Thursday, June 03, 2010

Feed Readers

I have a love/hate relationship with feed readers.

I love them to keep up with political blogs--especially those who post several times a day, or with blogs like Engrish or Not Always Right, ones that I don't really want to leave comments on.  I also love them for keeping up with those who post infrequently.  There is nothing more discouraging than clicking through to a blog day after day, only to have nothing new to read.  I stop visiting the site, only to go back one day and find that I've missed several posts.  With a feed reader, I don't have to worry about that.  Anything new will show up in my reader, without me having to waste time clicking through to a site with nothing new on it.

On the other hand, I hate them.  It is too easy just to read personal blogs in the reader, and not click through to the site.  When I don't click through, I'm less likely to leave comments.  And for those who like to keep up with who visits their sites, posts read in a reader don't count as hits.  Yeah, you can check the site monitor for references, but --at least in the one I use-- it just shows up as the reader hitting your site.  You don't know who is using that reader.

Not only that, I think a reader adds a barrier between the author and the one reading the blog.  When I used to bookmark my blogs and visit each one individually, I thought of the authors as my friends.  Now, using a feed reader, it has become much more impersonal.  It's like so many of them are no longer friends any more.  They are just authors.

The question is, can I give up my feed reader, and reconnect with the blogs I read on a personal basis?  I don't know.

Could you?

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