18 September 2008

Nifty Blog-Following Gadget Thingy

Kudos to those astute individuals who spotted this new blogger feature, evidently within minutes of its recent arrival. And thanks to those stalwart souls who started "following" my blog before I even knew that it was possible to be a blog "follower."

This is really cool, I think, and very helpful. Since I enjoy reading lots of different blogs, yet many of them are only occasionally updated, this "following" feature is great for alerting me to new posts when they appear. It's a lot faster than checking 70+ blogs, one by one, every day. (No, I wouldn't even try to do that. Who has that much time? That's why "following" is great.)

"Following" is similar to the not-quite-as-recent "blogroll" feature. It tracks the URL of blogs and other websites, and reports information pertaining to recent update. "The Cutting Edge" (on the left here) is my "blogroll," which lists the ten most current posts on many of my favorite blogs. That's already pretty cool. Now that I've signed up as a "follower" on those same blogs (and a couple dozen more), my blogger "dashboard" gives me a running list of all the recent posts of all the blogs I "follow," in chronological order, with various sorting options available to me. The list provides links to each blog, and to each post by name, and even gives the first few lines of each post, so I am able very quickly to scan through things and check out anything that catches my fancy (as time permits).

Others who use blogger should check this out, and perhaps other blog-platforms provide similar such features. I am finding it useful, in any case, and recommend it to anyone else who tries to keep an eye on lots of different blogs. Go to your "dashboard" to find out more about this nifty new "gadget." Or, if you click on the link under "regular readers" here (also on the left), you can probably get more helpful information that way, too. For what it's worth. I'm just giddy about gadgets, especially when they're not just gimmicks. This is kid-in-a-candy-shop stuff for me.


Rev. Alan Kornacki, Jr. said...

If I'd known you didn't know, I would have pointed you to Google's "Reader":


It's how I follow the many blogs that interest me.

Moria said...

OK, so the blogroll lists recent posts on the homepage of your blog, while following lists them and allows you to sort on your dashboard? Is that right?

Rev. Rick Stuckwisch said...

Yes, I think so; that seems to summarize the difference, so far as I can tell. It's nice in that some of the blogs I like to read will sometimes post multiple new items in a day, and the blogroll only shows the most recent one. With "following," I can either browse through all of the recent posts (including multiple postings on the same blog), or I can scan individual blogs very quickly. Plus, I prefer not to have the first few lines from each new post on my homepage, just because it would eat up a lot of space there; but on my dashboard, I don't mind having that feature, which helps to get a sense of what the posts are about.