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  Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Stop It!

Do you use Bloglines or other aggregator to read blogs and other feeds? Stop it.

Do you eschew aggregators and go straight to each blog to read new entries? Stop it!

Confused? Read on.

If you read a dozen blogs or more, it's a pain going to each one in turn, waiting for its entire page to load, just to find out it hasn't changed since you read it last. Stop it. Instead, use an aggregator. Aggregators will save you a lot of time and bandwidth, leaving you more time to read more blogs, or even spend some time with your kids (or cats or potted plants).

How many blogs do you read? 10? 20? 200? At the moment, there are about 125 blogs I read. Fortunately, a lot of those don't post often, and fortunately, I'm a speed reader, and most fortunately, I use Bloglines to read blogs. Like all good aggregators, Bloglines gives me a list of the feeds I read, reduced to only those that have changed since I read them last. I don't care which aggregator you use, I just recommend that you find one and start adding the RSS feeds from your favorite blogs to it.

What's that you say? You already use an aggregator? You rock! Now stop.

See, the problem with aggregators is, you don't get the full blog experience. You don't see the comments, the page layout and style, the links to other places, the fun little tools and gewgaws people put in their sidebars. Blog authors often take great pride in designing their blog, and you bypass all that by just reading their feed. You bypass any ads they may have, as well. Good for you, not so good for the blog trying to make a few nickels.

So what am I saying? I say, use an aggregator, especially for those blogs that aren't your "friends", but now and then stop to smell the posts, especially of your favorite blogs. Or something like that.

Blog Tag: Chatter


At 6/15/2005 9:30 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

How about recommending one that is easy to use for techno dunces like moi :)

At 6/16/2005 12:16 AM, Blogger Melissa said...

Damned if I do. Damned if I don't. I feel like I'm at work. :)

You read 125 blogs? I'm feeling a little inadequate right now because I only read 3 every day. There are a few others that I look at occasionally, but that's enough for me. 125?!!!

I don't think that I would want to give up the experience of looking at a blog directly. Sometimes the comments are better than the original post and I enjoy the photos and art. So, I guess that doing it my way makes me half right and half wrong. Or, is it completely right and completely wrong? I'm feeling so blonde right now. :)

At 6/16/2005 12:22 AM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

I'm just odd, Melissa. I don't read 125 a day, though, only those that change. If you read 3 a day, that's three more than a lot of people read. You're doing great.

I'll work on a primer for aggregators, Michelle. Something for the non-geek, if I can. :)

At 6/16/2005 2:31 PM, Blogger Mary said...

So I don't rock, but I'm good because I smell the full scent of each of the 8-10 blogs I read & post at per day? I don't need to stop anything, then right? I'm good? I hope I'm good, because I like how things are and I'm not one who takes to change easily. [Unless it's for something really cool I'll use. Like, say, a comments hack or something. ;)]

Now, enough of not rocking. Let's talk about rolling....
We just had a "big" earthquake, although I know 5.3 isn't that big to you. But like the old real estate saying, what matters most is location, location, location! I actually went so far as to "duck and cover", grabbing my son, who was next to me, in the process. My 5th grade teacher would have admired my speed and form, I'm sure. ;)

At 6/16/2005 2:43 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...


I can remember summers in the Valley, with arsonists setting the hills on fire, and we'd have an earthquake. Shake and bake, baby! :)

At 6/16/2005 2:55 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Just read about the quake you felt. I thought you were referring to the one by Palm Springs a week or so ago, not a new one. I'm glad you're all okay.

At 6/16/2005 7:32 PM, Blogger Rich said...

This is funny. If someone has writting an entry I like a lot, I will go visit their blog. If there is something I want to say or see what others have said, I will visit the blog.

I resisted the RSS feed for a lot time because what you are saying. My RSS feed is not by blog. In this day and age people have to many things to read. I needed the RSS feed just sso people could keep up.

At 6/19/2005 2:58 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

I agree, Rich. Gotta make it easy on the reader, or you're just talking to yourself. (Which I tend to do anyway.)

At 6/19/2005 3:14 PM, Blogger dkgoodman said...

Using Bloglines:

1. Create an account at Bloglines User Registration. (It's easy.)

2. Wait for an email from them. When you get it, click the link they sent. Now you have an account.

3. Click the My Feeds tab at the Bloglines web site. In the left pane, click the Easy Subscribe Bookmarklet link, and follow the directions on the right side. Now you're ready to start adding feeds.

4. Visit the blogs you like. At each one, click the Sub with Bloglines link you just added to your toolbar, and follow the directions to finish the subscription process.

5. If Step 4 didn't find a feed, see if you can find a link on the page you want to add that's labeled Feed or RSS or XML. Copy to the clipboard the address it points to, like, then go to Bloglines and click the Add link under the My Feeds tab. Then paste in the address.

6. Now, when you click My Feeds, you see a list of feeds and what's been updated since you visited last. When you start having lots of feeds, be sure to go to the options and select Show only updated feeds. Then the list will be short.

The beauty of Bloglines is that adding feeds is easy and you can use it on any computer. If you only read a few blogs, then this is probably overkill, but if you start reading more and more, this can be a lifesaver. Or a warning that it's time to get a life. :)

Hope this helps.

At 6/19/2005 6:40 PM, Blogger Michele said...

Bloglines is wonderful. I only discovered it several days ago and it has already made my online reading easier.

I will not even tell you how many blogs are listed, however the word many seems inadequate.


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