Google Reader

I have been started to read a great number of blogs recently. Each day I want to read any new posts from these blogs. I accomplished this by visiting each of the blogs. This probably made the bloggers happy. But it was getting tedious, especially when I visited each of the blogs and there were no updates.

Other people who read blogs seem to use readers to manage the new content from the blogs they read. Since I use Google products for most of my new needs, I decided to try out Google Reader. I have to say that it was a little confusing to use this tool. I added all the blogs I read. However after I changed some of my settings, the screen seemed to change.

Since Google Reader is a tool with a web front end (you access it through your browser), I was able to hit the back button to get the screens looking like they started. I have seen a new gadget for blogs that shows blog followers. If I sign up to read blog content using Google Reader, do I then show up as a follower to that blog?

I am pretty new in the world of blog readers. Right now I am not sure what other products there are out there which do the same thing as Google Reader. I might want to do a quick survey of the blog readers before I settle on Google Reader.

Other Blogging Platforms

Recently I have been working on a side project which requires me to create blogs on other blogging platforms. Some examples are LiveJournal and Wordpress. There are some other less popular platforms I have worked with as well. It is amusing to see how different platforms support and implement blogging functionality.

One thing that I really need to do is add links to my blog posts. This seems to be a basic, simple, and required feature in a blogging system. Here is what I would like to do. I want to specify the URL of the link. I also want to specify the text that is displayed in the blog for the link. This does not seem like unrealistic demands.

I have found that Blogger does not make this easy. By default it sets the URL as the link text itself. I do not like that. It also does not serve my needs. Blogger does have a work around where I can manually edit the HTML text of the post, and choose whatever text I want displayed. That feels clunky though.

Some other blogging platforms let me type the text I want to be displayed, highlight that text, and specify the URL it refers to. This seems to be the optimal approach. Why can’t everybody make it like that? Yes I guess if users have gotten used to other clunky techniques to achieve the same thing in a system, the developers may not want to make the change.

You should be careful to provide easy tools to allow the users of your system get their work done. Otherwise you may end up with unhappy users. When they become unhappy enough, they will leave to use another system. And you do not want that. For now I am sticking with Blogger because I have some blogs on there I have had for a while. But I am starting to look elsewhere. Is Not

I was happy when I discovered the “” web site. This was a place where I could add browser favorite links. Then I could access them from any computer. I did not even share these links with the public. They were just for me to make my life easier when working with multiple machines. Delicious became my new web home page everywhere.

There were some annoyances with delicious. I would have to log back in every 2 weeks to see my private links. I guess they were trying to encourage me to share my links with the rest of the world. I lived with this. Delicious was a free service after all.

Then they went and redesigned the web site. It was hard to access my links. The site just did not look good. Perhaps they were trying to go Web 2.0. I don’t know. But as a user, I was disappointed. Don’t they know you are not supposed to mess with a good thing? They had a good thing going. Now the site was ruined for me.

I am a programmer. So I told myself there was no reason why I could not create my own delicious style page. After half a day of playing with some HTML, I have a nice page like the original delicious. Let’s call this my delicious.

I no longer need the real delicious web site. They have lost a customer. I know they did not lose any direct money from me since their service if free. But they should be careful. Their user base and market share may decline further if they continue to pull stunts like this,


Recently I logged into Blogger to add another post. That’s when I noticed that my blog had a follower. To tell you the truth, I was not sure what that meant. Blogger Help says a follower is somebody who is interested in your blog. Well that sounds nice. I thought if you were interested in a blog you just read it.

Apparently Google has a “Following” gadget which you can put on your page. This allows readers to easily follow your blog. The thing is that I had not put this gadget on my blog. A little more Blogger Help research led me to understand that you can also follow blogs using your Blogger Reading List.

Now I am wondering whether I should add the Following gadget to my blogs. I would like to do whatever I can to make it easy on my readers to keep up with my blog entries. However I also want to make sure my readers actually come to my blog to read the content. I prefer that to just having them see my content in a reader somewhere else.