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Bringing Back The Blogroll (Maybe)

photoI was included in a list of Huntsville Bloggers/Instagrammers! Full Disclosure: the author asked in a local blogging group if any bloggers had instagram accounts, and then she put us in a list. I don’t want you to think someone was THAT impressed with the pictures of my cats sleeping and the beer I’m drinking. But still! I’m on a list!

I don’t see them that much anymore, but there used to be these regular lists of AWESOME MOMMY BLOGGERS YOU SHOULD READ! put out by any number of online parenting-type groups or magazines. It was alway funny because you could predict the varied responses:

  1. Gratitude – Of course! If you’re on a list you should be grateful! Once Babble asked some of their “Top Bloggers” to recommend a blogger that no one knows about and one of my favorite bloggers mentioned me. I WAS HUGELY GRATEFUL! And I thinK I wrote 15 entries about how grateful I was because I thought it was that cool.
  2. Discussion Of The Word Mommybloggers – Man. Many Parents Who Blog HATE that word. HATES IT. Because it just makes what we do sound so trite. The problem is, it’s a concise way to put Parents Who Blog into groups. I don’t like the word “Mommy” personally, so I will use “Mom Blogger” if I need to, but you always get a handful of “QUIT CALLING US MOMMYBLOGGERS!” entries, followed by the predictable, “I LIKE THE WORD MOMMYBLOGGER!” entries.
  3. Irritation With Repeat List Appearances – Everytime these lists were put out? You’d find a lot of the same names on them. And of course people like me who never made a list would roll their eyes like, “Well…guess I won’t be on it if Amalah is always there.” But – then, of course, I would immediately remember: AMALAH IS AWESOME. She SHOULD be on every list. So, you know, you can only get so irritated with that. I would end up simply wishing there were more “Bloggers you’ve never heard of!” lists.

The thing is, no one sits down and “checks blogs” anymore. I think it’s because of the demise of Google Reader which I will complain about every day forever until the day I die. I started auto-posting my links to my Facebook page for my blog, but that doesn’t show up in people’s feeds unless they interact with that page. And since I don’t do ANYTHING else on it, there’s nothing to interact with. I personally tried Feedly and Bloglovin but just found myself totally irritated that neither of them were like Google Reader.

But I totally miss sitting down and reading blogs.

Leah wrote about blogging/storytelling recently. I met Leah back in the “good ole days” around BlogHer 2006. She’s currently rounding up bloggers that still consider themselves storytellers. I’m not sure if I’m a storyteller or not. I don’t tell stories as much as I vomit up experience. Sometimes there are stories involved but mostly it’s: This is what’s happening to me right now.

This blog sounds EXCITING.

BUT ANYWAY – She mentioned Blogrolls on the Sidebar. I used to have one of those! People started getting rid of them when we were all using feed readers. Also, people started getting their feelings hurt not being on them, but I’m not going to stress about that right now. Mine was actually still built into WordPress. Unfortunately, it’s like 4 years old and almost all of the blogs that USED to be on it are dead or haven’t been updated in 4 years. SO! I did quick inventory and deleted all of the blogs I’m pretty sure haven’t updated, and left the ones that I think have. But haven’t necessarily checked in awhile because GOOGLE READER IS DEAD.

I’m hoping to just use my own sidebar – LIKE I USED TO – to keep up with blogs again. See if that works. Maybe it will help me keep up wit my favorite blogs better? I don’t know. I may remove it again after a few weeks if I check it as regularly as I checked Feedly or Bloglovin once I set those up. Currently, the most common cause for me to visit a blog? Is someone tweeting a link or posting it to their PERSONAL Facebook page. But I have no idea how to make everyone do that at the same time every day so I can be sure to see it.

The MAIN problem with using the sidebar is that you don’t know if they’ve updated until you click. That’s why RSS readers are nice. You just open up ONE thing and you can see if they’ve updated easily. Unfortunately, I haven’t found an RSS reader I like as much as I used to like Google Reader. DAMN YOU GOOGLE!

How do you keep up with your favorite blogs? How do you find new ones?

24 thoughts on “Bringing Back The Blogroll (Maybe)”

  1. I still read blogs in a reader…I use Bloglovin’ and really like it. AND I have a blogroll on my blog, although it is a little out of date. BUT you are on it!

  2. With the demise of google reader. I switched to The Old Reader. (At your recommendation, actually.) It works great. I can see when the blogs I like I have updated, and I can also quickly scroll through what’s happening on BBC and The Atlantic. I like to keep up with the news, but don’t have all day to do it.

  3. I tried the Old Reader then switched to Feedly. I don’t like it as much as Google Reader–it updates pretty slowly. I’ll sometimes see one of my favorite bloggers tweet about a new post and it doesn’t show up in Feedly for hours! If I didn’t have it, I don’t think I’d read blogs at all any more, as 99% of the time I’m reading them on my phone and it’s just easier. Plus my old blog is defunct, so I don’t have a blog roll anyway. The last few blogs I found were through Pinterest or Facebook.

  4. I use Feedly, *but* never, ever go to the weird web interface. Instead I use a dedicated feed reader app (Unread) on my phone. It is not free, but I think it was no more than $5. It brought me back to my favorite blogs and became my time-filler while waiting or (and I know this part doesn’t apply to you) on the subway. I did trim the number of blogs I subscribe to because too much reading on the small screen was annoying, but I found it happened naturally as many blogs slowed down or closed altogether. It made reading blogs fun again!

  5. I use the Old Reader. When Goole Reader ended the old reader had a rough growing patch but in the last few months its under new ownership and updates more quickly. I do pay $2 / month for a premium membership.
    For new blogs I pretty much rely on recommendations / shout outs from current blogs I read. Although I’m not actively looking for new things to follow…

  6. I use Feedly, and I like it. I’ve almost gotten over Google Reader’s death…almost. My most common way to find new blogs to read are from FB friends’ shared links and in those bulleted roundup-type posts other bloggers write. Those are great. Maybe you could do those sometimes, in addition to the blog roll? I love link hopping.

  7. Guess I am the old fashioned one-I go to yours and the few others actual blog and read it that way. Guess there is still one person that goes to the blogs!

  8. Congrats on making a list it always feels great to be recognized! I use Pulse; it’s been a great news aggregator but then upon the demise of google reader it started letting me add blogs just like TIME Magazine so that’s what I do. News about the world and my blog friends all in one place.

  9. I too mourn the death of reader. But found solace with Feedly. Also, I think people still read blogs. I get yours in RSS so people still read. And your good list of comments shows it too! I’ve always loved the blogroll. Great way to find good sites that the blogger curated.

  10. I use The Old Reader and love it! It’s how I get all the updates from my favorite blogs. I wish I knew how to add a blog roll. I have so many favorites and love to share them! I am HTML challenged though. Maybe that’s something my genius husband can do…

  11. I use Feedly and it really has gotten better in the last year. I hardly miss Google Reader anymore.

  12. When Google Reader died, so did my blog reading. The ONLY blog I read is yours! Maybe because I have boob sweat too.

  13. Bloglines! I was actually using that before Google Reader came out and I have stuck with it. Occasionally there are posts that I see first because of a tweet or whatever, but it’s still a good way to keep up with several blogs. It seems like a lot of my favorite blogs have really slowed down in the past couple of years though so I could stand to add some feeds.

  14. I’ve been using Digg Reader, and I think it’s the closest to a Google replacement that I’ve found. (I did use Old Reader for a while, but then they had some blips and bobbles I didn’t like, so I changed. The format there is still nice though.). I couldn’t possibly keep up without a reader, I follow WAY too many blogs for that nonsense.

  15. I’m still using the blog roll on the side of my blog. I rarely post there any more but I faithfully check it every day for other people’s blogs. I’m always excited to see new posts from my favorites–including you 🙂

  16. GOOGLE READER AAAHHH. If they came back I’d open my arms wide, no questions asked. The Storytellers page is really just my glorified blogroll so I can find all the blogs I want to follow now. I’m glad if anyone else finds it interesting or helpful, too. I added an RSS feed on the left sidebar so now it shows the latest 20 posts from the people listed on the page. Unless I couldn’t find their feeds, which happened about 25% of the time. So weird! No feeds! The sites are run through some group thing or email-lists only. Glad you’re still around, Kim, and telling your stories or experiences or whatever you call them. It’s all good! : ) xo

  17. I truly loved my google reader. I tried several others but ended up Digg and I really like it.

  18. I tried a metric ton of RSS readers. Found one I liked, which immediately shut down a couple of week after I moved all my subscriptions to it. I finally switched over to InoReader. I don’t love it as much as Google Reader, which I will ALSO complain about until the day I die, but it’s the best facsimile I’ve found so far.

  19. I could say the same as Susan did above: “I use Feedly, and I like it. I’ve almost gotten over Google Reader’s death…almost.” Feedly helps me keep up with the many bloggers I had added over the years, including those who don’t blog regularly (making checking their site for a post mostly not rewarding), and I like it on the tablet even more than the computer. I sometimes stumble over someone’s blog online and add it, but mostly I keep up with the ones I had already. Like yours!

  20. +1 on the “I tried a ton of readers and ended up at InoReader.” Sounds like a lot of people landed on Feedly. Hm, can’t remember what I rejected about that one but I know I tried it. I just find InoReader to have a very familiar feel and I don’t have a long list of requirements. Least-fuss way to continue with my Google Reader habits almost seamlessly (after a month or so of complaining and beseeching the heavens Why Me, Why God Why…)

  21. I still have a short blogroll on my blog, but I rarely click through it, usually using Feedly to keep up with the blogs that post… still, I should go back to the old way since it gives people traffic and would make me more likely to comment!

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