Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Feeds and Followers and Friends, Oh My!

If you follow very many blogs at all, you have probably heard that Google Reader has gone away.  Why?  Because it kept people from seeing advertisements in the sidebars of blogs.


If you are reading these words right now, then obviously you get blog content through some other means: Facebook, going to individual blogs, or another feed reader.  If you are happy with your current choice, that is awesome!  But if you've been visiting individual blogs because you didn't know there was another option, I'd like to suggest three alternatives:

1.  Social Media
Most blogs these days post links to their content directly through Facebook or Twitter.  If you are already on one of those pretty frequently, this can be a very convenient way to access lots of different blogs.  (Have you "liked" my Facebook page yet?  You can do that by simply clicking the "Like" button up at the top of the right-hand column of this page or by going to http://www.facebook.com/BloomingLaura.)  

2.  E-mail
Many blogs also give you the option of having posts delivered directly to your inbox.  If you like that option, you can go again to the right-hand side of my blog and enter your e-mail address where it says "Follow By E-mail."  This is a great option if you only follow a few blogs, or if there are a few that you particularly don't want to miss, but it could quickly fill your inbox if you follow lots of blogs this way.  Of course, another option is to set up a second e-mail address just for receiving blog posts.

3.  Feed Reader
A feed is a means of distributing blog content to the masses (or in my case, the hundred or so).  A feed reader is how that content is accessed.  Up until yesterday, Google Reader was one of the most popular ones.  But as I mentioned earlier, if that's what you've been using, you'll have to do something else now.
My personal favorite is Pulse.  I use it for reading blogs on my iPhone and iPad, but I believe it is also available for Android devices and for desktops.  If you have been using Google Reader, this is a great option because you can painlessly import your feeds from Google right into Pulse without missing a beat (pun intended).

One of my favorite features of Pulse is the ability to categorize blogs that I follow.  This is helpful if I'm looking for content from a particular blog or type of blog.  I also created a "Time Crunch Blogs" category of ones that I want to be sure and check if I only have a small amount of time.

Another reader that I have seen recommended many times now is Feedly.  I have very limited experience with it personally, but you can read all about it (along with a better explanation of feeds) at http://simplemom.net/feedly/.

So how do you access blog content?  Have I left out any methods that you would recommend?

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