Reunited (With Blogs) And It Feels So Gooood

I lost that loving feeling for blogs about a year or so ago. Man, I’ve been PINING for the good ol’ days (pre-Twitter/Facebook/13 email accounts/Instagram/Google Reader/Pinterest/iPhone apps/etc.), but let’s face it, the good ol’ days are gone. Nearly six years ago, when I wanted to write about something, I wrote it on this blog. When I wanted to read something, I read it on your blog. Most likely, we left comments and became friendternets. That was fun, wasn’t it? Simpler times, oh friendternets. Now, it’s random observations jammed into 140 characters and/or a sentence or two underneath an iPhone photo and/or Twitter parties and/or gahhhhhhh, I’m totally turning into a crabby old hag.

At first, I thought that Google Reader would help to simplify my time spent online by creating a one-stop shop blog reading platform. And it did for awhile, but over time, I would amass 300-600 unread blog posts, become totally overwhelmed, and click the lame ‘Mark All As Read’ button. When I DID have time to read posts, I couldn’t even remember what blog I was reading due to the generic, clinical-looking feed reader template. Whose blog is this? How did I find this blogger? Why am I reading this? What was the connection that drew me to this person in the first place?

I think Kristen put it best when she wrote:

See, reading blogs in Google Reader is efficient, but it’s a little cold.  You miss the full experience of seeing the post where it was meant to be.  It’s kind of like eating take-out instead of eating in the restaurant.  You miss the ambiance. It also makes it harder to comment.

Right on. Considering the overwhelming majority of blogs that I read are lifestyle/design blogs, I was doing myself such a disservice by reading posts without actually visiting the blog where it was meant to be read. Plus, what were the chances that I would click through to leave a comment? Slim to none. On the other hand, I don’t have enough time in the day to visit all the blogs I love, in hopes that a new post may or may not be up.

Okay, I’m going somewhere with this, I promise! Thanks to Kristen, she wrote a post entitled, “if you read blogs, you should read this,” and it included a tip about the Google Reader Next Button. (She also wrote a great post on awesome smoothie recipes for kids who despise veggies, aka WITO, and she’s the reason I bought a rice cooker. Kind of stalking her right now.)


Now, I can click a little button in my browser toolbar and it will take me directly to the next chronological blog post in my reader queue. At the actual website, where it was meant to be read. Wahoo!

Here’s an example (click photo to enlarge):

Here’s one of my favorite newish blogs, Triple Max Tons. Instead of reading Kirsten’s post on a generic feed reader page like before, I experience it on her darling website where I get to see her face, as well as all the links and info that she has provided to readers. (Like the fact that she has a Pinterest account. I wouldn’t have known that without visiting her blog.) After I’ve read her post, I click the Next button in my toolbar, and I’m off to the next chronological post in my queue. Shazam!

However, the best part is when I have read everything in my queue and see this page.


People, it’s like old school blog-hopping with with a side of modern convenience. I’m enjoying blogs again, I’m commenting again, and all’s well in the blogosphere. (Except for the fact that I just used the term “blogosphere.”)

Check out the Next Button. Set up a Google Reader account if you don’t have one. Then go here, and click on the Goodies tab. It’s under “Put Reader in a Bookmark.” I think you might like it. Now I’m off to dream up a new whoorl design, as this one is gathering cobwebs.

  • Annika

    May 5, 2011 at 10:52 am

    I FORGOT ABOUT THAT! Sorry, that required yelling. Because I am SO EXCITED to be reminded! I had the Next button on my old computer but I didn’t migrate my bookmarks.

  • Martha

    May 5, 2011 at 11:00 am

    When I started reading this post I got anxious and thought, I hope she knows about the next button! Hooray! It is the best thing ever – I read about it on Heather Bailey (fabric designer)’s blog. I have gotten all my sisters started in Google Reader and they love it. I’ve also added the “subscribe” button to my toolbar so that if I’m at a blog I want to add I can just hit subscribe and it takes me to GooRead to add it.

  • Michelle

    May 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    As I was reading I kept thinking, I’m totally going to comment and tell her about the NEXT button! Bloglife changing! It is quite possibly my very favorite thing invented by Google ever.

  • Michelle

    May 5, 2011 at 11:09 am

    PS Totally reading you via the next button.

  • Christina

    May 5, 2011 at 11:20 am

    I learned something new today. Love Google Reader for its efficiency but I’ve missed the actual sites, and rarely comment. Thank you for this!

  • Marianne

    May 5, 2011 at 11:23 am

    This is kind of blowing my mind. I love that Google Reader keeps all my blogs in one place so I remember to check them, but it kills commenting. Kills! I am stupid excited about this.

  • Mary

    May 5, 2011 at 11:48 am

    THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! I love that Reader keeps my blogs all organized, but I hate the truncated posts and bland text that you get with it, plus I’m less likely to comment when I have to click through. This is just lovely!

  • Jill Browning

    May 5, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    THANK YOU! I love Google Reader, but I missed looking at all of the pretty blogs. This is a revelation. Best think I’ve found since my husband taught me to left click/”open in new tab”.

  • S to the K

    May 5, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Holy SHIT you just blew my mind! Here’s the thing, I have been secretly loving-slash-hating google reader for what feels like forever now. It helps organize my life but it’s so ‘meh’ … It’s like Ikea.

    Now that I know about the ‘next’ button I can give people some page views and hell, it got my ass to come over here and comment AND yes, it helps remind me who the hell is attached to which black text. And I haaaaate blogs on reader that only provide a snippet. You know what I do? I read the 10 sentences and move on to the next blog. I don’t have time for all this back and forth clicking shit. Now I just ‘next’!


  • Abby

    May 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I actually love using Rockmelt (http://www.rockmelt.com/) as my web browser for that reason. It’s basically Google Chrome, but on the left side is the list of people available for Facebook chat, and on the right, my favorite part: a little icon list of whatever blog feeds you want to put on there, with a small number next to each icon of how many unread posts there are. It’s all right there and you can click, look at the preview, and decide if you wanted to read it after all or not. You can also save any link to “view later” if you don’t have the time now. Love it!

    Here’s a screenshot example (not mine): http://aobblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/RockMelt1.jpg They don’t have a lot of stuff on the right side, but you get the idea.

  • Janssen

    May 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Okay, you’ve convinced me! I even HAVE the Next button on my toolbar but haven’t really used it . .

  • Maggie

    May 5, 2011 at 12:54 pm

    I must be broken. I keep track of all my blogs in Google Reader, but always right click (or double click on my mac) and open the blog in a new tab. I can’t stand reading someone’s thoughts without hanging out in their blog home. (And perhaps this is one of the reasons I dislike tumblr – the sameness of it all?)

    But, omg, that next button might save me from some repetitive stress injuries.

  • Jen

    May 5, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    THANK YOU! That was the best thing I have learned all week!!!!!!

  • Angella

    May 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    BRILLIANT. (Just like you.)

    Added! Whee!

  • agirlandaboy

    May 5, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Hooray for peopel actually visiting blogs again (and leaving comments!) (and making friends!)!

  • Ruth

    May 5, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    OMG. This will revolutionize my blog-reading. THANKS!

  • pdxhadey

    May 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    That is awesome! 4 days ago I discovered Pinterest, then the bookmarks bar, now this! (I totally hear Peabo Bryson in my head singing “A Whole New World.”)

  • MichelleLG

    May 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    YEY YEY YEY! Sarah you are my hero (heronie? that seems a little Charlotte Bronte to me…hmmm….).
    Anyway, I’ve been doing the love/hate thing with Google Reader too and the Next button is an awesome and much-needed improvement!

  • Cecily

    May 5, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    The next button is, indeed, the awesome. See? Here I am commenting! I didn’t comment on blogs for like two years.

  • Jen the Trephinist

    May 5, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    SECONDED on the buying of the rice cooker. My boyfriend got me a fancy Zojirushi rice cooker for my birthday, and now I am not at all sure how I lived without it, especially in tandem with my wee crockpot. Perfect rice! Perfect grains! Perfect oatmeal! It’s one of the most useful things in my kitchen.

    I had no idea about the Next button, but it makes me happy. Half the time in Reader, I get confused about who is talking–I’ll think it’s a different blogger than it is, then be like, “Wait, she has three kids? WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?” so thanks for that as well. I’ve been working on loving blogland again after some serious disillusionment, and I think this will help!

  • verdemama

    May 5, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Brilliant! I love the randomness of it, too. I follow a lot of blogs with literally thousands of unread posts and I can get overwhelmed by what to read next. I love that it just picks stuff for me.

  • Kathleen @ Sugar and Spice

    May 5, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Welcome Home

  • alimartell

    May 5, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    I was introduced to that next button a few weeks ago when I decided I wanted to comment on 20 blogs a day. It’s amazing! It has seriously changed my life :)

  • regan

    May 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    That little button is making it so easy to comment! I love you for giving me the next button gift.

  • Christina

    May 6, 2011 at 5:24 am

    THANK YOU!!! I loved having all blog posts in one place but missed seeing the creativity of their pages. LOVE this!

  • jora

    May 6, 2011 at 7:05 am

    This is revolutionary! Thank you so much!

  • Jody

    May 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Thanks so much. Love the next button. Now I just need to leave more comments.

  • Kirsten @ Triple Max Tons

    May 6, 2011 at 8:13 am

    Oh my goodness, thank you so very much for the TMT shout out, Sarah…I am blushing over here! I had NO CLUE about that Google Reader “Next” button. It’s purely and simply the cherry on top to what you just made my ‘super awesome’ morning. Thank you! :)

  • Jill

    May 6, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Eureka! Thank you… that definitely makes a difference! I agree on the basic sterility of Google Reader, it really loses the ambiance that made blogging so much fun in the beginning.

  • whoorl

    May 6, 2011 at 9:41 am

    You guys, I’m so happy that you love it as much as me! I think Marianne’s comment captures my sentiment exactly…I’m “stupid excited!”

  • PinkieBling

    May 6, 2011 at 10:43 am

    This. Is. AWESOME! Thanks so much!

  • Audra

    May 6, 2011 at 10:44 am

    This has changed my world. Ha! Thanks for the post, I immediately installed!

  • Marguerite

    May 6, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I am in love too! Hooray for a better way to view and get information from my favorite sites! Thank you.

  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    May 7, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Ditto to what Marianne said.

    {so happy Danielle introduced me to your blog btw… from skinny chords to boot camp to this little life-changing invention. much gratitude :)}

  • Torrie @ a place to share...

    May 7, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    p.s. “cords” not “chords” :)

    Will the blog powers that be ever come up with a ‘post-comment edit button’???

  • Ali

    May 8, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Thank you for this! Blogging seemed so much smaller when we started. Now the amount of blogs is overwhelming, and reading it in a reader like google just zaps all the warmth out of blogs. This is great!

  • […] full bloggy experience with the Google Reader next button {via Rhianne who found it here who saw it here} Good if you read a lot of Blogger […]

  • Natalia Silva

    May 8, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    That Google reader is interesting. I didn’t know anything about it. What a clever idea. Has this been around for long? I am so out of touch.


  • MichelleRenee

    May 9, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Thank You, Thank You, Thank YOU!!!!!!

    I love the Next button.

    So much more personal than the Reader.

    Thank you!

  • Shannyn

    May 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    This is brilliant! I am doing this right.now.

  • Jen

    May 11, 2011 at 8:19 am

    I, too, have been longing for the Olden Days Of Blogging (I’ve been doing this since 2000, so… yeah. Things are sure different now!!) I am also majorly struggling with keeping up with everybody I love to read- Twitter and FB and everything else are such TIMESUCKS. Fun and entertaining and make me feel connected… but at the same time, disconnected. And that 2nd baby really is a TIMESUCK too, right? ;)

    So I have to say: THANK YOU for this. This is perfect. Used it for a few posts and OMG YAY!!!

  • Sonja von Franck

    May 11, 2011 at 8:34 pm

    You’ve done it again. Completely rocked my world! My husband has been trying to convince me for months to switch to gmail. Confession: I didn’t even know what Google Reader was until I read this post. Three babies in four years, that’s my excuse. But after a little assistance (“where’s my bookmark??”) I’m up and running and YOU are my first subscription. As you should be… Blogs, twitter – you really are a “time suckage” influence – in the best sense! I am glad to read that there are a lot of people that weren’t completely understanding the set up – so I’ll just think of it as waiting to come onboard until you figured it all out for me. Thank you!!

  • Friday Bullets | Dutch Blitz

    May 13, 2011 at 7:48 am

    […] Speaking of Reader, did you see Sarah’s post about the Next button? I like reading blogs […]

  • Mrs. Wilson

    May 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Oh my word! I LOVE THIS BUTTON!

  • amanda

    May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am

    thank you so SO much for this gem!! lately google reader has been throwing constant errors at me, and now i can bypass it all together and just read the actual blogs! thank you thank you!

  • […] linked to this post by Whoorl about the Google Reader Next Button (look under Goodies). I think it is the MOST BRILLIANT THING […]

  • Kerri Anne

    May 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Oooh, I am officially EXCITED about this.

    Old school internet throw-backs, ahoy!

  • […] Enter the newest thing Whoorl shared – […]

  • and i’m back! » Olive Our Family

    May 17, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    […] your favorites bar and start reading!  If I’ve completely lost you, I found the tutorial at this blog (with pictures and all)!!  If you don’t use Google Reader and you read more than a handful […]