I want to read blogs. I want to comment on blogs. I am finding it really difficult to read blogs and most of that difficulty is rooted in technology.
1) Why do you want to read blogs anyways?
I want to read your blog because I want to leave comments. I want to interact with you. I want to get to know you. Let’s also be honest, I want to read and leave comments because I want you to come to my site and read and leave comments. That’s the way blogging works or the way it used to work.
I often find now that bloggers don’t read blogs, but they still want comments. Most of the bloggers that I talk to say that they don’t actually read blogs, which shocks me. You are a blogger. You want people to read your blog and leave meaningful comments. Who do you think is going to read your blog and leave meaningful comments? If you are a blogger and you want people to read and comment on your blog, then you need to read and comment on other blogs. It’s as simple as that.
2) Why don’t you just go to the blog and read?
I could go to your blog and read, but my list of blogs to follow is very long, so I would still need a master list somewhere. It would be nice to be able to just read all the blogs in one place and comment and share from that place. There is whole lot of transition going on when I am going from blog to blog.
3) Why don’t you subscribe to blogs by email?
I never have enough time to check my email as it is. If I added 17 million (exaggeration) blog feeds in my email, I would miss even more client emails than I already do. I really do want to read your blog, but if I subscribe for that special offer, I often have to unsubscribe so I can focus on people.
4) Why don’t you just use Feedly?
The other day I was trying out Feedly and thought I had found the solution to my problems. I tried it again yesterday and it did not work. Then I remembered hearing something about Feedly being attacked. Apparently it was being attacked for the third time. I feel sorry for Feedly that they are under such heavy attack, but I can’t wait around for their problems to be solved so I can read blogs.
5) What about using a browser extension?
This is a good idea. I use Chrome and I did go looking for browser extensions NONE (other than the Feedly one, which I liked) were even remotely useful. Seriously. I tried several that looked promising, but refused to bring in any feeds or were just too complicated.
You may use a different browser (Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc) and may have other options.
6) What about a desktop app?
I use Mac, so I went looking in the App Store and found several paid options. I am hesitant to pay for any apps in case I don’t love them. If I had a really good recommendation (or two) from people who loved them and pictures, then I might consider it. The only free one was for Feedly.
I know that not everyone is on Mac. If you are on something other than Mac, you will need to check and see what desktop apps are available to you.
7) What about apps for Android or iOS devices?
I had a couple of apps that I loved for blog reading on the Nexus 7, but the kids used that until it broke (which is a whole other story that we won’t talk about here). I am sorry, I don’t remember what the apps were or I would share them here. My husband informs me that at least one of them was Feedly.
I also had a couple of apps that I loved for blog reading on the iPad, but a certain child has claimed that as his own (he’s 6, we suspect he has autism, it prevents meltdowns, and the iPad is 4 years old now and on its last legs). I am sorry, I don’t remember what the apps were there either or I would share them here.
8) Why don’t you just read blogs on Facebook?
I would love to read blogs via Facebook, but Facebook has decided that it does not want to show me all the pages I have subscribed to. It randomly shows me whatever it wants whenever it wants. I often see posts hours (usually 10-16 or more) after the conversation is over. It does not matter if I have it set to Top Posts or Recent Posts, it does whatever it wants. This is not a practical option for me.
9) Can’t you just read blogs on Google Plus?
That would be a nice option too, but Google Plus only shows things as people post them and if I am not reading at that exact moment then I miss out. Yes, I could go back and read my feed, but I am going to miss things. This is not a good option either, much as I like Google Plus.
10) What about an online feed reader?
I have found two! This option would prove to be the best yet. Enter stage left…
Let’s have a closer look and see what they have to offer.
With Bloglines you can add and categorize any blogs you want. When there are new posts, I can click through to the website and read and share OR I can click on the posts and share through the app. The display feels a bit clunky and complicated and I kept clicking out, when I clicked the back browser, and I had to login again. That was most annoying. I have to admit that I don’t like truncated feeds here and I would prefer to read the whole blog and share or comment directly from the reader.
First glance, I am loving it. Bloglovin presents itself in a visual way with the feel of an online magazine. I can get directly there through a chrome extension. I can mark posts as read when I am finished with them. I can even “heart” them.
All posts are truncated, so you have to click through to read, but if I click through to the post, Bloglovin opens it in a new tab in the browser. Good news is that I am still in Bloglovin with an “X” option to close Bloglovin and remain on the website I am reading AND I can go back to my other open tab and keep reading the other blogs where I left off.
I can share easily to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest or even send someone an email. Sadly, Google Plus is missing.
The only downside at this point is that there does not seem to be any way to organize the blogs that you read in Bloglovin.
Bloglovin wins for me.
11) How do you read blogs?
So, there is only one question left. How do you read blogs? Leave me a note in the comments and tell me how you read blogs.