Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blog / RSS Readers

Between Facebook changing [again] and having random delays and errors + the announcement that Google Reader will be dead on July 1, 2013, I have had a frustrating internet week. However, (FB issues aside) I think I've figured out a new way to keep up with things.

For BLOG reading/following: I've moved to BlogLovin'. Now, any change is hard at first, and this wasn't an exception to that (adjusting to a new interface wasn't fun), but I can honestly say I like it a lot. Like a lot a lot.

Reasons I like BL? 1.) I can make the interface sort by blog or date. 2.) The homepage has a really clean look. 3.) It imported all of my blogs from Google without issue. 4.) You can move blogs into different groups if you so choose. 5.) You can easily modify which blogs you want to show up on your profile or not by making the "not" ones "private".

A clean look; "read" blogs fade out.

6.) I like that I can see little previews of everything. I love that I can click the post title and be taken straight to blogs and have the comment section RIGHT THERE when I'm done reading. I will be a more frequent commenter than I was because of this.

7.) I really like the BL frame that allows me to toggle through unread blogs without going back to the BL homepage. This feature is really, really sweet.

Note the BL frame along the top. I find it to be very non-obtrusive. It stays there as you scroll.

You can see the toggle option in the upper left. I'd read everything when I took this screenshot; usually there is a list.

Obviously, this is just my opinion, but seriously, guys, I love organization (without being a freak about it) and BL is set up in a visually pleasing, organized way that lets me keep up with each of you far better than Google Reader did.

HOWEVER, one thing BL doesn't do is allow me to keep up with general RSS. Soooo.....

For RSS subscriptions/following: I'm using Feedly. Which is what basically everyone and their brother has done with the announcement per GR. Feedly is a simple add-on for my browser (or at least it was for Firefox) and I presume it is just as simple for other browsers.

Reasons I like Feedly? 1.) It moved all my data from Google over seamlessly. 2.) It even moved all my starred posts over from Google! 3.) It allows me to follow RSS feeds that BL doesn't let me follow. 4.) It allows you to organize your stuff into categories.

BUT, the reason I'm NOT using Feedly for blog following: It really screws with the formatting of blog posts. Now certainly, GR did this to a point, but that was with general spacing/returns of the text/photos from my experience. Feedly seems to pull the entire alignment of a post out of order with preference for a left-alignment for everything. While this look is clean certainly, it makes everything blasé. I put time and effort into the way my posts appear - we all do - (even though Blogger sometimes screws with it...le sigh) and to have that effort thwarted within the Feedly reader? Meh, no. Just no. We all put effort into our blog layouts, and BL lets me appreciate everyone's creativity. I like this. It is a welcome change from the SUPER CLEAN interface that GR and Feedly offer.

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So.... I hope this mini-guide/explanation has helped some of you fellow soon-to-be-ex-Google Reader folks find a new way to follow blogs/readings of your favorite stuff.

 Follow on Bloglovin

1 comment:

  1. I will check out Feedly for sure. I'm not sweating the GR thing til it gets closer to the sunset date - there's a huge need for RSS readers, and somebody is going to jump in and make some kind of wonderful replacement for it. My GR is probably 30% blogs and 70% RSS from other random sites, so a blog-only thing won't do it for me.