One of the most important parts of growing as a blogger (not to mention growing your readership or interaction on your own blog), is reading other blogs. Not only does reading other blogs give you a way to interact with other bloggers, but it also expands the footprint of your blogging brand. I know that some of the blogs I read now are ones that I found through people commenting on my blog.
At one point in time, reading through my daily blog list was an extremely similar endeavor. There were a handful of blogs I read when I first started seriously blogging (a couple of these bloggers are actually still blogging occasionally…that would be these two bloggers, for those interested), and I would read them religiously thanks to WordPress.com’s blog reader function. WordPress’ reader is great if you have a small number of blogs to keep up with and you’re a regular reader. As I added more and more blogs to my reading list, WordPress’ reader began to show some of its then-flaws. In particular, you could never see more than the most recent 7 posts on your feed. This made day-to-day reading very manageable, however if you went offline for a week on vacation, anything beyond the 7 most recent posts became extremely difficult to find.
I stuck with WordPress’ reader for the most part from 2011 until early 2013, though I did occasionally have RSSOwl set up here and there. I can’t remember having anything bad to say about RSSOwl, but nothing particularly good to say about it either. I know I created and deleted accounts on there a couple of times with old email addresses, though the account never lasted long enough for me to care. In February 2013, I decided to jump on the Google Reader bandwagon…only for Google to announce one month later that they were killing Google Reader. Reader was just sort of there, neither good nor bad. It was like RSSOwl, only with Google’s backing.
In the summer of 2013, I made the decision to go to Bloglovin’ in order to aggregate my blog reading, as well as to find a way to promote my blog. From a blog reading standpoint, Bloglovin’ was slightly worse than Google Reader and RSSOwl, though not terribly so. That said, as a content promotion tool, Bloglovin’ was by far the worst tool I’ve ever used. In addition to the sites’ content filters setting off at the slightest curse word and causing my old blog to be irreversibly private((A fact for which I was apologized to, but told nothing could be done unless I removed key terms from my site…more on that in a second)). By making the blog private, it also meant that I could no longer share tweets about said blog from Bloglovin’, edit the blog’s information without the help of the support team, or link the blog to my profile.
Even after moving to this site, it took less than a week for TTW to get blacklisted from searching on Bloglovin'((I deactiveated my Bloglovin’ account in September 2014 because of these shenanigans. Said information about this came to me from friends who tried to follow me there)). It would appear that Bloglovin’ has chosen to retain its black-and-white banning policy — a policy which only hurts their credibility and usability. While some of the words were the usual suspects, there were a couple on the list that just baffled me.
- NSFW or Not Safe For Work – This is the first and most common term that the old blog got flagged for. Some work places don’t like it when you say fuck. As such, I would label any post with the word fuck or that was part of the Fuck You Friday series as NSFW. While the word fuck itself didn’t get my blog blocked, warning someone that there’s explicit language did. That just makes no fucking sense((Fuck.)).
- Genitals – I get blocking slang terms for the male and female reproductive anatomy. I get blocking explicit sex stories/videos/etc from your site. But to block the word genitals — a medical catch-all term that is a general description for the male and female reproductive anatomy — has the potential to block blogs that provide legitimate medical advise. A terrible choice here.
- Penis/Vagina – See above with genitals. It’s worth noting that boobs is not a blocked word, nor is tit, yet titty is.
- Deepthroat – No talking about the resolution to the Nixon Watergate Scandal for you. Sure, we all know what this one means 98% of the time, but let’s have some common sense.
I moved to Feedly late last fall. I’ve enjoyed using it so far — it’s a very simplistic product to use. The only real issue I’ve had with it so far is a bit of a struggle getting this blog to show up in its reader. With a couple of hours worth of work, I fixed it. To be fair, the issue appears to be one that was on the end of this blog’s RSS feed, not with Feedly, so that’s a promising fact.
That all said, I pose the question to you — What is your favorite blog reader? Do you have experiences similar to or different from mine with the various sites I’ve mentioned? Sound off in the comments.