top Left: GoodReads

 

Top Right: Twitter

Second Row Left:RSS

Second Row Right: Google +

Third Row Row Left: Pinterest

 

Third Row Right: Facebook

 

Bottom Left: Email

 

Bottom Right: Bloglovin’

 

So get busy and follow me! It’s a command! Ok, not at all, and I know this post is sort of narcissistic, but whatevs. It’s Friday. It’s raining and cold. I’ve graded essays all. damn. day. I’m needing some attention. 😉

Hope your weekend is fannnntastic!

The Picky Girl’s (Brief) Guide to Feed Readers

29th June 2011

RSS, Google Reader, what the whaaaa? If you don’t have a blog, you may wonder: What the heck IS a feed reader? There are a bunch of buttons to the right of this post, giving option for readers to follow the blog (and I’d love it if you did), but I also know all those buttons can be confusing if you don’t get what they mean.  So I thought I’d do a short primer on feed readers.

But first, why would you want to follow a blog[s]?

If you don’t have a blog, you might just like finding sites randomly. I did that when I first started blogging. I bookmarked what felt like a zillion different sites and visited each when I could.  Also, you can click the little “mail” icon over in the sidebar and sign up to get emails when the blog updates, but if you follow a lot of blogs or hate email like I do (unless it’s your blog comments), do you really want your email clogged like that?

Choosing to follow a blog is not a huge commitment. You can unfollow relatively easily, but following a blog means you are taking part in a conversation – which is why bloggers love getting comments when you want to join in.

Plus, what if you see a really great idea for your kitchen cabinets, or a good book you want to remember, or a vacation spot with tips to get good deals? Do you want to chance losing that information?

Using a feed reader can help in all these situations.

A feed reader essentially streamlines the “bookmark” process I described above. You input information into the feed reader (either the URL or site name), and it pulls new posts from the blogs/sites you follow…automatically. You can “like” or “favorite” posts you want to remember. You can even organize the different sites based on category. That way, if there is one category you only want to check periodically, it won’t show up in your daily stream.

How do I find blogs?

You’ll notice at the top of this page a menu bar. One of those pages is named “Blogs I Follow.” Unfortunately, it’s not 100% accurate as I add blogs weekly, but it’s a good place to start. Find a blog you like, then figure out where their blogroll (list of blogs they read) is. Keep clicking and while away a few hours. Or ask me. Maybe you don’t like the kinds of books I do but still want good recommendations. You can also check the Book Blogger Directory for that.

So why all the options with feed readers?

Come on, look at how many cell phone options there are; we lurv having options. Some people like the ultra-techie options. Others (like me) want it to look pretty and be easy to handle.

Below are some of the most popular feed readers, and if you don’t use a feed reader already, I hope this helps you in some way. I really enjoy being able to get on the computer and find all my sites in one place.

Google Reader

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits: Very organized with lots of data and ways to sort that data. If you have a gmail account, you already have access to Reader. It’s in the top toolbar on the left when you log in to your account.

Drawbacks: It’s not very attractive and doesn’t really show you the “personality” of each blog – one of my favorite parts of blogging. Also, you have to use a plug-in (whaaa?) to be able to comment on a blog from Google Reader.

Why I stopped using it: It worked, but I didn’t love it. I commented less because it wasn’t simple. I didn’t like the boring “RSS” font. [Insert random “picky” joke here.] Once I discovered there were others out there, I jumped ship relatively quickly.

 

Feedly (I am considering using feedly because of some of the extras)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits: Powered by Google Reader, so you have the same data/support Google gives to all its products, and same goes for if you already have a gmail account. Has an app. Easy to share posts through Twitter or on your Facebook account, directly from the site. Also, aesthetically pleasing with links opening in a new window. The beauty of this is you can actually see the website.

Drawbacks: Must be installed on your computer. This could be viewed as a benefit because you can instantly add a site to feedly; however, this isn’t easily accessible from all computers – say your work computer when you need a 15-minute break.

Feed Demon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits: One of the most popular feed readers out there. Simple customization but more similar to Google Reader – very technical, not so attractive.

Drawbacks: Again, must be downloaded. If you’re not a techie, there are LOTS of different tools you may not need and that may inhibit your viewing.

Bloglovin


 

 

 

 

 

 

Benefits: Simplicity. Aesthetically pleasing. (I’ll be honest, this is the feed reader I currently use.) No installation. Just log on to see your favorite sites. Easily customizable. I get an image from the post on the right, and if I click on the link, it takes me directly to the site in a new window. Love. It. (And no, they don’t pay me to say that).

Drawbacks: Few bells and whistles. If you are used to mass data and organization options, this won’t be your feed.

 

Hope this helps! And if you know of any readers I didn’t mention, please add them in comments with why you like it.

jenn aka the picky girl