Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Behind the Scenes of Blogging - Commenting Resolutions and Google Reader Readability



I am still overwhelmed and buzzing from all the responses and feedback you left me on the poll on 'Blog Commenting'. Thank you very much again for your valuable contributions. Not only did it open my eyes but it inspired me to try to become a better blog commenter: I want to leave more comments and show my appreciation to blog posts I've enjoyed reading. I am going to check my Google reader a few times a day, mark my favourites ones and make an effort to leave some time at the end of the day to comment on these posts which caught my attention during the day and which I favorited/starred throughout the day. This was my sytem before, it worked very well, I just need to stick to it.

A few people have asked me to explain how Google reader works so I thought this post could be a good opportunity to do that. I am sorry if the following sounds a bit too baby-ish or if you already know the following information.
If you've never accessed Google Reader, this is how you could access it.
If you are using Blogger/BlogSpot, go to http://www.blogger.com/ to access your dashboard and click on the 'View in Google Reader'


Your screen should now look more or less like this. Note that I have chosen to display all my unread blog posts in a LIST format.


To read the post, simply click on the title of the post, and the whole post should open itself within the same window of Google reader. However, it's not possible to comment on a post within Google reader. For this, you'll have to click on the actual blog post as usual and do your thing there.


However, there are certain posts who only appear in a summary format within Google Reader, and need you to click on that little arrow to read the full post, and you see this to be happening, which is a little bit annoying as it defeats the object of Google Reader really:


How do you know if your blog is set up to be shown as a summary on Google reader or if your readers can read your full posts within Google Reader. Well, you could follow your own blog and see how it shows up on Google Reader or you can check the 'Site Feed Settings'.
To check/change your site feed settings
open your dashboard again,



Within SITE FEED, select 'full' if you want your readers to be able the entirety of your posts within Google Reader. This is a valuable tip from Louise from Get Lippie.com who I am extremely grateful for. Thank you very much again. And then voila, your readers should be able to read your (blogger) subscriptions posts without any problems on Google Reader

What are the advantages?

- My blog is not very accessible to readers. It has white text on black background which some viewers might find straining on the eyes. Allowing readers to see my site on Reader gives them to see them on white background, without me having to give up my beloved dark background.
- Lots and Lots of people use Google Reader to view your posts: very easy, very quick and for me the best way to keep on top of the content of my 250+ subscriptions. If your site appears in 'summary only', it's one click further away from being read and people sometimes have so many subscriptions, they sometimes don't bother reading it, if they need clicking


As I see it, unfortunately viewing posts in Google readers doesn't allow you to comment on posts. If you were on the actual blog itself, you would just go the comments box at the bottom and do your thing. Readers are already on your site, so if they want to comment, it's already there for them. However, if you read post onto Google reader, the commenting page is one click away and sometimes people have got so many subscriptions to keep track, they carry on reading the unread post below, next in line, and never click on your actual blog and leave your post.

Full? Summary? Which option is the best I don't know. For some obscure reason, my site feed was on 'summary' before but I have noticed an increase in my pages views since I have changed the settings to 'full'

This post is dedicated to lovely Ann from Girl in the City in Glasgow Blog and I hope to be able to read her posts very soon, in their gorgeous entirety in my Google reader. I hope this has been useful to some of you and that you have not found this too beginner's level or baby-ish.

If you like Google reader, make sure to save it in your favourite bar (if your browser support it) .


Then next time, you open your browser, just click the little symbol of ‘Google Reader’ and you are straight into Google Reader.


Happy Blog reading xx


Anonymous said...

I never used google reader because I thought it would be a big faff...but I will now =D


Jude said...

I always use google reader, I follow so many blogs and it's the only way I can keep up with new posts x

girlinthecity said...

you, my love, are an absolutely shiny wee star. a big, big thank you xxx

Charlie said...

I really can't get to grips with googlereader at all. I will have another look now!

Emma said...

Great newbie guide! I also find Feedly good, which puts your google reader in a magazine format and allows you to 'preview' a post in it, so you don't have to leave Google Reader to make a comment :)

Emma Greenwood said...

Wow thanks for the tips... I never knew about Google Reader before you mentioned it! Will go and have a nosey round it now :) xx

Perdita said...

One potential disadvantage of having your full blog on google readers is that some 'scraper sites' (sites that cut-n-paste/steal content, then use it to get casual hits to raise their advertising revenue) seem to use it for theft purposes. However there are ways of protecting yourself so it's not a disaster.

thefashionfreak said...

oooh very interesting! thank you for clearing this all up :) xx

Kat M said...

Thanks for the tips Liloo ;)

Strawberry Blonde said...

Thanks so much for this hon xx

Claire@Eyelining said...

This has most definitely been the most helpful post I've read all week. Thanks! x

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