Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors and Notes on Feed Readers

Today’s assignment is: follow five new topics in the Reader and five new blogs.

This refers to the WordPress reader, where you can read other people’s blogs, search for interesting sites and look for interesting tags.I have done that already, I know my way around the topics and I’m already following several new blogs and met several interesting new people. So I’ll skip this assignment, too.

Instead, I am posting the long overdue follow-up on feed readers. A while ago, I wrote about Bloglovin and Feedly,  mostly because I wanted to activate my Bloglovin account to try it out, I had read about it elsewhere. Then Bloglovin and Tumblr had a disagreement. Tumblr is a blogging site where many artists post their art, many of them relying on page hits and ads for their income. Furthermore, free providers like Tumblr apparently get part of their profit through the amount of traffic to their sites (and probably their ads) — but I don’t really understand this part of the provider/content generator game fully. In any case, Tumblr didn’t like that Bloglovin got all the traffic, and Tumblr got none, so they blocked Blocklovin. I wanted to find out more before I wrote this post, hence the delay. Since yesterday, they are friends again. Apparently, the sites both get traffic now.

Why use Feedreaders?  Wordpress reader is a perfectly good reader that allows you to subscribe to blogs that are not on WordPress and therefore can serve as a feed reader for everything you want to read. And if you are happy with it, there is no reason to change to something else. However, what WordPress Reader doesn’t offer yet is a way to organize the blogs into groups or categories. You can search for interesting blogs by looking for categories or tags, but you can’t organize your own feed. If, like me, you want to read many blogs and news sites, and don’t want to hop from link to link in your browser, you will want to use a feed reader where you have everything in one place and preferably can organize the feeds into categories. I don’t want to read crafts every day when I am busy, but I read the news sites, for instance. When I have time, I read one category after the other, or some of them, but don’t need to wade through all the new posts, whether I want to look at them at the moment or not. So, until WordPress comes up with a reader that can be organized (which I would prefer to everything else, since it allows me to go to one place, and not many), I will use other readers.

In the now-dead Google Reader, probably the best known feed reader, you could organize your feeds. Many people loved it and used it, but Google decided to kill the reader, so now it’s a thing of the past.

Naturally, providers of other feed readers saw their chance and tried to catch the orphaned Google Reader users, one of the most successful among them, I think, is Feedly. Feedly is very nice, has a lovely and easy to use layout, but also provides simplicity. However, Feedly lets you read the content on its own site, you seldom get to the original site and neither see the layout, nor the ads, nor do the sites get hits when they are accessed through Feedly. I tried that out with my own blog: No hits. 😦

It’s also difficult to comment, since you then must actively visit the original blog. So, Feedly is nice, but if you want to support your favourite cartoonists, or artist, or writer, not exactly the best thing to provide them with site traffic. I think it is possible to adjust the feeds in a way that Feedly releases the site, and the original site gets the hits, but I don’t know enough about that to claim that this is so for all blog sites.

Bloglovin is also a feed reader. You need to register, activate your account, (and your blog if you want it accessible through Bloglovin) and then you can subscribe to any blog, just as with the other readers. The difference is that you see the original blog, though in a Bloglovin frame that makes it easier to navigate, but also takes some of the hits away from the original blogs. But Bloglovin gives the reader a choice whether they want to see the blogs in the frame, or not. If you don’t want the frame, a separate tab opens and takes you to the original site. This site gets the hits. I tried that with my blog. Hits! Yay! 😀

Bloglovin apparently was mostly used by people who like fashion, crafts and cooking… or so some reviews claim. Since you can subscribe to any blog, organize your feed to your liking, import the subscriptions from other readers, I don’t see why not-fashion, crafts or cooking people shouldn’t use it.

I’ve done a few tests and imported my Feedly files, and my WordPress files. The organization I have on Feedly was perfectly imported. So, I’m quite happy with it. There is also an app for the ipad. I’ll see in the next few weeks how well it all works and if I’m going to use it permanently. Some of the pictures from WordPress posts are not displayed in Firefox and in the app, which supposedly is a bug with Bloglovin. I’m not sure about other browsers, but I don’t mind all that much since I see the images on the original post anyway.

Here are a few screenshots about how to organize Bloglovin if you are interested:

In WordPress, for example, you can go to ‘Edit Blogs I follow’ and click on Export.

In the Settings of Bloglovin, when you scroll down, you can import blog files.

You look for the file you’ve saved earlier, and then click on Upload.

And here they are. I had imported the Feedly file earlier, that’s why the categories are already there. Below are the blogs I just imported from WordPress. Now we can organize:

It basically explains itself. Settings are found under the user icon. Chose ‘Edit blogs you follow’.

You can now, through ‘Change group’ move the blogs into the categories you want them. Here I move anntogether to ‘Art’.

And now the blog shows up in Art.

And this is how the organized page looks like:

I do not get paid for this post. 😛
(Sorry for the German text in-between, but I suppose you can use a translator or guess what it means.)

3 thoughts on “Blogging 101: Say “Hi!” to the Neighbors and Notes on Feed Readers

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