Make Your Bloggers Happy

Every now and then bloggers get together and start talking about pageviews and clickthroughs and supporting each other and how feed readers are awesome/evil and how partial feeds are awesome/evil and other crap I don’t care about.

I’ve always done my blog reading using Google Reader. I like to go through similar blogs at the same time, in the same way I like to eat all of one part of a meal before I move on to the other parts, so I have groups set up. I have many blogs under “Hockey”, under “News”, under “Fun”, under “Parenting”, under “Geeky”, under “Friends” and under “Thinkers”. Setting up toolbar bookmarks for each blog, nested within categories and requiring a lot of mouse work to move through never seemed sensible to me. Maybe I’ve always misunderstood how bookmarking blogs works, especially for power users, but it just seemed a pain.

What this means is that I hardly ever see the content on the blog itself, and the blogger never gets to count my visit in whatever statistical category they find most satisfying or useful. Some people find this sort of thing valuable, and it drives them to do partial feeds that force you to click through to read the rest, and that results in me skipping a lot of blog posts because I can’t be bothered to actually click through and open a new window or tab, taking me away from my Groups, my delicious Groups that I’m trying to devour in one sitting.

I discovered a feature in Google Reader last week that I’ve never seen before but which solves all of these issues for me: I can see the full content of partial feed blogs, I can speed through my Groups, the bloggers get pageviews, I don’t need to abandon Google Reader to help them out, and I don’t have to deal with menu drop-downs or multiple mouse-movements to navigate from blog to blog.

Go to your Google Reader “Settings”, then go to “Goodies” and go down to “Put Reader in a Bookmark”.

There, the second option down, you can select which tags to add, then drag that link up to your bookmark bar and voila! One-click access to your Reader Group wherever you are, and with each click you go to the next post in the Group. I’ve added buttons for all of my Groups.

This works spectacularly well with Google Chrome as your browser. I think I tried it with IE8 and couldn’t get the link to drag properly, but I may just not have really known where to put it. In Chrome the bookmark bar is easy to spot.

So, there you go. Make your bloggers happy.

(FTC Disclosure: As if someone would pay me to write this.)


1 Nicole Pelton { 09.27.10 at 10:44 AM }

Well, color me offended, they were just trying to…oh, wait, you're right, that was a bit annoying.

2 Colleen - amadisonmo { 09.27.10 at 10:47 AM }

My kids annoy me too. But, don't tell anyone.

3 Annimig { 09.27.10 at 2:40 PM }

You are astoundingly organized.

4 Bethany { 09.27.10 at 4:12 PM }

I never know if my unwillingness to click out of my Reader is just plain lazy? Disinterested, distanced from the bloggers I have gone to the trouble of adding? It makes no sense. Now, you have given me a way to be lazy/disinterested/removed and still read. I think the payment is that I clicked out of Reader to comment, right?

5 Vanessa Roberts { 09.27.10 at 4:42 PM }

Is there a service that will set this up for me? JK – It sounds very cool, I'm gonna see if I can get it set up – Love Google Chrome!

6 Backpacking Dad { 09.27.10 at 4:45 PM }

That's all the payment any blogger really needs, you know.

7 Backpacking Dad { 09.27.10 at 4:46 PM }

And seven dollars. Do you have seven dollars?

8 Winn { 09.27.10 at 5:45 PM }

Huh? I'm still stuck on "you can organize your blogs"? Really? I don't get it….

9 Colleen - amadisonmo { 09.27.10 at 5:47 PM }

I've tried the "next" button a couple of times. There is one thing I MAJORLY don't like about it. I have my reader set up so the oldest post is listed first. That way… if I go a couple of days without being able to read… I'm still reading life in order. The next button starts at the newest post and goes backwards. Is there some way to change that? I can't find a setting for it (or I'm lazy and I just haven't looked hard enough).

10 Backpacking Dad { 09.27.10 at 5:49 PM }

Hmm. I don't know. I'm set up newest first and the next button is just doing

what I'm used to so I haven't looked.

11 Melanie { 09.28.10 at 12:08 AM }

I use Better Greader (I think that's the spelling). I can read the post on the actual blog from my reader. Hardly any clicking. But the category option sounds appealing.

12 Becky Hood { 09.28.10 at 9:03 AM }

I use Firefox browser so this doesn't work so well for me. But I use Greasemonkey… and the Reader preview extension. Those tools together, allow me to click on the title in Google Reader and it takes me to the blog right there in the reader. (I am leaving this comment on your blog from my reader page). I can actually be on the blog without leaving my reader page at all.

Just thought I'd share.

13 Backpacking Dad { 09.28.10 at 9:18 AM }

Any idea if this counts as a clickthrough?

14 Pgoodness { 09.29.10 at 3:17 AM }

This is FABULOUS for when I have some time and just want to start reading – seeing actual sites is so much nicer! Thanks!! :)

15 mapsgirl { 09.29.10 at 6:36 AM }

This is a great idea!! Thank you for pointing this out. I will send all my readers to see this!

16 mapsgirl { 09.29.10 at 10:45 AM }

Probably should have read this before I got too excited. I like reading oldest first as well. And no, I haven't found a way to change it.

17 Colleen - amadisonmo { 09.29.10 at 11:59 AM }

I think they should definitely find some way to make it an option you can switch… just like on the normal reader list.

18 Nolie { 09.29.10 at 6:31 PM }

I already have the subscribe set up like this. Going to look into the next link.

19 Rick Bucich { 09.30.10 at 7:46 AM }


For a pure discover-ability perspective, I love Google Reader Play which allows me to cruise through content that is either popular or has been shared by someone I know. It can be customized by genre and it is easy to click through to the post.

The ease at which you can bookmark/share/star an item should be great for the author as people use the service because it boosts the value of the article so it is more likely to be suggested to others.

When I "share" an item it posts to Twitter, Buzz & Friendfeed where it increases the chances of additional click-throughs by others.

Since many of the posts I read are blogs I don't already subscribe to there is a solid viral element to spread content outside current readership/subscribership. You don't need to use Play to share but it sure makes it easier.

20 Rachael1013 { 09.30.10 at 2:20 PM }

I'm using it now! I like it, and it's making surfing easier. Thanks for highlighting it.

21 ItsJustJules { 10.02.10 at 7:18 AM }

Thanks for sharing this! I never knew it existed. I love going to the individual sites, so much more visually appealing than Reader.

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