Book Reviews

An Experiment with Blog Readers

sundaysalonDo you ever get times where you feel like you’re drowning in information?

These days I seem to have more and more of what I call White Rabbit moments. Moments where no matter how much I try, or how fast or I, i feel I’m always behind. My email in box at work is constantly on the verge of its maximum quota. The stack of unread magazines and newspapers on the kitchen table gets higher by the minute it seems. Days have elapsed since the last time I checked the Linked In groups I joined in the hope they would keep me in touch with the latest thinking in the world of public relations and communications. And then of course there are friend’s Facebook and Twitter conversations I’ve missed because I’m too late to the party.

And I haven’t even mentioned blogs yet have I?

I’ve been finding and following sites by other bloggers ever since I started BookerTalk. It started in a fairly small way with just five or six blogs that I visited regularly and left comments on. For me, it’s the feeling of being part of a community that’s the most appealing part of blogging. It’s the chance to discover new authors or titles that I wouldn’t have found myself and also to discuss ideas with people from around the world. But the list of interesting blog sites seem to multiply at an even faster rate than mice. One blogger introduces you to another ‘must read’ site and that one recommends yet another and another.

In the beginning it wasn’t difficult to keep track of them all. As the number I followed grew, I began using the WordPress RSS feedreader. Unfortunately it’s now got to the point where I urgently need a different approach. WordPress Reader I’ve discovered has it’s limitation I’ve discovered.

So I’ve been trying to find a feedreader that would help me aggregate all the blogs I follow in an organised fashion.

WordPress Reader: I like the option to have updates via email as a weekly or daily summary or the instant something is posted. Disadvantage is there’s no way to categorise the blogs stored in the reader. When time is short I just want the option to read updates from the blogs I appreciate the most or ones that contain particular types of content.

Bloglovin: updates are delivered via a daily email. It’s more of a photo stream than a news feed since the update has a picture of the blog and just the first few sentences. To read more you just click on the link. But as with WordPress, there isn’t any option to use categories.

Feedly: this one seems much more sophisticated. It came highly recommended by the techno experts at The Verve. Feedly lets me store feeds into folders, and even pick a different view for each one. So I can separate magazine style blogs from publishers’ blogs for example. I can save individual posts to read later. I can share via Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites should I get that savvy. So far it’s proving a good option though not a perfect solution. For one thing I can’t seem to get the app version on my iPad to synch with the version on my laptop. And despite multitudes of icons giving options to share , email, mark as read etc, the only way to see comments or to make a comment is to click through to the blog itself.

Does anyone have recommendations for other readers I could try?


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

16 thoughts on “An Experiment with Blog Readers

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  • I was an avid Google Reader user and have made the transition to Feedly. If you have an iOS device FlipBoard is pretty cool in that it can take all of your blogs (in a feed of course) and turn them into a magazine type layout.

    • thanks Geoff. I haven’t come across FlipBoard before. but will take a look

  • I moved over to WordPress when Google Reader went partly because it automatically tells me about WordPress blogs i follow anyway and it seemed pointless duplicating. I do agree though about wanting to be able to categorise and prioritise so I will give Feedly a look and see what it has to offer.

    • i was hoping to avoid duplication also. right now I get some blogs in triplicate since I’m still testing different options….

  • Great blog post! There are times I feel inundated with book requests, book reviews, blog tours, and I never can seem to sign up for a book giveaway that hasn’t already passed! I love the WordPress Feeder and will definitely look into Bloglovin’.

    • Know the feeling on the reviews front. I am way behind with mine. if i leave it much longer I’ll have forgotten what I thought about the book. Thanks for dropping by again…

  • I use Bloglovin’ but check in via a button in my browser, not my email. It then takes me to the site, where I do have my blog arranged by category. If you go to the little heart drop down, then “manage blogs you follow” it lets you create categories. good luck finding a solution that works for you!

    • Oh that’s where I was going wrong! thanks for the useful advice….

  • I wish I had a good suggestion for you, but I am going through the same thing myself. I used Google Reader for years, but that one is shutting down and sending its fans scrambling. Right now I’m trying to decide between Feedly, Flipboard, and Google Currents. The last two seem to be more visually-oriented, while Feedly seems to be closer to the Google Reader experience.

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  • I was with Google Reader, but when they announced their impending departure, I quickly switched to Feedly. I’ve been pleased with it. It’s not perfect – the learning curve took a little longer and was trickier than I expected – but I think it is a good (if not better) replacement for Google Reader. One thing I am noticing: I’m getting through more blogs faster than ever before … and I subscribe to over 1,100 blogs. (So, I totally get the being overwhelmed feeling that you’re talking about.)

    Off to subscribe to yours now … 🙂

    • Oh boy, 1,000 blogs to follow. No wonder you needed something to help you organise….
      Thanks for following – hope to see you in here again if you can spare the time in between all that reading…..

  • Jennifer @ The Relentless Reader

    I used to subscribe to blogs by email. (I never could get the hang of Google Reader) But that led to the most stuffed email inbox you’ve ever seen, lol. Now, I use Bloglovin. It’s simple and does the trick for me. I hope you end up with a reader that you dig 🙂

    Happy Sunday!

    • there seem quite a few fans of Bloglovin. I never tried Google Reader so can’t compare but I know that had its very strong fan club


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