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Monday, February 2, 2009

How Do You Keep Track of the Blogs You Read?

With the influx of genealogy blogs out there, I thought I'd share my philosophy about "reading" them.

Some people only subscribe to a handful of blogs, likely because managing them can be a pain.  They have their favorites and they follow faithfully.  I on the other hand, subscribe to several genealogy blogs.  Why?  Well, I've already connected with two distant cousins through our blogs, and I'm sure there are more out there.  Besides, I love reading people's stories, research conundrums, tips, and genealogy news.  But following nearly 300 blogs, 95% of which are genealogy blogs, can be quite cumbersome, unless you have the right reader.

When I started reading blogs about seven months ago, I used the reader in Internet Explorer.  Just before the holidays, IE8 crashed and I was unable to read my feeds.  I started to look for other alternatives.  Initially, I started using Google Reader.  Since I use Blogger and had a list of blogs I was following, I was off to a good start since those feeds were already in the reader.  But I didn't care for the interface, so I continued my search for a new reader.

Some how or another, I came across Bloglines, which is part of Ask.com.  I liked the interface and the features so I began to add all of my feeds, over 300 of them. 

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Like IE and Google Reader, I was able to create folders to separate my feeds by topic (e.g. Genealogy, Business, Writing, etc.). 

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And, like Google Reader, I can "clip/star" individual posts.  The nice thing about Blogline's clipping feature is that you can create folders to store them in (e.g. Read Later, For Research, etc.). 

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You can also view your feeds on a web-enabled phone (this was really handy on the long drive to and from Arizona!), which I assume you can also do with Google Reader.  There are also ways to share your feeds with others. 

There is a widget for your blog or website, however, with almost 300 feeds, it's ridiculous to post it on my blog.  But, I am able to share my Blogline profile showing my Blogroll via a simple link:  http://www.bloglines.com/public/juliemc77.

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There are all kinds of settings you can fiddle with to suit your own needs.

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With all the wonderful genealogy blogs out there, I wanted to make sure I found the best reader that suited my needs.  Bloglines is definitely the one for me.

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4 comments:

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great post Julie! I think we each need to find the client (sorry - that is IT speak for desktop application) that we feel most comfortable with. I happen to be a Google Reader guy since I use Google Chrome and Google Docs - I find it is easier to interface with these other programs.

I admit to have as many geneablogs to read as you do. And I admit to having to pick and choose what I read on some days. It is lots of work but very rewarding especially since there are so many great posts out there!

Randy Seaver said...

Excellent post, Julie. I do use bloglines so I almost passed over it without reading much of it.

I never knew that Bloglines had all of those features! Me and my list of over 400 blogs to read thank you!

Cheryl Rothwell said...

Interesting. I confess I DO like Google Reader [and I've been using it since it was in Labs] but it is useful to know of other readers. Not everyone is alike.

tajicat said...

This is wonderful information. I had kept my list of blogs to a minimum, but now I will be able to include more. TFS! :)

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