Saturday, January 19, 2013

Getting the most out of blog reading

Lucy under construction, July 2004
(*The photo above has nothing to do with this post.  I just always think a post is nicer with a photo or two.)
 How do you go about reading blogs? This may seem like a silly question, but really, I've given it a bit of thought, so bear with me please.

I use the blogger dashboard to scroll through the zillions of blogs I follow to see what posts I want to read. If I want a little more of a snippet, or if I want to search for a particular topic, I sometimes also use the Google reader.  If you have a blog, you automatically have both the dashboard and Google reader.  I know some of you subscribe to other readers or feeds or whatever you want to call them, but I find the blogger feed and Google reader to be very simple and easy.

BUT some of you do all your blog reading in the reader, and never jump to the actual blog.  When I find a post I want to read, I like to open it up so that I am reading the blog directly. But, here's the clincher. Lately I do a lot of my blog reading on my iPad. When you open a post on an iPad, if you scroll to the bottom you will find that it offers the option to 'view web version'. I'm betting many of you never choose this option.  There's an important reason why I do choose that option, and that's why I am writing this post.

Lucy under construction, August 2004
There's a lot more on a blog than just the post content.  If you are doing all your blog reading on a reader, or on a tablet without clicking 'view web version', you are missing a lot of what's available for you on a blog.  The three things most meaningful to me (other than the post content, of course) are the labels, the blogroll (of course both are often renamed on blogs to as per the desire of the blogger; my blogroll is called simple FAVE BLOGS), and the followers. Why am I so interested in these?
  • The labels interest me so that I can find an old post on a particular topic.  For example, looking for something for kindergarten?  Click on the kindergarten label and you'll find any post tagged with that label!  Simple!  You won't see the labels if you are viewing the posts only in a reader.
  • The blogroll interests me because often you might include a blog I've never seen before on your blogroll, and I can jump there directly from your blogroll!  Again, you won't see the blogroll if you are only using the reader.
  • And the followers!  You can learn a lot about a blog by finding out who is reading it.  And you can click on the follower and find out if they have a blog too, and if they do, and you've never seen it before, then, well... you get the idea! 
Again, this image nothing to do with the post...  I just didn't have a good way to end the post.  Anyhow, how do YOU read blogs?  Have I given you any food for thought? (Food!  Time to go cook some dinner!)


  1. Hi Phyl
    I, too, start with the dashboard to get an idea of which blogs to read first. I must admit, I am often influenced by that first photo. I agree that going to the actual blog is valuable. I do click on blogs that are on other peoples' blog rolls -- blogs that for one reason or other (probably just laziness) I haven't added to my own dashboard. That usually happens with blogs I check regularly. When I have a little extra time I will go to a blog that I like and click on some of the followers listed there just to see if I can find some new and interesting sites to follow, too.

    By the way, it's nice to see Lucy again!!!

  2. Lately, I've been scrolling down my blogroll and jumping to the links of the most recent posts. I follow all of the suggestions you made, btw--great points!


  3. I have been a bit overwhelmed with the number of blogs that I follow lately. I generally have hundreds of new blog posts that are new. So, I do a lot of skimming. I generally don't go to the blog unless I am going to comment. Which said, if you only allow the first few lines in my reader, I will probably not even skim your post. I like all to see all of those items on blogs, too, but I just haven't made the time to explore lately.

  4. I have noticed that more blogs are only posting a small snippet of their new post to see on Google Reader (or other readers). They ask you to open to read the full post. I am not a blogger, so I assume it is because they earn money? These are the ones who have ads or sell things directly from their blog. This is actually a detriment, because there are no photo's or enticing titles, so I tend to scroll through quickly or ignore those blogs because I have so many to read.

    I always open to the full website blog post if I want to pin a picture to pinterest or closely read the lesson for for teaching, because the comments section can be very helpful.

  5. When I first started blogging there weren't as many blogs, and keeping up with it was a lot easier. Now there are hundreds of blogs, and I just don't have time to read it all. Often, I end up glancing at the blog roll, and if there is a picture that appeals to me, I will click on it and quickly skim. If it something I really like, I will pin it to Pinterest. I usually don't read it in depth until I have time later.

  6. Hi,
    Thanks for pointing out some of the features and how they differ. I am just starting to blog and follow others. Just yesterday I began using the Easy reader to organize the ones I follow. I am always amazed how art teachers are able to teach each other so effectively so we don't have to "reinvent the wheel."

  7. I delete people usually after 2 months of them not posting from my blog list. I give a little more grace during the summer months. However..with so many great blogs out there, if they aren't posting...they can be replaced.

    1. Excellent point! I also have changed my blog roll as people stop posting, but I haven't done it for a while. You've reminded me that I need to do that! Thanks!