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.)
GOOGLE READER NEXT BUTTON, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.
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.
THE END OF THE INTERNET. Heh.
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.