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.)