Thursday, July 1, 2010

ON BLOGGING ~ Recommended Reading...

Image courtesy Kristina B via Flickr

So last week my guest post on Florinda's blog, The 3 R's, revealed my new found strategy for managing my blogging time by tackling my Reader more efficiently:

  • The Great Purge
  • Playing Favorites
  • The Daily Special
  • Add Some Pizzazz

  • It has really been working for me and a few of you said you were going to try some of my suggestions too so I'm curious to hear how it is going for others. Do tell!

    As I was exploring more in my Reader, I discovered even more simple things I could be doing to make my time there less stressful and easier to manipulate. So I thought I'd share them here, in the event anyone else was interested. They are nothing new or mysterious. In fact, I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it took me this long to figure them out. But hey, live and learn, right?

    #1 - When opening a subscription, change your setting preference to "Show New Items" instead of "Show All Items." If your default is not New Items, it can look overwhelming seeing that endless list of posts to sift through, never knowing where they will end. Though this is mostly a perception issue, removing the excess information is less overwhelming. But it is also a time saver in that you don't need to count through the posts to figure out which ones are new and which you've been through before.

    #2 - Star posts you want to read later rather than leaving them in place as unread. I didn't know there was a way to mark a post so that it would be saved elsewhere. If there was a post I wanted to come back to or spend more time with, I was just leaving everything as Unread so as not to lose track of it. This left lots and lots of posts piling up that were read but not out of sight. The simple fix was finding that little Star icon right on each post to stick it right in a built-in favorites/starred folder, even when marking all as read.

    #3 - Create folders to help you find the blogs you want when you need them. When I add a new blog subscription to my Reader, I add it to a variety of folders now for easy reference later. Examples would be categories for a blog's geographic location, genre, or source from which you found them. This comes in handy if I am looking to connect with bloggers in a region I am visiting to get suggestions about what to see or do or to meet up with them in person. If I have a post up about a helpful resource for book bloggers, I can find them quickly in my Reader genre/niche folders and reach out to let them know. And when I want to put my head together with other bloggers I met from a specific online event about a new idea, my source folders help me find them. My Reader isn't just there to collect posts, it is now a resource for organizing members of my network.

    Those are ways that I am getting my Reader to work for me. I use Google Reader and view it through the Feedly application in my Mozilla Firefox browser. Many of you use your Dashboard on Blogger. Those feeds will automatically pull into a Google Reader or Feedly too. There are lots of Reader options out there. Explore ways that they can work best for your needs, giving you more time to blog or have fun in the real world.

    Now that I've suggested ideas for managing your blogging time, here's a spot to discover new blogs to add to your Reader! Say Anything (in addition to being the name of one of my favorite movies ever) is a cool creation where various bloggers of all stripes are featured on a daily basis via an interview. Comments are turned off so that readers click over to the blog directly to meet the blogger and get to know their blog directly. Someone was kind enough to nominate us humble Bumbles for a turn in the spotlight and you can read our interview HERE. In order to participate, we had to pay it forward and nominate another blogger, which we did. Whether they chose to accept it or not is something we'll just have to wait and find out. I've added Say Anything to my Reader and am loving all the blogs it is introducing me to. Another great time saver - new blogs come to me. Can't get any easier than that.


    Unknown said...

    Phew thanks for those tips! I have been struggling finding time to catch up on blogs, blog myself and everything else.

    Will definately try some of those tips.

    rhapsodyinbooks said...

    Nice post over at Say Anything. Re folders, I use them also and they are a real time saver because you can "mark all as read" for a whole folder but not mark the whole reader as read, so to speak.... So if I'm not in the mood for a folder category, for example, I can eliminate it for the day without taking away the rest.

    ds said...

    I think I am going to have to begin experimenting with Google Reader (I am one of the dinosaurs who still uses her Blogger Dashboard--I think I'm afraid I'll lose everything).

    Sandy Nawrot said...

    I'm a Dashboard user as well...I'm such a fuddy duddy. This summer, I've gotten a little lax on how many blogs I read daily, but I don't sweat it. If I get to it, I get to it. If not, I know my friends will forgive me! I am so amazed with your aggressive attitude at managing, organizaing and figuring stuff out! And way to go on the spotlight! Bumbles rock!

    Beth F said...

    All your tips are helping me with my reader. One thing I've been doing lately is visiting each blog fewer times (once a week instead of every day) and then spending a bit more time there -- so instead of a mad dash through 100 blogs a day, I look at 10 or so and read everything that appeals to me. You may see me less often, but I'm reading your blog more carefully.

    Molly said...

    I started using Google Reader in January and have found that it truly does save me time in the morning. I LOVE the folders system as well, although I tend to organize by blog type rather than region (I like that idea though -- may need to implement it during the next Bloggiesta).

    Beth Fish comment above is a great one as well. I think I may try that for the rest of the summer.

    JCB said...

    I dont use google reader. I should try it out.

    Margot said...

    I'm still reaping the benefits of your suggestions from last week. I purged my closet of loads of outdated blogs. I also have different folders as you suggested. It's working so much better now. I'm not feeling obsessive about visiting everyone every single day.

    Anonymous said...

    I love your tips. It took me awhile to star posts too, but there is a danger in it. I often forget about them for long periods of time!