The Benefits of RSS Readers
When I first started hanging out in the blogosphere, it soon became apparent that manually checking blogs to see if there was anything new was not a very efficient approach. I learned about RSS feeds and signed up for an aggregation/reader service. In simple terms, I created a list of all my favourite blogs and this service automatically collects information whenever these blogs are updated. I can read new content within the reader or click through to the actual site.
The beauty of using a RSS reader is that I have complete control over my reading. I don’t have to give out my e-mail address so I avoid spam, viruses and phishing I choose which blogs I want to read (not some manipulative algorithm) and, if I decide I am not enjoying the content anymore, I simply unsubscribe.
If I am busy, or don’t have access to the internet, my updates are all waiting for me when I next check my reader. And, even if a blogger only blogs occasionally, the reader will still pick it up.
Time for a New RSS Reader!
Like many others, I started out with the Bloglines . When that service wound up, I moved to Google Reader. I also dabbled with Feedly for a while. Then I got my iPad in 2011 and the Flipboard app transformed my blog reading habits. Flipboard took my RSS feeds from Google Reader and presented them in an attractive magazine format. I love quickly skimming the latest updates on my iPad and then concentrating on the posts that really grab my interest.
Now the Google Readerservice has been discontinued and my blog reading habits seem set to change again. (You can download a copy of your Google Reader data via Google Takeout until 12PM PST July 15, 2013.)
Flipboard promised they would preserve my Google Reader feeds following the shutdown on Google Reader on 1 July. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been a seamless transition. They assure me my feeds are “safe” but only a fraction of my feeds are showing up and those are not properly updating. This is probably only a temporary glitch. My more fundamental concern is that, even if my feeds are restored, Flipboard is not offering core functionality of managing my subscriptions on an ongoing basis. That is, I cannot add or remove feeds or create new folders. It’s time to find a new RSS Reader!
Cultivating New Blog Reading Habits
There are a range of alternatives to Google Reader available. For now, I am trying out Feedly and Bloglovin’‘ Both offer an clean interface; mark- as-read functionality; the ability to sync between desktop and device apps; and the ability to manage feeds.
If I am surfing around on my desktop, I can easily add new feeds directly to Feedly using the Feedly Firefox Add-On or the Chrome RSS Subscription Extension. This is a screenshot on Chrome. The orange RSS icon shows up whenever I am on a site that has a RSS feed. Just click on the icon to subscribe.
Currently, there does not appear to be an equivalent direct browser subscription option for Bloglovin. Nor could I find a subscription bookmarklet for Safari or Chrome on the iPad for eithers service. Still, for one-off additions, it is not too hard to grab the url for the site and add the feed manually in Feedly or Bloglovin.
With the impulse to create comes the desire to share. THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by my blog since I started in 2006. I enjoy the medium and plan to keep on blogging. I hope you will join me along the way.
The url for my blog RSS feed is www.serendipitypatchwork.com.au/blog/feed/ If you have already joined Feedly or Bloglovin and would like to follow my blog, click on the buttons below:
Blogging is not a one-way street. I enjoy reading other blogs too. In my next post, I will share some inspirational recent additions to my reading list.