At Your Reading Leisure

readingbearIf you’re like me, you spend a huge chunk of time checking, reading, and commenting (when able) on the blogs you follow. It’s rather addictive, but like most addictions, it is a time sucker. And exhausting.

How to Live with Our Addictions

I tried the blogger dashboard. It’s great for maybe five or six blogs. Past that and it’s cumbersome.

I tried creating a separate blog with a blog roll. It’s better but still a daunting task when you follow over (should I admit this?) 200 blogs.

Enter Google Reader.
When I first logged on, I found all the blogs I follow were automatically loaded into the reader for me.

Cool, awesome features:

  • I can sort my blogs into categories.
  • The feed loads into the reader. I only click through when I need to comment rather than click open fifty different windows.
  • All blogs show up as black text on a white background. This alone speeds up my process. Flipping back and forth between dark blogs and light blogs is murder on my eyeballs.
  • All new posts are bolded in your listing.
  • Looking for a new blog? It has suggestions based on the blogs you follow. Cool.
  • Blogger only lets you follow a limited number of blogs. When you hit that number, either you cannot follow the new blog you found or you have to unfollow someone else. In Google Reader you simply “Add Subscription” and you’re good to go – forever. True your new blogging buddy may not know you’re a follower, but after commenting for a couple of weeks they’ll catch on.
  • You can “star” posts you want to go back to later. It’s kind of like having a bookmark section. Wow, I could have used that so many times in the past.
  • Find out your reading trends. How much do you read? What blogs do you read the most often? Least often? Just click “g” then shift plus ”t” on your keyboard.

One thing I can’t figure out is why some posts show images while others don’t show images even though the posts have images when I click through. Any ideas out there? Does anyone read this on Google Reader? Do my images show up? (I have posted this on Google help, where it sits.)

In addition, if you read this on Google reader, you are unaware that I have posted a very important poll on my blog. It’s a must-answer-we-need-to-know type of question.

Any GRer’s (Google Readers) out there? Any cool tips to share?

image by clipart.com

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15 Comments

  1. I haven't figured out Google Reader yet, mostly because I don't care to. I like going to blogs and seeing everything. And I doubt I'm in any danger of exceeding my blog following limit.

    Blogging is totally addicting though. :o)

  2. I clicked on to tell you to use google reader, and found that you already do. It is absolutely awesome, specially the fact that you can sort by category.

    Why no images on some and not on others, has the same answer as the question on why some posts are visible in full, and some only partially- it depends on the settings defined by the individual blog. Some allow entire post, some only a summary, and some remove images.

  3. I'm like Myrna, I don't really use my Google reader. But I do find I have to limit blog reading. I read and support the blogs that I “follow” and comment if I have something to say.

  4. I've just recently started using Google Reader and find it very helpful. I wish at times there was a way to comment from the reader. It's not that I don't enjoy visiting the various blogs, I do and there in is the problem. Like you said, it does become time consuming. On days when I have very little time to blog, commenting from the reader sure would speed up things. BTW, I think I'm closing in on that 200 mark of blogs I'm following too. 🙂

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

  5. I'm in the same boat – I've got over 250 blogs on my blog roll. I looked into Google reader a bit, but haven't really used it yet. Thanks for the tips – I'll give it a shot! 🙂

  6. I recently discovered Google Reader, although I haven't used it much – yet. I'm about to hit 300 blogs I follow, so I guess I will have to use it. When I'm in a hurry, though, I just go through my blogroll. (Although that is threatening to take over my blog as well.)

  7. I don't use Google Reader, but I'm adding it to my Rainy Weekend Projects list.

  8. No yet, but this is high priority for me this week. I need to get moving on Google Reader as everybody seems to be talking about it and I have no clue as to what it is.

    Stephen Tremp

  9. I haven't used Google Reader yet, but I may have to. The dashboard is cumbersome!

  10. I haven't tried Google Reader yet. I keep my blog roll pretty well updated, and that seems to work for me. Everyone has their own methods, it's intersting to hear about someone else's!

  11. Rayna, I didn't realize there was somewhere in blogger to set that. I just checked it out. The default is short which strips out images and truncates the post. I set it to full which show allow full post from now on.

    I just logged into Google Reader for the day. There are 130 new post since yesterday.

  12. Hi – I use Google Reader – but don't categorise .. I skip the ones I glance at, click thru to the sites to comment, or just hold as unread those I need time to think about.

    I never got to use the Dashboard – thought it was 'awful' – cumbersome as Lydia says ..

    The 130 new posts are probably 10, 7 or 5 posts per each blog you've put into your Reader .. they put through the last 10, 7 or 5 once you start subscribing.

    Another thing some readers may be interested to know about .. I use blogger & suddenly couldn't comment on my own blog .. the profile box didn't drop down ..- so for some blogs I have to use IE as my browser, while normally I'm now using Chrome .. I gather occasionally you'll need to use Firefox ..

    Blogger isn't functioning brilliantly at the moment ..

    I also post in IE -not in Chrome .. haven't worked out the tips and tricks ..

    Sorry – this got long! Have a good week – Hilary

  13. Stephen, when you log on to blogger. Look on your dashboard down below the “Reading List” where it says “Add” and “Manage”. Over to the right it reads “View in Google Reader”. It’s a great starting point.

    Hilary, I’ve heard Chrome has a lot of issues with google products which is ironic since Chrome is a google product, but I’ve notice that google products usually do not integrate well. They need a special department to work on that.

    I cleared out my reader last night by either reading or marking all post as read. Today as I looked through, I noticed one blog I follow posted 66 new posts overnight. That was something of a surprise.

    Yes, I love that I can leave them as unread until I’m ready to read them. With blog rolls I either had to read them or lose them forever.

  14. ~Nicole Ducleroir~ said…
    I like Google Reader, but the problem is it takes a very long time to load and open on my computer. I have high-speed internet and lots of RAM; I think I just follow a lot of blogs 😀

    On that note, I have heard a lot of bloggers talk about a Blogger-imposed limit of 300 blogs to follow. I don't know how I'm an exception, (or if I am at all), but I follow way more than that (400+ right now). So I don't know if there really is a limit or not.

    [In fact, anyone reading this who knows the answer, please email me (heftynicki(at)writing(dot)com) or Tweet me (@NicoleDwrites).]

    Thanks!

  15. I asked this question on the google help forum. The answer I got was that 300 is the cut off by a level “12 forum” user. Perhaps they have changed their policy or maybe it is a google myth. I posted this new information and will post here if I get a response.

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