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Friday, July 23, 2010

What do you mean, I can't do that?

A friend who’s been away on vacation visited my blog for the first time last night – and immediately asked where the RSS button was so she could sign up for new post e-mail alerts. Being a savvy blogger of all of two weeks I quickly responded, “Huh?”

I have my blog set up to notify me when I receive comments but it didn’t dawn on me that there was no way for my followers to do the same for my posts. Additional comments on posts they’ve commented on, yes. New posts, no. So I did some checking and discovered some blog hosts offer this feature and some don’t (not counting the use of add on “feed” sites). It surprised me once I thought about it. Since one of the purposes of having a blog is to reach followers, new post alerts seem like a very basic function.

I went back to my Blogger dashboard, which does provide me with a quick and easy way to see what’s been posted on the blogs I’m following, but then all those blogs are also on Blogger. This wasn’t intentional, I’ve just been following my nose from blog to blog and picking the ones that appealed to me, and Blogger sites lead to Blogger sites. I even tried adding a non Blogger site to my Dashboard reading list. Blogger accepted it but it didn’t play well with others (every post on that site showed as new).

Which brings me around to my questions of the day:

If you blog on Blogger, why did you choose it as your blog host? Do you follow many sites outside of the Blogger network? Do you think the lack of an easy “new post e-mail alert” option for followers is an issue?

If you blog on another host site, why did you choose that one? Is it easy for you to follow blogs on other hosts (i.e. Blogger)? Does your host offer a “new post e-mail alert” option for readers? Do you think it’s important?

If you don’t maintain your own blog but follow others, do you mainly follow blogs on Blogger or on other hosts as well. Does the lack of a “new post e-mail alert” option on Blogger impact how often you visit and/or how many sites you follow? If you follow a site that has the e-mail alert option, do you use it?

I’m going to continue checking into various blog host sites just to see what I come up with but, let’s face it, no one really knows how a service works like the user.

Quote of the day: Do Not Meddle in the Affairs of Dragons for You Are Crunchy and Good With Ketchup.


Dru said...

Blogger was service used by my friend and it appeared to be easy. At one point, Blogger was having so my problems that people went over to Wordpress. I also have a wordpress blog used mostly to catalog the books that I've read.

I didn't know we could do that? To see if a new post is available, I have the blog list thing.

I follow several blogs from different hosts and I don't think having a new post e-mail alert has a factor.

Maria Zannini said...

When I started blogging, LiveJournal was all the rage, but I dislike it intensely. It's just too cheesy for my taste. Wordpress looked too complicated, so I went with Blogger.

For the most part I'm happy with it though sometimes I wish I had bitten the bullet and learned Wordpress because it has so many plug ins available.

I wouldn't change now because I don't want to risk losing readers through a move.

As for following blogs, I use Google Reader. It doesn't care what blog format you use.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru -

I don't know of a way to get notified about posts on other sites but I do get e-mail alerts when someone posts on mine (not a high volume issue at this point, but hope springs eternal).

Since you have a Blog on both Blogger and Wordpress, I'm assuming each has features you like that the other doesn't. That's kinda what I found out in my poking around.

Thanks, as always, for your input.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria -

I didn't look a lot at LiveJournal, didn't appeal to me either. I'm still looking at Wordpress and wondering if I should jump ship while I'm still a newbie, but aside from the new post alert thing, I like Blogger.

I'll look into Google Reader.

Thanks for responding.

Heather Webber said...

Linda, I think there's a way to add RSS feed through settings, not gadgets. Not 100% sure about that (will do a little investigating). There's also something called Feed Burner. We use it as Killer Characters. It's basically an email subscription service. If a reader signs up, they're notified via email when a new post has gone up. It's very handy, actually-and free.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Heather - Thanks for commenting. I hunted all over the settings options on Blogger and couldn't find it so if you do, please let me know. I also looked at Feed Burner and will probably offer that as an option if I can't find anything simpler in Blogger. I was just trying to save people the trouble of signing up for another service. As a blogging newbie, I want to make following me as simple as possible.

Thanks, again.

Kit Courteney said...

As I look at the top of my screen I can see a little orange 'feed' button in the tool bar. If I click it, I can add your feed to it - which then indicates each new post as it's written under 'Favourites', 'Feeds'.

Is that any help, or have I completely misread the problem? (Wouldn't surprise me!)

I've always been with Blogger. Had a play around with Wordpress but it didn't feel right - Blogger just seems 'freindly' to me and easy to use!

I follow blogs from Wordpress and one from TypePad, but in the main they are Blogger ones. I like the little 'Follow' button at the top that makes following so much easier!

Linda Leszczuk said...


Thanks for your input. I found the feed button and see how it works and I think I'll find it useful. What my friend was looking for was a way to have my blog send her an e-mail whenever I put up a new post. I know what she means because I get an e-mail when someone leaves me a comment (regular e-mail, straight to my in-box). But there doesn't seem to be any way to do that in Blogger. If I understand feeds correctly, you need to go check the feed to see what's come in (like I check the Reading List in Blogger to see what's new on the blogs I follow),
which isn't that hard but it's an extra step. Since I'm just getting starting with my blog I was trying to make it as easy as possible for someone to follow it.

Thanks again for stopping by and for your comment.