Blog Reader Smackdown

Man, Google Reader was the best, wasn’t it?

I appreciated the simple, easy-to-navigate format. I liked that I could arrange and organize my blog subscriptions just the way I wanted. I loved being able to read entire posts right there in the reader (usually–some people fix it so that you have to click over to their site. It’s fine. Annoying, but fine). And I especially appreciated the Subscribe button I could add to my bookmarks bar so that whenever I was reading a new blog, with a simple click of that button, I was automatically subscribed–no copy-and-paste jobs, thankyouverymuch.

And then Google went and failed us all.

Damn Google. . .

So, in the wake of that disaster, like many others, I jumped off the Google ship and onto the Bloglovin’ boat. And I tried to like it; I really, really did. But there are just so many things for me to hate about Bloglovin’.

First, I really don’t like having to click through to read blog posts. I think it’s great that they want the blogs to get those stats, I really do. But, I am selfish. And lazy. And clicking a mouse button is just so much work.

Second, it really bugs me that I can’t organize blogs from oldest to newest posts. You may have noticed that I tend to disappear from teh interwebs for a while, and when I do show up, I generally have 200 blog posts I have to catch up on. I am the sort of person who likes to pick up where I left off, and I hate having to scroll around to get to the post I want to read.

Third, the iPhone app is ridiculous. When I read a post on the app, it doesn’t transfer that information to the web. So when I log in on the web version, I have to sort through a bunch of posts that I’ve already read.

Fourth, I think the name is stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, Bloglovin’ is a totally decent reader. . . if you’re into that sort of thing. It’s just not for me.

So, yesterday, I went searching. I asked Google if it could find me a reader that was just like Google Reader. And it did.

The Old Reader-Full Post

The Old Reader (yes, that’s really it’s name. Yes, it’s almost as dumb as Bloglovin’) is a clean, easy-to-use reader. According to what I’ve read, it was built to be very much like Google Reader was back in the good old days (that link also explores several other readers, so if you, too, are dissatisfied with your reader, give it a look. Also, READER. Just thought I’d squeeze the word into this paragraph one more time for good measure. . . )

Here’s what I love about it: 1) I can organize new blog posts by date (oldest to newest, newest to oldest); 2) I can view the posts by list so I can easily pick and choose what I want to read, and it takes up far less space on my screen; and 3) I can read the entire post in the reader (if I want to leave a comment, that’s when I’ll click over to the actual post). You do have the option of reading all new posts without clicking from blog to blog, similar to Bloglovin’.

I really prefer the list view.

I really prefer the list view.

Now, I will say this (oh so magnanimously), Bloglovin’ is great for exploring new blogs because you can surf through them by category–which is all sorts of awesome if you have some time to kill. The Old Reader does not have this option, though you can see what other blog posts are trending, like so:

Also, I love how Chrome thinks this page is in Russian...

Also, I love how Chrome thinks this page is in Russian…

(If you’re curious, you can read that comic here–I didn’t want to show you without proper linkage. Also, it’s hilarious.)

So, I’ve begun the rather tedious process of transferring all my subscriptions. There is no easy transfer option unless you know how to transfer via OPML file–which I do not. But, it has given me a chance to look over my subscriptions and make sure I’m only subscribed to blogs I actually enjoy reading. I love to read blogs with entertaining writing, beautiful pictures, or helpful tutorials. Or sometimes just because the author seems like a kindred spirit 🙂 That’s just how I roll.

Well now, that was a fun rabbit trail. . . what was I talking about?

Oh, right.

Basically, The Old Reader does just exactly what I want it to. No extras. No social stuff. Just a list of new blog posts for me to read in peace. And I was so very excited about it that I thought I’d share, just in case someone else out there needs a new reader, too.

So, what do you think? Am I being too hard on poor Bloglovin’? What’s your reader of choice?

Oh, before I go–you know how I’ve been super mopey all summer? Well, I’m pleased to report that things are finally looking–well, maybe not “up”–but in a cheerfuller direction. The fall is bringing some changes for me which I’m really excited about–and it’s about time! (No, I’m not getting married–though I know some of you have totally been expecting it since my Lebanese wedding blessing.)


16 thoughts on “Blog Reader Smackdown

  1. I’m going to have to try this “the old reader”-reader. I’m not cool at all. Before using Bloglovin’ I just read posts through the wordpress site (which is still totally lame and misses a lot of posts). Luckily, I follow in-the-know chick-a-boos like you that lead me in the right technological direction.

    I’m also happy to hear things are on the up and up for you! I hope you have a great weekend – maybe the wedding blessing will kick into play riiiiiight…

    • WP’s reader is definitely far worse than Bloglovin’. They keep “fixing” it, and they’re only making it worse, I think.

      Thanks, friend! And unless the sullen, ginger-haired grocery store self-checkout attendant with the ENORMOUS mutton chops is “The One,” you may have been a leeeetle bit off on your timing 😀

  2. I never used Google Reader, only Bloglovin so I have nothing to compare it to. I don’t check it religiously, as I tend to surf around new blogs each day and only go back to my favourites every so often. One thing that does annoy me about Bloglovin is that it tells me I have truckloads of unread posts and it bugs me to mark them read! I like to follow blogs on Bloglovin as I have a little dance in my seat every time I get a new follower and I know other bloggers feel that way too but the unread posts thing does get on my nerves!

    • The Old Reader has an option to Mark All as Read–so once you’ve read what you want, one little click and all the “unread” numbers disappear! Not that I’m trying to influence you or anything 😉

      I’m keeping my profile up on Bloglovin’ since I know lots of people do love to use it (no judgment!), so I still get notified. That’s definitely a point in Bloglovin’s favor!

  3. Oh, I miss google reader so. They had a ‘next’ button that you put in your bookmark bar that would take you to the ‘next’ blog post in your list. It took you directly to the actual blog, no middle man – no need to go to a reader or blog lovin site first to click thru. That is my holy grail (but sad because I had it for years.)

  4. Arrgh- bloglovin’!? I cant comment from my phone, I have no idea who is following me, It repeats as you scroll down….I shake my chubby fist at thee, bloglovin!! I’ll be checking out what I wish to refer to as ‘ye old reader’ because that matches my tech strength!

    • I like to call it Ye Olde Reader in my head as well. Because it reminds me of Ye Olde Candy Shoppe. And you should know how I feel about candy shops. (Hint: They complete me.)

      I have pretty much given up on reading blogs from my phone. It just makes me irritated staring at that tiny screen for so long. So I have no idea if Ye Olde Reader comes with a fancy app or not.

      And, what’s up with not being able to see who’s following you?? That was an irritant that I totally forgot about. Probably because I gave up so long ago.

    • Oh, after a tiny bit of “research,” apparently now you CAN see who’s following you. But not everyone. Bloglovin’ showed me one name (with a little “and 57 other followers!” tag which I could not click on) for mine and three names for yours. For other blogs I lurked around, I could see several names. I’m not sure what’s going on.

  5. Bloglovin’ is a bit infuriating. I think it’s meant to be more on the social side with the liking and following and whatnot but I want my stuff practical. And I am on the same page with you with the whole disappearing from the internet thing and then wanting my stuff from older and newer! I am kind of interested in the Old Reader but i’m bummed that it’s yet something else I have to sign up for :(.

    • Yeah–the social stuff kind of bothers me. I’m not so much into anything that’s anything like Facebook. I feel like it was meant for people who really want to check in a dozen times a day.
      If it helps, I was able to use my Google account to sign in to Old Reader. You can also use Facebook. I was very happy not to have to go through the whole username/password rigamarole yet again.

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