Tag Archives: The Old Reader

Blaugust and Consolidating Your Blog Reading

Sure, one of the main aspects of Blaugust is getting people to start up or keep going with their blogs, writing, if not every day, at least more than usual.

Blaugust Reborn

But the reverse of that coin is reading blogs.  If we’re all busy writing more than usual we should all make some time to go read some of this extra output.

However, we as a group, and blogs in general, are a scattered bunch, with addresses all over the internet.  And, while you could easily favorite/bookmark all your regular sites in your browser, that still means you have to go and check up on each and every one regularly to see what is up.  If you check daily, then the less regular sites will start to seem a wasted effort, while if you check less frequently then those daily posting sites will be a chore to keep up with.

What you need is something you can check that will show you the new stuff.  Well, the internet has you covered, though not as well covered as it once did.  Here are some options for reading blog posts.

RSS Feed Readers

This is likely the default approach for most people, and there has traditionally been a lot of options in this area, both online and offline.  Back in the day I used to use an offline reader for both RSS and UseNet because always-on internet wasn’t a thing, and even when it was I felt the need to archive some sites.

Google Reader changed that.  It was light, readable, and had a lot of additional, useful functionality and dominated the RSS reader market for a stretch.  At one point damn near everything, from Outlook to Firefox, had RSS reader functionality, but why complete with free from Google.  Then Google killed Google Reader, hoping that we would all swap over to GooglePlus.  I’m still annoyed about that five years later.

So some of us were left looking for alternatives, none of which quite lived up to Google Reader of old.  Meanwhile, the continued growth of social media caused some of the options to, if not give up on RSS, reduce the importance of RSS compared to other areas.  NetVibes went that way as an example.  Other sites, like Digg, that would have been well positioned to pick up the slack, had long since wandered away from RSS.  Digg actually killed off their reader.  Still, there are some decent choices out there:

The Old Reader – An attempt to recreate the Google Reader experience, a light and useful online reader, and a good one at that.  It is still doesn’t have features that Google Reader had back in 2008, but it has gone in other directions to connect with social media.  A solid choice, and it is free last I checked.

Feedly – Where I ended up after Google Reader.  Solid, has a UI that works for me, and free for basic functionality.  I pay for premium which, among other things, lets me hook it up to IFTTT in order to run the blog feed in my side bar.  Still lacks features that Google Reader had in 2008 and is building out new features in directions that do not interest me personally.  Also is starting to get a bit too smart for itself.  If, for example, a site you follows changes its RSS feed URL, Feedly won’t let you just add it without jumping through some hoops.  It keeps trying to force you back to the original address.

NewBlur – Another site that benefited from the demise of Google Reader, so much so that the new traffic brought it down.  Another solid choice.  I am not in love with the UI, but I am picky about things like that.  Worth looking into.

There are others out there, but none that I have any experience with, though I would be interested to know about others.  Do you use Comma Feed, RSS Owl, or some other reader?  Consider that a Blaugust writing prompt if you want.

WordPress.com Reader

I wanted to break out the WP.com reader for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it isn’t strictly an RSS reader.  Also, I have been critical and dismissive of it over the years, but it has finally grown into usefulness.  Among its benefits:

  • Easy to follow other WP.com blogs with that follow button
  • Can still follow non-WP.com blogs
  • Can use categories and tags to find blogs

That last item is the biggest feature to my mind.  WP.com has long had a strong yet almost unknown tag and category feature.  You can, for example, create an RSS feed from a WP.com tag or category and see all the posts that use it.  For example, this one does it for the tag “eve online”:

http://en.wordpress.com/tag/eve-online/feed/

This is why I get annoyed when people are lazy about tagging, especially when they uses “wow” instead of “world of warcraft” or “eve” instead of “eve online” for their posts.  The latter choices are specific, the former generic and used for many other things.

Anyway, you can search by tag or category to find new blogs.  I have found a few new MMORPG blogs that way.  I have a regular set of tags I look at for just that sort of thing.

The downside of the reader is that the interface isn’t ideal for me as I tend to prefer a compact view with more titles on the screen, and there is no reading the whole post.  Still, if you have a blog on WP.com, you should check this out, if only to find new blogs.

Bhagpuss’ Side Bar

Once again I pitch how great the Blogger blog roll widget can be, at least if you configure it correctly. (I have seen it configured badly.)  Go look at Inventory Full and check out how it is done.

There are long dormant blogs on the Blogger platform that still send me a regular trickle of traffic because of that blog roll widget.

If you want a reader of your own it is a legit option to create a blog on Blogger and use the blogroll widget to display the latest posts.  You don’t even have to put it on the side bar.  You can configure the feed to use the main space of the layout.

Use This List

Anyway, now that you are thinking about readers you can use the list below, which features all of the participating blogs this Blaugust, as a place to start populating your reader.  If you just want the RSS feed links you can find a list over at Armagon Live.  It should be at least as up to date as my own list.

  1. A Green Mushroom
  2. A Hobbits Journey
  3. Aeternus Gaming
  4. Ald Shot First
  5. Arc’s Oddities
  6. Armagon Live
  7. Ash’s Adventures
  8. Athernes Adventures
  9. Aywren Sojourner
  10. barely readable diary
  11. Beyond Tannhauser Gate
  12. Bio Break
  13. Book of Jen
  14. Brain Dump
  15. Built on a Daydream
  16. Calamity Jess
  17. Can I Play Too
  18. Casual Aggro
  19. Cinemaxia
  20. Contains Moderate Peril
  21. Daily Creative Thinking
  22. Deez Wurds
  23. Diary of a Guild Leader
  24. Endgame Viable
  25. Fresh Eyes in Gaming
  26. Fully Automated Luxury Space Communism
  27. Galumphing
  28. Gamer Girl Confessions
  29. Gaming Conversations
  30. GamingSF
  31. Geeky Dad Fitness
  32. Glyffe
  33. Going Commando
  34. Gray’s Cozy Nook
  35. Heattanu’s Game
  36. I’m Not Squishy
  37. Inventory Full
  38. JVT Workshop
  39. Knifesedge Blogs
  40. leaflocker
  41. Learn Japanese Online
  42. Leeterati
  43. Magen Tales
  44. Mailvaltar – MMOs and other stuff
  45. Me vs. Myself and I
  46. MMO Syndicate
  47. Mmosey
  48. Moonshine Mansion
  49. Municipal City
  50. Murf Versus
  51. Nerdy Bookahs
  52. Neverwinter Thoughts
  53. Nomadic Gamers, Eh!
  54. Ocarina Farms
  55. Party Business
  56. Pizza Maid
  57. Plan B Better
  58. Princess in a Castle
  59. Professorbeej is Awesome
  60. Psychochild’s Blog
  61. RandomX
  62. RunningShoes.tv
  63. Ryuh Note
  64. Scarybooster
  65. Self-Distract Sequence
  66. Shadowz Abstract Gaming Blog
  67. Shards of Imagination
  68. Simply Janine
  69. Soul of the Forest
  70. Stabbed Up
  71. StarShadow
  72. Stropp’s World
  73. Symphony On A Chip
  74. Tales from the Backlog
  75. Tales of the Aggronaut
  76. TechJoy2Day
  77. The Ancient Gaming Noob
  78. The MMOist
  79. The Parent Trope
  80. The Path They Walk
  81. Thinking Play
  82. ThisThingIsNeat
  83. Through Wolfy’s Eyes
  84. TroytlePower
  85. Unidentified Signal Source
  86. Welshtroll
  87. What’s Occuring
  88. Why I Game
  89. WoW Alt Addiction

 

July in Review

The Site

You can tell when I am looking at old posts.  I find typos or dead links or some sort of error and I edit them.  And then, in its mysterious way, WordPress.com makes a judgement call about whether or not that update means it should put the post back into my RSS feed.  Whatever method it uses to make that call… coin toss, darts, broken random number generator… the “post it back to the RSS feed” option seems to be coming up a lot more lately.

I have no idea why.

It actually makes me a bit self-conscious.  I apologize for the old posts showing up in my feed.

Then again, if you want some insight into what I might be writing… or thinking about… or may have just accidentally stumbled over, this is certainly one way.  Unofficial reruns with error corrections!

Meanwhile, in the post-Google Reader world, things continue to vex me or go awry.  I went to The Old Reader for a couple of reasons, including the ability to create my own output RSS feed to place in the sidebar of the blog.  It had hiccups and was down a lot right after Google Reader went away.  So I looked at Feedly, which was in an imperfect state as well, but which was popular in my RSS reader poll.  It was up, but only knew how to import feeds directly from the now departed Google Reader.  With The Old Reader down yet again, I added a subset of feeds into Feedly by hand.  And then a couple of days later, Feedly announced support for OPML import, at about the time The Old Reader came back up and started behaving.

So I spent a couple of weeks using both.  Feedly for key feeds, The Old Reader for all my old feeds and the ability to create the sidebar RSS feed.  That feature was a bit flaky, but it mostly worked.  And then last week, The Old Reader went down hard, which resulted in them essentially taking their venture in a new direction, one to which I am not invited.  And that was the end of that.

So now I am using Feedly, which seems reliable enough, has an iOS client (which actually works now), and which I would pay for and/or donate towards, except there seems to be no allowance for such that I see.  All I could find was that they had plans for a premium service at some future date.

The upshot and site related part of this is that I need to work out a new way to have a feed in the sidebar.

And, in what is really a note about my other site, I decided to post a picture a day, as opposed to two a week, in July to see if that changed traffic at all.  It did not.  Traffic was actually down a bit.  But I have a huge backlog of pictures, so what the hell.

One Year Ago

In New Eden my hear went “Boum!

Elligium took its pandas and went home.

Blizzard set the date for Mists of Pandaria.

There was a Steam Summer Sale.

I was wondering if Torchlight II could live up to its potential.

Ultima Forever!  A shot across Lord British’s bow.

Rift sells mounts for cash.  It wasn’t like they were going free to play though.

Let it be noted that not all Kickstarters fail.  Last year there was the Defense Grid expansion Kickstarter.  I kicked in, they built it, I played it.  Simple as that, and much better than any 99 cent app I have purchased.  And I still get a free copy of their next Defense Grid game when it comes out.

I wondered aloud if nostalgia servers… official ones… would remain the sole domain of EverQuest.

Meanwhile SOE was talking about Vanguard’s free to play plan.

I was underwhelmed at the so-called “reskin” of Qeynos in EverQuest II.  The sorrow of Qeynos knows no end.

In EVE Online, there was war in Delve… again… if only I could get there.  There were battles in 49-U6U, C3N-3S, and DSS-EZ, a conga line in 319-3D (where we also watched the alliance tournament), and a flying titan in F2OY-X.  The tiny Wallpapers Alliance held out longer than Nulli Secunda, before being crushed.

Then having done the heavy lifting for TEST, the CFC was asked to go home.  TEST was going to be its own alliance, but we would all remain the best of friends in the big blue donut of love.  Anyway, it was time for a convoy back to Deklein.  Somewhere along the way I got a warning from CCP for causing lag.

And there was also a link to a list of things to do in EVE Online.

Five Years Ago

BioWare finally let loose the least well kept secret in the MMO-verse at the time.  They confirmed they were making a Knights of the Old Replublic type MMO.

The mention of Diablo III seemed to spur a revival of Diablo II with the Diablo II Battle Chest taking the #1 sales spot for a time.  Not bad for a game that has not had an expansion since 2001.

Meanwhile, on the SOE front, it was time to say farewell to the EverQuest side of the Living Legacy program.  I also griped a bit about how SOE was advertising the completely out of date EverQuest Platinum on the EQ Players site and had been doing so for a long time.  That ad disappeared before the month was out though.  Such a coincidence!

In Azeroth the instance group went back to the Slave Pens as we edged ever closer the Burning Crusade level cap of 70.  Meanwhile people were selling Wrath of the Lich King beta keys on eBay for $500.

In New Eden I was pondering the economics of building and flying a marauder and comparing the benefits of a Raven Navy Issue and the Caldari marauder, the Golem.  Our little corp was on the move again.  And some of us were taking the EVE personality test while I compared ships styles of the different factions to cars from my youth.

And speaking of EVE, I also joined in with CrazyKinux on some crazy EVE Blog Pack idea.  I wonder what happened with that?

Warhammer Online was on the horizon.  I had pre-ordered the collectors edition, but then came the content removal, some classes and four cities.  And while Mythic posted the minimum system requirements, I was wondering what the recommended… often thought to be the true minimum for many games… might end up being.

And, finally, I was done with GameFly and damn glad to have escaped from Atlanta.

New Linking Sites

The following blogs have linked this site in their blogroll, for which they have my thanks.

Please take a moment to visit them in return.

Most Viewed Posts in July

EVE Online dominates the list, in large part because of EVE News 24 syndicating several of my posts, which in turn contained links to other posts on this site.

  1. 6VDT-H – The Biggest Battle in EVE History Ends the War in Fountain
  2. Gold is Where You Find It – Blogging and Community
  3. Running Civilization II on Windows 7 64-bit
  4. I’m Malshandir and So’s My Wife!
  5. A Prophecy of Murder in G95F-H
  6. The Propaganda War in Fountain
  7. More Propaganda from the War in Fountain
  8. Decisions and Inventory Management
  9. My Guns Jam at Z9PP-H
  10. Considering Star Wars Galaxies Emulation? Better Grab a Disk!
  11. Remember the Lazamo – Bloodbath at 3WE-KY
  12. Google Reader is No More – Where Have You Gone?

Search Terms of the Month

eve online awesome screenshots
[I have a whole site for that, but that search points here]

civilization v brave free download pc games old virgin
[You seem confused]

wot major tannhauser
[I think he is still with Venus]

скачать карты для warcraft 3 покемоны белое и черное
[If Google is correct, somebody is looking for Pokemon themed Warcraft III maps]

EVE Online

July was all about the war in Fountain for me.  I lived in B-D and 4-EP and went on as many fleet ops as I could manage.  With the war… if not over, at least in transition… I am not sure what the future holds.  Rumors are that our alliance will move to the new Fountain frontier to live.  But other rumors say that FA or FCON or Fweddit or Black Legion or The Mittani’s aunt on his mother’s side will be taking up that role based on participation or need or ability to knit warm sweaters.  We shall see.

Potshot re-subscribed thanks to my reports of the war, and some prodding on my part, only to join our corp and get into null sec just in time to miss the big battle at 6VDT.  He was far enough along to have coms set up and was able to listen to fleet ops on Mumble, ala that scene in Wing and a Prayer, but wasn’t able to get into the fight.  So he has some time to figure out null sec and get ready for the next war.

Lord of the Rings Online

I have been faltering a bit in Middle-earth.  My captain is in Moria and is just shy of level 52, a number which represents the previous pinnacle of my LOTRO leveling career.  But my drive has waned.  It isn’t that Moria is bad.  It is just more of the same really.  My fun in LOTRO tends to peak in the Lone Lands and Evendim.  I scrambled around in the Misty Mountains and Forochel for a bit until I could start in Eregion.  Then I cleaned up there until about level 51, when I entered Moria and stopped.  Of course, the rest of our kinship had pretty much stopped playing as well.  I am not sure that my summer vacation in Middle-earth is over, but moving beyond Moria seems in doubt.

Rift

I had to check on this one.  I wrote about playing Rift in July, but I didn’t actually play the game this month.  I am not sure I even logged.  The full instance group got together for its second appearance in game last month and that was it.  I might be able to log in and reclaim leadership of the guild again.

Coming Up

As mentioned yesterday, the most anticipated part of SOE Live has to be news about EverQuest Next.  I expect there will be equal parts joy and despair no matter what gets announced.  But whatever gets said, I am sure we will pick it apart and gnaw on the bones for a couple of weeks.

There will be the clean up after the war in Fountain.  What happens next?  Who will get what in the CFC?  Who will end up moving to Fountain?  Will TEST hold on to Delve, take back its moons there, and thrive?  So many questions to answer.

I bought Skyrim in the closing moments of the Steam Summer Sale and started playing that a bit.  I will have some observations… two years out of date though they may be… on the game I am sure.

And… is anything else coming up in August?