Keep Up with Hundreds of Blogs the Easy Way!

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 ______.”
 

Then I discovered a blog reader.

 
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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.
 

What do I love about using Feedly? Well, lots.

 
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.

 

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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.
 
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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?

 
 
 

Jennifer Carlisle

Jen is a middle school art teacher from Norfolk, NE who loves exploring and teaching art through traditional and digital art mediums.

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  • Tim Bogatz

    Love me some Feedly! Great introduction to something that saves me so much time and is so helpful. Thank you!

  • It is CRAZY how teaching art has changed since I became an art educator in 1991! We use so many ideas that blogs share. Thanks for posting! http://2soulsisters.blogspot.com/

  • Mr. Post

    A hundred blogs? At some point my creative well is full of ideas. I am thinking of withdrawing more from the internet – too much stimulus and noise. It takes time away from me thinking deeper. I had two snow days and spent time in my studio potting. The solitude was nice and helped me to find balance again. Spending time on the internet doesn’t do that for me. I will still read AOE and post photos of my students’ work to Twitter, but I am planning on pulling way back on my social media consumption in 2015. It’s my New Year’s resolution… more quality time instead of more scrolling time.

    • Jennifer Carlisle

      that is part of why I love using a blog reader. I can choose the blogs I read and it condenses the information in one quick, easy to use place…. allowing me more time to spend with my kids, hubby, puppies, etc. I am glad you are making time for the things you love.

  • HipWaldorf

    Thanks for this post. I have been using Feedly for years, but your tips helped me see I can be more efficient and better organized.

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