Follow My Bloglines

March 25, 2008 - 2:00am ||| 0 Comments | Add new
Speaking of blogs … About three years ago, I was like a lot of casual blog readers. I had a couple of them bookmarked, and I'd visit them once in a while. But I paid little attention to the RSS Feed link (that orange icon) in their sidebars, since I really didn't want to subscribe to any more content. I have enough incoming content to read, thank you very much. Besides, I didn't understand what an RSS feed was, to tell you the truth.

But one day, I was reading a fascinating blog post somewhere (can't remember whose), and the author was obviously deeply immersed in the world of blogs, since he quoted from other ones all the time. My curiosity was piqued … I really admired the writer, and I wondered what sort of blogs he himself thought worthy enough of subscribing to? Maybe I might like some of the same ones.

His "blogroll" (a linked list of his favorite blogs) appeared in his sidebar. There were only about five or ten listed, but the last link said "View all the blogs I follow." I clicked it, and it led to me to his page at Bloglines.com.

And life has never been the same.

On his Bloglines page, a narrow frame on the left listed almost fifty names of the different blogs he followed, all arranged in categories. Clicking one of the blog names resulted in the large right-hand content frame filling up with the most recent posts from that blog. I could quickly click different blogs in his list to see the latest posts from them on the right. If a post was just a summary, I could click the title of the post, which would automatically open the full post from the blogger's actual site in a new window (or browser tab). And man, did this guy know about some great blogs. I learned so much in the hour I spent there, it was incredible.

I was very impressed with Bloglines itself, and remain so to this day. It's a free service, you just sign up and bang, you have your own Bloglines URL. When you come across a good blog on the web and want to subscribe to it, you just click an "Add to Bloglines" button and it automatically gets added to your subscription list, even if you don't have the Bloglines window open.

When you have a few minutes to see what's new with the blogs you've subscribed to, you just go to your Bloglines account page in your browser. (This I love … I really couldn't stand any more content being downloaded to my computer. I like having it all on the web.) The number of new posts that authors have added since you last looked is listed to the right of each blog name. If a post contains a videocast or audio podcast, you can run it right there.

Bloglines has many more features, but I'll let you discover those on your own. For now, I want to "pass it on" … here's *my* public Bloglines page, if you want to see the ones I follow:

Anne-Marie's Bloglines Subscriptions
http://www.bloglines.com/public/HerGeekness

Don't faint when you get there, I know there's a ton! I don't look at my Bloglines sub page every day, and when I do go there, I seldom click every link or look at every post. So some of these might be defunct, for all I know, But most of these are okay — I did a little clean up before writing this article.

You'll notice that I subscribe to Lori and Rick's blogs, mentioned above (they're in the Adobe Blogs category). The "Fun" category has blogs that have nothing to do with my work. Other categories are self-explanatory. If you want to subscribe to any of these blogs yourself, set up your Bloglines account first so you can add them as you go.

By the way, when you go to my Bloglines link above you're not seeing *all* the blogs I follow; I've used the Private tag on the ones I'm too embarrassed to share with you — heh — so they only show up when I log into my own Bloglines page. I'm telling you this in case you too set up an account for yourself … don't share your Bloglines before checking the public URL, and if some appear there that you don't want to share, mark them as Private.

If you know of a blog that I should check out, let me know!

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