From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Bloglines Subscriptions

Blogs and Blogging...



I don't think many of my readers use Bloglines or Google Reader but they are great tools if you follow quite a few blogs. Another is My Yahoo and there are many more readers. You just create an account and enter the addresses of the blogs you read, and the blog reader will find the RSS feeds for them.

When you go to your Bloglines or Google Reader account, the reader will bring in all the new posts from each of your blogs so you can check them there without all that clicking back and forth from a blogroll. Or there are links to the actual blog in your blog reader so you can easily read more or leave a comment if you want.

I have tried Bloglines and Google Reader. Both are free, but in my opinion, Bloglines works much better than Google Reader on dial-up. Google Reader is just too slow. I think Yahoo has a free reader also, but I've never tried it. There are surely many others as well.

A blog, news site, etc. that has a feed will probably display one of the symbols below (or perhaps just the words, "Site Feed" or "RSS Feed") with a link that leads to its feed so you can visit it and subscribe with your blog reader.

XMLRSSSite Feed

You can import other people's lists of blogs into your account. In Bloglines, when you read a blog, it tells you how many other people are subscribed to it. When you click on the subscriptions link, you get a list of all the people who are publicly subscribed, and you can look at their account and see what other blogs they are reading. If you think you might like some of them, you can download ("export") their list of blogs in a special file (.opml) and then upload them to your own account.

I downloaded a couple of lists yesterday from other readers of a blog I like and uploaded them to my Bloglines account. Then I didn't like the folders the other people were using, so I deleted everything I had uploaded and worked on the .opml files a little to make the folders smaller and rename them. (It wasn't hard if you've ever messed around with HTML and know what starting and ending tags do.) It was much easier to do it on my computer offline with a little copying and pasting than to enter each blog subscription online and change its folder. Then I uploaded them again. It worked fine.

Quite a few of my readers here are bloggers, and I read their blogs too. But sometimes, their blogging doesn't keep up with my desire to read something! On those occasions, I have been clicking the "Next Blog" button (on the Blogger toolbar at the top of the page) and wandering off into Blogger-land, which is a vast wasteland of drivel and tripe (yuck!)

I think I have a better alternative. I am going to look through those folders of blogs that other people are reading, as I have time. I'll unsubscribe from any blogs I don't like and I'll keep the good ones. This will have to be a ruthless process, as I am subscribed to about 400 blog feeds at present and I don't want to keep that many! I am hoping to pick up just a few really interesting blogs out of them. I think my chances of doing so are much better with this method than with the "Next Blog" button.

By the way, if you want to see what I'm subscribed to currently, you can do so at my Bloglines account:

View my Bloglines subscriptions.

Or try this link to download an .opml file of them:

http://www.bloglines.com/public/Genevieve






2 comments:

Neurotic Mom said...

I'll have to check into that, it would be a lot easier than clicking each blog looking for new posts. I used to have a ton of blogs i checked but some stopped blogging and some just weren't my cup of tea.

Genevieve said...

You should try a reader for a couple weeks and and see what you think. I think you will like it. Bloglines is easier for me, but Google just got done upgrading their reader. I am not sure how the Yahoo reader works. I think it may be incorporated into your personal Yahoo page.

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