Monday, May 20, 2013

How to Keep Up with Your Favorite Blogs + Gems

This post is mostly for people like my mom who still types in every individual website every day to see if it has been updated (or, in her case, just calls me).  If you already have a system for keeping up with blogs and/or don't care about the technical stuff, scroll to the bottom of this post to see some of my favorite "new" blog finds...
Just about every blog and their brother has been talking about Google Reader disappearing on July 1st.  This has had me all stressed out; until, I realized that I don't even use Google Reader.  Haha!  

Allow me to explain (since I'm assuming/hoping I'm not the only one a bit ignorant to all these "technical" terms)...

A lot of Blogger blogs have a little link like this on their sidebar:
This is called Google Friend Connect (GFC) and - at least right now - it is NOT going away.  WHEW.

Basically, when you click to "Join this site" it automatically adds that blog to your Blogger Reading List AND your Google Reading List...

Still confused?

The Blogger Reading List looks like this and is basically a list of blogs that you "follow" (on the left) and tiny blurbs of new posts from those bloggers as they update (on the right).  This is my preferred method for keeping up with my favorite blogs as it is basically a spot where I can scan through everyone's most recent posts and decide which ones to actually click through and read.  If I want to get regular updates every time a blog posts something new, I can follow it either by clicking the follow button (like the one above) OR simply clicking the "Add" button (there on the left under "Reading List") and typing in/ copy & pasting the blog's web address.  I access it by logging into my account  at exactly as if I was going to write and publish my own blog post.  It's really super easy.

The problem with this, however, is that 1.) You have to have an actual Blogger account to use it (which you might not if you use a different platform or don't have a blog yourself), and 2.) There is no guarantee that Google won't decide to get rid of this sometime in the future as they try to move strictly to Google+ (which, I admit, I know very little about).

Google Reader (which is disappearing on July 1st) is connected to this; but it allows you to read the posts in their entirety in a list format (without all the formatting, fonts, etc.).  If you don't have a Blogger account, you can still set up Google Reader and follow blogs using their RSS feed.  Some people swear by this, but I never really got into it - I like all the pictures and layouts too much.  Regardless, I don't recommend switching to this format now since, well, it's days are numbered. :)

So... Let's say you don't have a Blogger account (or just don't want to risk loosing all your "Google Friends" one day), how should you keep up with your favorite blogs?  Here are a few options:

- Follow using BlogLovin', which is actually very similar to Google Friend Connect but doesn't require a Blogger account.  This is kind-of "the next big thing" right now, and I'm (personally) hoping to switch to this over the summer. The only thing that stresses me out about it is that it expects you to read every single post and keeps track of the number of "unread" ones you have.  I don't really need another thing to make me feel like I'm not keeping up. ;)

- You can also subscribe through email using a link like the one on my sidebar (lots of blogs have this).  This seems TOTALLY overwhelming to me if you read a bunch of blogs; but, if you are loyal to just a few, it would be very convenient.
- OR, if you're active on other social mediums, many bloggers post links to their new posts on their Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account.  (For the record, I do this about 50% of the time; but, I'm trying to get better).  So, following those accounts will keep you updated and give you links to click on to the actual blog post if it's something that interests you.

*Links to all of these places are available in my sidebar; but, just in case...
E on BlogLovin'
E on Facebook
E on Twitter
E on Instagram

OK, now that you are officially bored and annoyed with me, I'm shifting gears a bit and sharing some of my personal favorite posts from the past week.  Also, starting this week, I'm going to be focusing less on the "big name" bloggers and attempting to introduce you to some of the true gems you might not have heard of before... Shall we?

Marie (from Marie Osborne Blog) just announced she's pregnant with TWINS.  You know I'll be following this adventure - especially because I love her writing style and voice and she already has a little boy Sam's age.  #icannotimagine #sheisperfectforthechallenge

I'm totally loving this new blog-friend Doe a Deery (I discovered it while working on my Pinning post last week).  It is written by nine different girls, each with a different skill-set and "theme" for her writing.  It's full of helpful tutorials (like the current one on photography that I'm really loving/pretending I'll use soon) and other fun things like mom-talk, cooking, fashion, etc.  But, mostly, they had me with this paragraph on their "About" page: "Doe a Deery is a blog devoted to personal development and progress at home--with a pinch of reality. Here at Doe a Deery, we are making the effort to be less than perfect, one blog post at a time. You see, sometimes the internet pretends that there is a perfect, and sometimes, or most of the time, we believe it."

Hollie's 3-part series on epidurals is hilarious and informative.  She's a mom and a labor & delivery nurse (i.e. EXPERT in my book).  Just read it.

Erika's "Budget-friendly SUMMER FUN bucket list for 20-something, child-free, spouse-optional, 9-5 job holding people" is AWESOME.  Period.

And finally... My girl Ashley is GIVING AWAY sidebar ad-space on her blog The Pollock Potluck just because.  If you have a small business, trust me when I say --- you want to get in on this action.  She's seriously the sweetest.

See you tomorrow friends!


  1. thanks for the shout out! :) And thanks for clarifying the Google Reader/Google Friend Connect difference. I totally assumed they were the same- oops!

  2. Thanks for loving my bucket list. ;) I expect to see you checking everything off!! And I totally love that your mom types in the URL of every blog she wants to check. I have this mental image of her with this legal pad full of URLs and these granny reading glasses on...going down the list, typing each one in, checking it off the list...adorable!! :)

  3. I did a double take when I saw you post Marie's blog as a blog gem of the week. She goes to my church and is married to our pastor's son. Such a small world! So excited to follow her journey of adding twins to their family! I hope you have a great week. :)

  4. Good to know that the Blogger reading list isn't going away. That's what I usually use and I wasn't sure if it was directly linked to the Google reader and therefore also disappearing. I also like Bloglovin' though and might switch over to that.

  5. This is a really super blog

  6. Wowee! Thanks for the plug!!! :)

  7. Hi Friends! Remove “Subscribe to: Posts(Atom)” Link From Blogger. You can locate this links bellow every post or page, near to page navigation. How To Blog


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