Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bloglines and Google Reader

Do you know what a Feed Reader is? Simply they will keep you up to date with your favourite blogs or websites without actually visiting the site. There are other readers around but two that will often come up in conversation are Bloglines and Google Reader.

Why bring a Feed Reader to your attention now? I mentioned in this post that my blog is going to suffer with updates not happening on a regular basis. Not all of us are into some of the geek side of blogging but rather than having you popping back to my blog to find no updates it is so much easier for you to be alerted that a post has been made by a Feed Reader. This way you won't be wasting time loading my blog or any other favourite blog for that matter who has not updated.

Take a look at the first image which is part of a screen print from this blog and you will see a square orange button. By clicking on this button (in my column) a page will come up with a drop down menu for you to choose a Feed Reader that you would like to use. If you haven't signed up with Bloglines or Google Reader and you would like to use one of these, you will need to register with them, which is an easy process.

If you want to add this blog to your Bloglines Reader simply click on the button that you see below the orange one.

Firefox makes it easy to add feeds to your readers as well. Click on the second image so that you get a good view of it. This is the address bar in Firefox. You will see the orange button to the right and once more this is how you can add Blogs or Websites who provide a rss or atom for your Feed Reader.

Would you rather get an email update instead? I have made that easy for you as well. You can subscribe to my blog by placing your email address in the box provided then click on the 'subscribe' button. You will see this facility in my column, which also can be seen in the first image that I have provided so that you know what you are looking for. Your privacy will be respected and you will not receive any spam mail. It is also easy to unsubscribe. If you choose to receive email updates from me make sure you verify the first email that FeedBurner sends you so that they know you have entered the correct address plus this is an extra precaution that it is you that has submitted the email address.

For those that are familiar to Feed Readers you might be interested in a script for Greasemonkey, which is a Firefox add-on

This script is Google Reader Preview Enhanced v1.07a and is the best thing I have come across for a very long time. You will need Greasemonkey installed to use this script.

What this script does it allows you to view full feeds in Google Reader. I have tested it and it does work, in fact very well indeed! I do use full feeds for my blog although there are those that do not because their posts are scraped/stolen and used elsewhere without permission. I wrote a post called Full or Should it be Short Feeds? with my thoughts bearing in mind that I do understand why blogs do use the short feeds. Anyway as you will see by this last image, even though I use full feeds I can actually see my blog in all it glory by clicking on the preview button at the bottom of the feed.

Also I will bring to your attention that the icon of a monkey at the bottom right of the image is the Greasemonkey add-on for Firefox. Another script for Greasemonkey allows me to smile smile at you as well with the use of emoticons! wink

Well I think I have given you plenty to digest in this post so until next time.......

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dianeclancy said...

Hi Susan,

Thank you for a very clear explanation of feed readers. When I was first hearing about them (about a month ago), I read that in some ways it is a good idea to have the feed reader on your desktop if you have room for it.

That way online services can't pick stuff up out of your browser. I guess that is probably related to issues of short vs full posts.

I use NetNewsWire lite (so free) and I also have Vienna (free). Good info - thank you.

~ Diane Clancy

Susan Borgas said...

I used to use a desktop feed reader, which is handy for off-line reading. Now that I am connected to the internet at all times I find it simple to have it online so that I can check in on my feeds of favourite blogs no matter where I am when I have an internet connection while away from home.

I can understand the security of online readers and as I don't have anything to hide it doesn't really bother me. I do actually share some of my feeds to others through bloglines as a 'blogroll'.

Sigh....think Google knows it all even if we fight tooth and nail not to reveal all to them.

Lucky-1 said...

Susan, thanks for popping this post up. I have been busy changing and using some of the feeds you posted links for.

Also I have setup Google Reader and I love the idea of being able to post a comment without loading up the page in another window.

This is found to be a pain with Bloglines.

I am so glad I have a clever sis;)

Vyoma said...

Call me a geek! :P

I already have you on my feed reader.

Susan Borgas said...

Chuckle..... Thats Ok Sis, glad it was of some help to you.

Vyoma, us creative people need to have many skills and being a geek is also helpful! *wink*

Katherine said...

Susan - I want emoticons!!! I shall be having a look at that link.

Good explanation of feed readers.

Susan Borgas said...

Emoticons are great when trying to inject a bit of fun into a post or even show displeasure if need be.