Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Following Blogs: How Do You Keep Up?

Oh, me, oh, my, I'm sure posting late today.  It's been a crazy week with my jobs that pay.  All my real work is keeping me from reading and writing!

And that leads me to my post for today.  It's actually a question for you awesome followers, and I seriously want feedback.  How do you keep up on the blogs you follow?  I'm not talking about the blogs you just say you follow, I mean the ones you actually read.  What are your methods for keeping up and sifting through?

Now I have my own method of blog sifting, which I'm happy to share: Along with following a blog, the ones I really want to make sure I don't miss I subscribe to through Google Reader. Not familiar with Google Reader? From their website:

Stay up to date
Google Reader constantly checks your favorite news sites and blogs for new content. Whether a site updates daily or monthly, you can be sure that you won't miss a thing.

Simplify your reading experience
Google Reader shows you all of your favorite sites in one convenient place. It's like a personalized inbox for the entire web.

Discover new content
Millions of sites publish feeds with their latest updates, and our integrated feed search makes it easy to find new content that interests you.

I have Google Reader on my computer and my phone.  They link together so that when one updates, so does the other. Whenever I find myself waiting in line or with my kids at the playground, I can sift through a couple of blog posts. I skim through posts until I find things I'm really interested in. If I love a post, I star it as a favorite.  I'm pretty happy with this, but I'd like to hear from others.

Now your turn.  Do you have a better method? How much time do you spend reading blogs? I would love to hear what it is.

Also, congratulations to all the finalists in Deana Barnhart's blogfest first 200!  While I'm sad to not be a winner (boo hoo) I was sincerely impressed by the talent I saw in the other excerpts.  If you haven't had a chance to check them out, please do.


Melodie said...

Hi Laura!
I've seen Google reader but haven't tried it yet. I definitely will now - sounds great!

My blog reading is supposed to be on Fridays only. Since I'm posting on a Wednesday, it's obvious how successful I am w/ that. :)) But it's summer now, my sked isn't as hectic as it will be in a few weeks. During the school year I'm more disciplined.

Jen Daiker said...

I love Google Reader. It allows me to read it in the morning with my cup of caffiene and if I have time to comment I can hop over. At work I can't always access certain blogs but Google Reader gives me the connection I need.

I used to spend HOURS blogging and commenting. Now I only have time to set blogs up on Sundays and then periodically comment when I have time during the week. It isn't easy. Commenting was one of my favorites... HOWEVER I love at least getting to read peoples thoughts!

The East Coaster said...

Google Reader is the only way I can keep up. It is SUCH a time saver.

Krista said...

I am actually not doing so well on this myself. I usually skim a post and if I have something to say I post a comment. I would like to be more active but am really crunched for time.

My plan us to play around with google reader to see if I can organize the blogs I follow into folders. I guess since I am still relatively new to blogging I am still trying to figure thing out.

Stephsco said...

I use the dashboard of Blogger, but I can easily switch over from Blogger to Google Reader view which shows more (or all?) of the blog post instead of just the first two lines. I might start using it more. Some of my favorite blogs I'll choose from the list in dashboard and review the past week or two if I've missed a few days.

I have not thought to put google reader on my phone, so thanks for that! Wondering how I ever lived without a smart phone ;)

Michelle Fayard said...

One of the commenters on today's Bird's-eye View post about how to manage your blog comments ( said this:

"I go to my Google reader and go from there. I found trying to comment from the comments on my blog was much too slow. However, that means might miss someone who has been kind enough to comment."

Does Google Reader truncate comments? If so, that would prevent from using it as a time-management tool.

Laura Barnes said...

@Melodie - do try Google Reader. I really do love it!

@Jen & The East Coaster - you echo my sentiments exactly.

@Krista - I have my blogs organized in folders and it really works for me. Good luck!

@Stephsco - I like Google Reader because I have it feed into my iGoogle and that's my home page. I have to go to Blogger to see my stuff, but if I was there all the time, I could see it working.

@Michelle - I loved that article. You actually can truncate comments. Just take the RSS feed for the comments and have it feed into Google Reader, but it isn't necessarily easy to see how the comments connect to the original post. I don't put the feed in for comments. If I find the post interesting and want to comment, I just click on the post to go directly to the blog and comment from there. Let me know how it works for you if you try Google Reader out.

Peggy Eddleman said...

I think I might try Google Reader! It sounds much better than my plan of all the links of blogs I really want to keep up on in a word processor, because it's too hard through blogger's dashboard.

Laura Barnes said...

Oh, Peggy, you must switch to Google Reader. Seriously easy and much easier than keeping a list! (Even though I LOVE lists :)

Michelle Fayard said...

Thanks for writing back and for sharing this great advice, Laura. Happy Friday!

Carol Riggs said...

Yep, in Google Reader you can "sort" your folders so your fave or most visited ones are all together. I believe it caps at 300 blogs though, so anything after that is NOT sorted.

Yes, if I want to make a comment, I click on the title of the post and make the comment directly onsite.

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