Dear Reader: How do you take your blogs?

What I mean is, how do you read me? Do you come here every day, every three days, or once a week to check if there’s something new? Do you only read in a feed reader, and never come here for real, unless you feel compelled to comment? Did you stop by once in the beginning, never to return except via RSS feed? Or do you use the RSS feed to tell you when there’s new content, and then visit the site to take it all in right here?

See, I take my blogs up close and personal. I’ve always visited the site directly to read the latest. After my feed reader told me there was something new, I would click through and read the post and see the pictures in their native environment, as the author intended them to be seen. I like looking at blogs with nice layouts and links to pictures and other blogs (though I did stop visiting a couple of blogs regularly that blared music at me as soon as the page loaded, sorry). I don’t even think reading the whole post in my old reader was an option anyway, or if it was I never knew it, and visit the blogs I did.

Then I switched from my old reader to Google Reader, and now I see that I don’t have to go to the site to read what’s there, I can just read it all and see the pictures in the feed reader. This works for most sites, but not for all. Even so, I do still visit the actual sites for most of the blogs I read, because I like to see the original stuff, and the comments, which you don’t see in the reader, at least not in mine. That’s part of the whole blogging thing is the interaction and conversation that happens across the miles, and the sense that you’re visiting with someone in their “home” on the Web.

If there’s other content, like tutorials or photo galleries that are not in the blog chronology, if you never visit the site, you’ll never know it’s even there. If the author publishes a new post, but then goes back and edits it, if you read the post in a feedreader, you may be seeing the original version of the post, and not the edited version. (I’m a huge after-posting editor; three seconds after I click “publish” I always have to make corrections or add some afterthought, and this can sometimes go on for a quarter-hour.) If the author changes a picture, you might not see the new one, because the feed that your feedreader originally pulled has the old information in it.

These are just some thoughts running around in my head. So let’s discuss. How do you take your blogs??

12 thoughts on “Dear Reader: How do you take your blogs?

  1. Hi Nadine, I read my feeds in NetNewsWire, which usually shows me the content and pictures. Some sites seem to be hardcoded to only show the first couple of sentences so if there is enough there to pique my curiosity, I’ll click through to the site and continue reading. Sometimes I have to click through to watch a video, it all depends on how the site is coded, I think.

    I’m with you about the music, what are these people thinking? I will not subscribe to a blog with music because I can’t surreptitiously read it at work (wink wink) and I’m a big believer in not using special effects just because you can. Some blogs are so overcrowded with advertising, they make my eyes hurt trying to find the actual content and I avoid subbing to those.

    I’m addicted to blogs and I subscribe to a ton of them, so if I don’t read them morning and evening, I can easily get behind. And because of that, I don’t have the time to click through to every single one.

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  2. I use Bloglines but I usually go to the site to read the Blog unless I see from Bloglines that it’s very short or not particularly interesting to me. For example, lots of quilters also knit but since I’m not that interested in knitting, if the entry is all about knitting I usually don’t go to the actual blog. I admit to being a lurker on many blogs, mainly due to time constraints. I’d be typing all day if I commented on every blog I read.

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  3. I use Google Reader to read my blogs but will go to the actual blog when something really interests me or I want to leave a comment. I need to pare my list because I feel that it is so big and cumbersome that I can’t give good feedback to the blogs because I whizzing through them on my list just to get to the next one. If I limit the blog I read then it is possible I can be more of a contributor. I, too, hate the blaring music — thank goodness it doesn’t come through a reader.

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  4. I read almost exclusively in Google Reader. When I stumble on a new site, I spend some time browsing around making sure it’s my style and that I’m interested in the content. I usually will read ~3 months worth of archive. Then I subscribe and read in Reader. I have about 20 quilting sites, but only a handful of them publish each day, so I really don’t get behind too much. I’m trying to be better about clicking through and commenting more on stuff I enjoy. I’m a relatively new blogger, but I enjoy it when people drop by my site and comment

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  5. I only read a few blogs that I have found to be consistently informative and interesting, like yours. These are at the top of my bookmarks and I click to them once a day to check for new posts.

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  6. I go to the blog. I have never known what RSS was and have never heard of Google Reader. I absolutely cannot keep up with technology. I finally did get new tvs – that was enough stress. Oh yeah – I now have an IPOD Nano. So – I go to the blog. I like yours, Posie Gets Cozy and Craft Sanity.

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  7. I have all the blogs I read daily bookmarked and get to them that way. I know Google Reader would tell me when they are updated, but it just seems like too much work to enter them all and start over that way. I usually check most blogs every day, but since I know you usually don’t update every day, I may only drop in on yours every 3 or 4 days. Of course, when I have time on my hands, I do tend to ‘wander’ to other blogs listed on sidebars.

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  8. I read on bloglines, but often go in to the actual blog anyway, even if I don’t intend to comment. I like people to come into mine, so try and pay them the same courtesy. Plus, that way I can look at what else there is.

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  9. I use Bloglines to keep me updated on about 300 blogs. I will click through to the blog if the blog entry catches my interest. Like some other commenters I’m not a fan of music on a blog. I usually work with no sound on my computer so I may be reading blogs with sound and just don’t know it. Lots of advertising turns me off too.

    I lurk more than I comment since I’ve gone back to work. I have less time to comment. I generally spend an evening (like tonight) to get caught up on comments.

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  10. Whew! Lots of good feedback from readers here!

    Robin, Yes, it does depend on how the site owner sets up the feed sometimes, whether the whole post comes through in the reader or just an excerpt I don’t mind either way, but if the excerpt is too short, sometimes you can’t tell if you want to read the rest or visit the site to do so. I totally agree with you about music and special effects. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should.

    Joyce, you and I sound a lot alike about the knitting. Well, I suppose for me it’s not that I’m not interested, but I absolutely don’t need another addiction, and yarn could easily become one if I let it, so I generally skip those posts unless there is obviously some other content in the post as well. If there were 48 hours in every day, I could be a knitter, too, but we all know how that goes. 🙂

    Hey Paula! I had that thought too while I was writing this post, about music not coming through the reader, the thought just never connected to my fingers!

    Hi Valerie, and Welcome! Thanks for sharing your “discovery” process for blogs. I’m actually in the process of formulating a lecture about blogging, and it’s interesting to see the decision process for whether a blog makes the grade. And of course, the best way to get traffic is to be traffic for someone else!

    Hi Kelly! I do know that so many people are confused about what RSS really is and does. I ran across this site just yesterday as I was traveling around: What is RSS?, and then there’s always Google to tell you all about it. All that being said, that certainly doesn’t mean that your way is bad! It works, and you get to see the content as it’s meant to be seen!

    Irene, I think there might be a way to get your bookmarks into Google Reader. If you’re using the Firefox browser, you can look at Google for ways to export the bookmarks you have to an OPML file, which can then be imported to Google Reader (or other RSS feed readers as well). If you are using another browser, you can see here for other search results. I think you’d have to be using “live bookmarks” or “live marks” and not just a bookmark to the front page of the blog to get the OPML thing to work. Just in case you ever wanted to take the plunge! 🙂

    Hi Emma! Good points! What goes around, comes around.

    Hi Paula in NH! 300 blogs?!? WOW! 😯 I’m with you on the advertising too. If there’s anything blinking or moving on the page, it’s terribly distracting, and I leave asap.

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  11. I have a list of blogs that I look at regularly. Some I look at every day, some I look at about once a week, some less often. I haven’t yet figured out the RSS stuff, but I will check out the links you have given. It’s just easier for me to say, “What am I in the mood for right now?” You have interesting insights about quilting and life as an American overseas. I like both parts, and I check in with you when I’m feeling a little overwhelmed with my job. This is a peaceful place.

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  12. Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for your kind comments about my blog! If and when you decided to start using a reader, since it sounds like you check up on blogs from both work and home, an online solution like Google Reader would be perfect, because when you log in your blogs are there, no matter what computer you are on. If you’re at work and you read an entry, it won’t show up in the “new” list, even when you log in at home.

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