I know you’ve all been waiting for this: What is a feedreader and a feed and how can I get one.
First, you should all know that feeds are not about food. I know it makes no sense at all, but they aren’t. Feedreaders do not come in tuna flavor.
Second, I wrote a brief article on this for the Cat Blog Help Center. You can go there if you wish to read that, although I will go over much of this information again here.
Blogs are based on something called RSS, which stands for really simple syndication. This means that their information is easily passed around the internet. This is what made them so popular with early internet junkies. Today, there are many free blog platforms. All of these use RSS. Every blog has RSS already. You don’t have to “get it”. You just need to know how to use it.
To read a blog in a feedreader, first you must subscribe to a feedreader. I use bloglines. However, if you want to see what else is out there, I suggest you use the “subscribe” button in the left corner of my sidebar. This will bring up a page of links to various feedreaders. If you already have a feedreader that you are logged into, it will attempt to add me to your feedreader. If you don’t, this gives you a choice of where you want to go and what you want to join. The ones I have looked at have been free.
I had several comments on google reader. Apparently they are slow with their updates. Bloglines is a bit faster. I know when I look at my blog, it’s usually been updated almost immediately. I do know that there are times when I will see that Kaze or Latte have not been updated but Chase has (or some combination). I know they tend to blog close to the same time frame, so there can be a bit of a lag even with bloglines.
Skeezix’ blog does not seem to update (no matter which feed I subscribe to) and a couple of blogs I have to click on the post title rather than the blog title.
I like a feedreader because it tells me who has written a new post. Many times, however, bloglines will tell me there is a new post when there isn’t. This happens if the cat has updated a post I already read–even if it’s just to change a spelling error. We have tested this. Bloglines thinks it’s a new post. This is okay because we have way to many blogs to read all the time!
We went to this system because blogrolling was no longer updated automatically and often we didn’t know who had published a new entry. We spent a lot of time opening blogs that didn’t have any new information.
Bloglines isn’t perfect. If you open a folder and then leave without reading all the blogs, the information is gone. There is no save this information. We have made about four different folders of cat blogs to minimize the chances that we will be booted off before our reading is done. You can easily make as many folders as you want.
Also, on bloglines, we can’t comment. We do have to visit each blog to comment. We have our bloglines default set to just show us the titles of the posts so that we can go over to the blog. We do this even on blogs that we don’t comment on all the time. We kind of like the look of the blog better than the reader in bloglines.
After you sign up at one of these places, you can then say you want to add a blog to your reader. If you have a lot of blogs to add, bloglines has a subscribe button that you can place on your browser so you just hit that when you are reading a blog you want to subscribe to. Then you can set the information that you want in the window that shows up. It’s that easy.
If you start using readers, you will find that many blogs have multiple RSS feeds. I am not sure of the pros and cons of subscribing to any particular feed. I tend to choose the one that everyone else has chosen. Baring that, I will choose the top one.
Now, that I have been a bit of a geek, I think it’s time to order out thanks to Zoolatry!
I’m just not that technically savvy … I think I need to read your article again later, after a nap. 😉
Diva Kitty says
kimo and sabi says
Um,…so where’s da food?
Excellent article on feeds, Chey! 🙂 My mom uses google reader for the blogs she subscribes to – it’s just convenient for her, since she does everything through google. We haven’t subscribed to any catblogs though – we rely on the Cat Blogosphere to let us know when people have a new post, although I know not everyone adds their link there, and so we definitely miss some.
The Meezers says
excellent article! we use Spokeo and love love love it!!!
HRH Yao-Lin says
I think I may have subscribed to some of these without being quite aware what i was putting my paw to.
Oh well. hehe
All that reading makes me hungry. I’ll have toona!!
(thanks for the info)
Eric and Flynn says
Fanks furr the info Chey. We haf asked mum to see about setting one up furr us.
Thanks for that Chey, we just started using Spokeo (which isn’t listed on your subscribe thingy) and we’re coming across some problems too. Your blog never shows that it is new (we just have to come here on our own) and we’ve noticed that we must be missing other cats too. So while none of these are perfect I do have to say it cuts down a lot on our time visiting friends because it used to be 2-3 hours and now its much less.
Sushi! Almost as good as a mousie. Hmmms. Maybe better sometimes.
Mom says to tell you she has a new contest up at her site, so your human can sign up for a chance to win more cool jools. I asked her about cats signing up and her face is still twisted. I’ll have to get back to you on that one when her face straightens out.
your bud Pepi
Diamond Emerald-Eyes says
Skeezix’s feed works if you use http://www.skeezixsscratchingpost.blogspot.com/ to install it. However, he’s got something pre-blogged for Friday, October 5th, and that won’t show until you get to that day. At least, it works for me on Google Reader.
I been wanting to learn about feed readers, but it is a little complicated for me, I think. Even though you did a great job explaining it. I think I have a mental block or something.
Caesar and Princess says
We missed Gemini’s post yesterday. Wowie, she looks just wonderfulz!!
This information about feedreaders is very interesting. now, my brain feels like it is going to explode. We doooo love chinese foods very much yummy yummy
Henry Helton says
I use Google Reader. I don’t know what I would do without it. I love it very much.
Chairman Mao says
You did a superduper job explainin’ foodies, oops I mean FEEDS, hehe! Momma’s thought she oughta use Bloglines or Google Reader or somethin’ but she just hasn’t gotten about to tryin’ it out.
I wondur if she used somethin’ with feeds it would mean I got more stinky goodness?
Kittyhugs and purrs from MaoMao!
zevo calamari says
Wow… so much info… so little time. My pet human keeps telling me she is just too busy to put more time into my blog. You are one lucky poose to have help!
Hope to see you in our parade!
storm, the Furry Fighter says
ise use bloglines too – it is great, makes it really easy to see who has posted! i recommend it, it is very easy to use as well. great info Chey! xxx
Skeeter and LC says
We have been innerested in that RSS thingie that lets us know when otherkitties have posted new things. But there are simpler things we are still havin trouble thing, so we hafta learn those first.
But it is good that somekitties explain this stuff to us so we can try it out sometime.
Skeeter and LC
Karen Jo says
Very informative post. I have so little time to visit lately that I would just get frustrated trying to get to all the new posts. I also use the Catblogosphere list when I do have time.
Forty Paws says
Thanks for the information Chey! Maw is going to attempt to get more savvy with our blog and such. We’re really hoping she doesn’t screw it up!