At AOE, we just wrapped up our 2014 Art Ed Blog of the Year Contest, and if you’re like me, there are some new blogs on your “must read” list.
A few years ago, that would have meant adding new tabs to my bookmark list so that, when I had time, I could easily find them. Back then, I would waste time checking blogs that hadn’t updated, I missed some really great information that would have been perfect last week, and I spent a lot of time trying to find “that great post about ______.”
What is a blog reader? Imagine a service that allows you to “subscribe” to the blogs you want to follow. The blog reader will keep track of all your blogs and gather their information in one easy-to-use place. There are lots of blog readers (RSS feed) services out there, but I am in love with Feedly.
Below is a snapshot of my main page with some of my favorite features highlighted.
– The green circle shows the categories I have set up. I love this feature because it allows me to keep my art blogs seperate from my personal blogs. Sometimes, I have time to read all of them at once, while other times, I just browse the art ed blogs.
– The highlighted “cog” is the settings button where you can change how you see each post. In my “Art Ed” category, I see the posts by Full Articles, because I want to read the whole articles at once. In my “Technology-Education” category, I have it set for Magazine, as I want to quickly browse the titles and brief summaries only.
– The red circle shows just how quickly the reader keeps track of new posts.
Feedly is awesome because it “reads” all of my blogs for me, but what I really love is how it allows me to organize the information that I find on my blogs. Whenever a photo comes through the reader, I can hover over the image and a pinterest button appears. One quick click and the inspiring image is saved to any of my pinterest boards. If Pinterest isn’t the way I want to save the information, at the bottom of each post there are several other options. In the image below, I have highlighted the “tag” button. I love that I can tag the post under multiple categories. When I need to find information about a specific topic, I click on the tag and all the posts I have saved under that tag show up.
Although I love Feedly, I know that many people also use BlogLovin. Abby Shukei, our winner from the Rising Star category, at Exploring Elementary Art had this to say about BlogLovin.
“It may seem like a daunting task to peruse through the roughly 150 blogs I like to keep up with, but Bloglovin makes that easy. With its very similar Twitter set up, it provides a minimalist platform to see the main concepts of bloggers’ latest posts. Each update provides an image and title, along with a quick snippet of the post. As I may not be interested in reading all of the posts by each blogger, it gives me the opportunity to discard a post from my feed or save a post to come back and read later. ”
Whether you choose to use Feedly, BlogLovin or another RSS system, I know that you will love how it makes following blogs so much easier. If you already use a blog reader, make sure to add the awesome winners, finalists and honorable mentions featured here!
How many blogs do you follow? Are they primarily teaching blogs or do they represent a mix of your interests?
How do you manage your blog reading?