Some Blog Housekeeping


Feed Bundles

If you have dropped by the blog lately, you might have noticed a couple of new things in the sidebar. A while back, someone asked me if I could put together a list of my favourite blogs. I finally got around to doing that, but then I thought.. I should not stop there. So I have created 4 bundles.

Favourites – The 100 blogs in my Faves folders.

Main Blogroll – 152 of the blogs listed on my main blogroll.

Updated Often – the remaining 16 feeds from my main blogroll who sometimes post more than 2 posts a day.

Test Drives – All the 315 blogs I am test driving (current as at 30/11)

The reason for the Updated Often bundle is because if I put those blogs in with the other blogs, sometimes you’d see anywhere between 3-16 posts in a row for the same blog which works ok in the bundle but does *not* work ok when I’ve put all these bundles as RSS feeds in the blog sidebar, showing 20 posts at a time for each bundle. So I just pulled those blogs out and put them in their own bundle.


So, if you are looking for new blogs to read, you can check out the bundles. If you click on the links above it will take you to the bundle page where you can scroll through and see if a photo or title catches your eye. This is one reason many people recommend putting a photo with each post. If your feed is partial, people will probably not see any of your images, they might only get a title and some text.

Blogroll Update

While I was doing the mammoth task above, I also went through the blogroll, updating it to the most current list yet. I added * to the blogs which are in the favourites folders purely to make it easier for me to keep track of them when I update the blogroll in future as the process is a bit of a nightmare.

What is the difference between Main Blogroll and Snoskred Favourites? It is pretty simple. In my feed reader I have many folders. I organise it this way for two reasons – so that I can keep track of the monthly new feeds and so that the blogs can be read in bite size chunks. That is important when you are reading nearly 600 of them. It looks like this –


Blogs in my favourites folders are simply the ones I want to read first. They are the blogs that I sit down with my morning coffee to read and enjoy enormously – both the coffee, and the blog posts.. They originally would have started out in other folders.

It might have been one post – like this one from rusty duck – I remember reading that post and moving that blog to favourites simply because I was intrigued and thinking I want to watch this garden journey.

It might have been a feeling that developed over several posts. It might be once I read the favourites folders, I found myself heading to their folder wondering “Did X post something today?” – that is when I know they have to make a folder move.

It might be that they comment on my blog regularly. It might be that I love the subjects they are writing about. It might be that they own chickens or have gorgeous pets. It might be that I feel a kinship to them. It might be many, many other things.

They are from all kinds of places – Australia, Canada, the UK, Europe, the USA – Hawaii has an unfair share of people in the favourites folder. There are many different kinds of people. They write about many different subjects, food, family, fashion, travel, gardening, chooks, photography, astronomy, living frugally, living life, television and more.

I might not love every post they write. There might be some posts I scroll past quickly. In general though, 99% of their posts I do enjoy.

I usually try to leave test drive blogs in their original folders until their 6 months is up, but there are times I know a blog has become a favourite and I move it ahead of time. October already has 3 blogs which have moved into favourites.

Blogs not in my favourites folders are not less interesting to me, nor does it mean their posts are not read by me. There is every chance tomorrow they will be yanked out of their present folder and into “faves11” which does exist and is waiting for blogs to appear in it.

Blogs in my favourites folder rarely move out of there, and they are rarely unsubscribed from. I will tolerate some things from my favourites which I might not tolerate from a main blogroll blog, and I certainly would not tolerate at all from a test drive blog. Like what, you ask?


There I am, on a peaceful Friday, scrolling through my feed reader.. and all of a sudden, a massive Huntsman photo appears as a surprise to me. Seriously? That is Not Cool, people. I hit unsubscribe within moments, then removed that blog from my blogroll and my Inoreader bundle. My skin was crawling for several hours. Ugh!

As a blogger, I am well aware that people are reading what I write and viewing what I post. I know there are people out there who fear these particular creatures. I would never, ever, post a photo of a snake or a spider on my blog without using a Read More tag. I’d write a little thing at the end of the post that said “Hey, I’m about to post a photo of a spider (snake) so if you are ok with seeing that, you can click here to see it”.

I guess I will have to start working on my next reasons I unsubscribe post. :) Here the current ones – 14 Reasons and 10 New Reasons I unsubscribed from blogs.

However if a favourite posted a spider pic, I’d be annoyed, sure! I’d still have the skin crawling thing, but I’d get over it and keep reading the blog. This is not an invitation to my favourites to start posting that kind of thing, please don’t do that. ;)

Going Forward

I’m going to try and only touch the blogroll and bundles once a month when I do the new feeds post. Right now, I unsubscribe somewhat willy nilly but whenever I do it, I go in and remove the blog from the blogroll if it was there, and I remove it from the bundles. This has resulted in occasional chaos, so it must stop. :) I might make a new folder and call it unsubscribes, to try and keep track of them.

blog housekeeping, feed readers, Inoreader, New Feeds

My Bloglovin’ Experiment.


I mentioned in the New Feeds August post that I would be trying a Bloglovin’ experiment for September. The results have been brilliant. I’ve found a heap of awesome new blogs. So much so, I figured I would write a whole post on this experiment in case my readers want to take a crack at this experiment themselves.

The Why –

Over the years I’ve found some great blogs via the comment section of the blogs I read. Not every reader of a blog comments on blog posts, though. I wondered if I might be missing a lot of deeply awesome blogs because I have no way of finding out about them.

When I found out that you could *see* who the fellow followers of blogs you love are over at Bloglovin’, an idea formed in my mind. Could the followers of the blogs I love to read have blogs themselves which I might also love? There was only one way to find out. And the Bloglovin’ experiment was born.

The Goal –

I set myself some goals starting out –

– Add 200 new blogs to my feed reader
– Follow those 200 blogs in Bloglovin

The Process –

Add all the blogs from my blogroll into my Bloglovin.


Open each page individually in a new tab and then click through to the actual blog page itself – click on the blue text where the pink box is..


Then click through to their followers screen.


Right click on each name and open it in a new tab, to open the profile screen for the followers of the blog. Anyone you are following already will have a blue box on the right hand side, so you can give those a miss – you are already following their blog.


It is important to note that the images you see on the follower screen are from posts people have saved, so those are usually not posts they wrote themselves. Sometimes I have found new blogs via those saved posts as well. For my profile, I saved some of my *own* posts so that the images people are seeing do belong to me.


I open a tab for every name on the follower screen – not all at once, but I keep opening tabs until the top of my screen is full of tabs.


Check each tab to see if that blog follower has their own blog. If yes, open their blog page in Bloglovin. If no, close that tab.


Has the blog posted anything in August? If no, close that tab. If yes, check to see if the content is interesting. If yes, follow. If no, close that tab.

My Policy –

I always follow back. If someone follows me, even if their blog is not interesting to me or in a couple of cases, written in a language I do not understand, I will follow them back.

I may not read those blogs long term in my feed reader, but once I have followed them on Bloglovin I will continue to follow them. I am not treating this like my Blogroll – where I go through every 6 months or so and move blogs which have stopped posting from the list.

However I will still follow the normal process of new feeds added to my feed reader – test drive for 6 months, then I decide whether or not to keep following them in my feed reader, and I will post the keepers here as I always do. Keepers will be added to the permanent blogroll.

My Progress –

8 days into my experiment, I had found 120 new blogs. Day 9 was a huge day with 105 blogs found. At 225 blogs, I could have easily stopped there, but the blogs I was finding were so great I wanted to keep exploring and finding more.

By Day 15, I’d added 250 blogs, I’d only visited maybe 40-50 of my 282 blogroll blogs and I began to see this experiment would be an ongoing marathon, not a sprint. I felt that 250 blogs added was enough for one month. Since day 15 I have only added new followers of my blog(s) to the list. That added another 19 blogs to the list.

Adding New Feeds –

On my way through the followers, I did find blogs I was already reading that were not on my blogroll – mostly new feeds I am test driving. When I found them, I followed them. This is one reason why the numbers do not add up – eg follow 282 blogs, then follow 250 more, that should = 532, however I am somehow following over 900.

What I love about Bloglovin’

– I love that it is easy to follow people – one click and they are on your list.

– I love that you easily find blogs that are interesting by checking out the followers of the blogs that you already enjoy. Most other feed readers cannot tell you anything about the people who are also following a blog you read.

What I Do NOT Love About Bloglovin’

– That you can follow people as well as their blogs. That means anytime they like a post, you’ll see that in your feed. Also if the person has 4-5 blogs and you follow them, you automatically follow all their posts. But this follow people option makes things very confusing in general.


– On the follower screen, you cannot tell whether or not someone has a blog. If they have more than 20 followers, in general I find they do have a blog. Anything less than that, and chances are they do not have a blog. There should be some kind of indicator that people have a blog – I’m thinking dots would work – just to save people time when trying to find new blogs.

– I’m not sure if the sidebar is showing me all the blogs I am following. I can’t copy and paste them into a text file or spreadsheet to check for sure.


– I do know the sidebar is showing me the blogroll with two separate listings for a-z which makes things very confusing. Normally I like to alphabetize my blogrolls and new feeds in alphabetical order, so I can cross check and make sure the list is correct. I may have found a fix, but it will take me a while to implement..

– You can’t see all your followers. As I type this it says I have 52 followers but I can only see profiles on my follower screen for 32.

– There is a trend of people following you until you follow them back, and then they unfollow you. Seriously? Ain’t nobody got time for this kind of shizzle. If I catch anyone doing that to me, I will be unfollowing foreverz!


– A deeply annoying development in recent days – people who sign up to promote buying Bloglovin followers and then follow thousands of people. Currently I am getting 5 of these every day. If I were Bloglovin, I would add a cap to the amount of people you can follow each day – I’d limit it to 300 myself – and I would find out the IP address of these spammers and block it for good. I would also make it so the post they are promoting cannot be “saved” on their system. In fact I would block the URL they are trying to promote entirely.

Things I Learned

– I can’t follow a blog which is posting 20 posts a day. I unsubscribed after 24 hours.

– There are a lot of fantastic blogs out there in the world.

– Finding other blogs via the people following the blogs you love is deeply brilliant.

– The search function on Bloglovin’ sucks. I typed in chickens and found a lot of very old posts instead of new posts.

– Putting your blog name in your Bloglovin’ name is a really great idea – it helps you to stand out on the followers page and it helps other people to know you have a blog.


I have listed my name as Snoskred @ Life In The Country, so that people have a better chance of knowing I have my own blog if they stumble upon me on a follower screen. I do recommend changing your name to include your blog name if you want to find more followers over at Bloglovin.

– I’m not going to be saving the posts of blogs I read over on Bloglovin’ purely because I do not read my blogs via Bloglovin’. I can understand how that is a useful concept for those who do read blogs over there. :)

– In general – if you look through the followers of a book blog, you’ll find other book bloggers. If you look through the followers of a travel blog, you’ll find other travel bloggers. If you look through the followers of a food blog, you’ll find other food bloggers. And sometimes none of this applies and you will find bloggers of a completely different niche entirely!

– If you find a great blog that interests you, the readers of that blog are likely to have great blogs that will interest you.

I Will Keep Going –

I’m going to use this as a way to find blogs for the next few months. I won’t be separating the Bloglovin finds from the other new feeds in future months, they will simply be added as new feeds.

Claim Your Blog?

I wrote a post on how you can claim your blog at Bloglovin’ which you can find here – How To: Claim Your Blog At Bloglovin’

To Conclude –

I have greatly enjoyed this experiment. I will keep using Bloglovin’ to find new blogs. I will NOT use Bloglovin’ to *read* those blogs, though. I have my own RSS reader working on the home server.

Over To You

Would you try an experiment like this to find new blogs to read?

challenges, feed readers

How To: Claim Your Blog At Bloglovin’


First up, you will want to create an account over at Bloglovin’ if you do not already have one. You only need to enter a name, email address, and password to create your account. You’ll need to confirm your email before proceeding. Make sure to check your spam as it may land there :)

Click on the link and yay, you’ve created an account! Once you have done that, you will arrive at a page asking you to begin creating your feed.


Always, always put your own blog in first, is my advice. :) You want to see how your blog looks and make sure your posted content is coming through as you intend it to appear.


To get past this screen, you want to enter in one blog quickly and then you can click on done and head to your profile which is where you can claim your blog.


Click on the profile picture in the top right hand corner, or select “Profile” from the drop down menu.


This takes you to your profile. Click on Edit Your Profile. In this case I have created a test profile so it will look exactly like you’ll see it. Meet Testy, my tester.


Scroll down the page until you see profile info, and look for the Blogs by me section. Click on Add Blog.


A popup box will appear. Type in the name of your blog, and it will go off and search, eventually coming back with a list like this –


If your blog is listed there click on it and you will end up at a new screen that looks like this –


In a new tab or window, copy and paste the code into a new blog post, and publish the post. When the post is published, click on claim blog, and Bloglovin will check your blog for the post, thus identifying you as the owner of the blog.


I did mine a long time ago so for the purposes of this post, I am claiming a blog I don’t use much anymore, Scambaiter Haven. This is the screen you’ll end up at, once your blog is claimed. You’ll also receive an email. If you already have followers, you’ll see a lovely graph of how many followers you have.

You might want to go into your profile and add in some more stuff about yourself, put in an image, etc. You might also want to add the widget to your blog sidebar, and follow some bloggers over there.


I also recommend checking the settings screen because it has a lot of emails pre-ticked to send to you. I unticked a lot of these, though I do get the daily summary of bloggers I follow, email when someone starts following me so that I can follow them back, and the weekly stats post.

In conclusion –

You might be reading this thinking.. why do I want to claim my blog, I don’t really want to sign up for yet another thing, I already have a feed reader why would I want to use this one, etc.

Claiming your blog isn’t for *you* so much as it is for the people who already use Bloglovin’ who might want to follow you. It is also a way new readers can find your blog.

Chances are you already have some people over there following you, and you’ve got no idea who those people are because you have not claimed your blog. :) They might have a blog, and if they like your blog, maybe you will like theirs.

As I said in yesterday’s post, this month I am doing some exploring over on Bloglovin’ and at the end of the month you’ll hear all about it plus see all the new blogs I found there.

Over to you –

Will you claim your blog over at Bloglovin’? :)

feed readers, how to guides

How To – Get Started With Inoreader


Mid-May, an ex-work colleague of mine sent me an email. She and I had talked once about blogs and I’d mentioned my feed reader and explained how it worked. She had no idea where to start looking for a feed reader and searching for one had just confused her more, could I recommend a good feed reader?

I was writing my reply to suggest Inoreader but I wanted to include a link to a quick how to get started guide. A lot of the get started guides talked about how to import feeds from another feed reader, which my friend would not need to do.

I figured it would be easier to create something simple which would not confuse her, so I sent screenshots and instructions. Then I thought, why not put a how to guide here on the blog as well? So without further ado..

How to – Get Started With Inoreader

If you do not have a feed reader yet, and you are looking for one.. Inoreader is brilliant and super quick. You can get started just by entering an email address and a password. So open this link – Inoreader – in a new window, click on “Create a free account” and then follow this quick tutorial below to get feed reading.


Yes, all you will need is an email account and a password.


You can also connect with Facebook or Google. If you choose those options you will have to allow Inoreader to get your email address and basic profile info. Me personally, I prefer the email address and password option, but this is your account, so whatevs. :)


So once you have created your account you will arrive at the above screen. My advice – skip this first step. Chances are you know what blogs you want to subscribe to.


You will then be offered a free tour. My advice – DO NOT skip this step. :) Take the tour. I’ll be right here waiting when you’re done.


Ok, so the tour is over, and now you see the main Inoreader screen. Of course, you’ll want to add me right away! Just type in my name..


and there you see me. Select me, and then this screen will pop up.


Click on subscribe.


And there you have it – you subscribed to your first blog. Now, add in others that you want to read. You can try typing in the name, though be aware sometimes that might be a hard way to find a blog if the name is not unique.


What if you type in the blog name and nothing comes up? Then you can try entering the blog URL. Lets put in my rewatch breaking bad blog URL. Once you enter it, Inoreader will go off and try to find a feed, once the feed is found you can click on it and it will automatically subscribe to that feed.


By now you have probably received an email welcoming you to Inoreader and asking you to confirm your email. Simply click on the link to confirm your email address.

So that gives you a quick overview of Inoreader and how to get started on setting it up. There is a really great support forum where questions are usually answered very quickly and the Inoreader blog has a lot of how to guides.

Best of all, there are mobile apps for iPhones and Android so you can read your subscriptions on the go. If you get stuck waiting out and about, you can catch up on your blog reading and it syncs up so you don’t read things more than once as a surprise to yourself.. :)

What Does Snoskred Use?

Me personally here at home, we have TinyRSS set up on our server because after Google Reader screwed their users over, I wasn’t going to use a third party feed reader again. I wanted complete control.

However for NaBloPoMo 2014, I tried out Inoreader and I found it to be excellent. They have a great support forum and when I asked a question there it was answered very quickly. Plus, you can create bundles to easily share your feeds with other people.

What Blogs Does Snoskred Read?

I have a process which I follow – when I find a new blog, I add it to the feed reader. On the last day of each month, I post a New Feeds post, which links to all the new blogs I am reading.

I test drive the new blogs for 6 months. At the end of 6 months I review each blog. If I have enjoyed reading the blog, I add it to the main blogroll.

What Makes Snoskred Unsubscribe?

The number one reason that I unsubscribe from new blogs is due to the blog providing a partial feed. I have written a couple of posts on other reasons I tend to unsubscribe – 10 New Reasons I Unsubscribed From Blogs14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Blogs. I am not suggesting these reasons are always deal breakers for me

Do you feed read?

Over to you, tell me what you are using to read blogs. :) Would you like more how to guides for Inoreader?

If you have a blog, please leave me a comment wth link to your place, I’d love to check it out.. :)

feed readers, how to guides, Inoreader

10 New Reasons I Unsubscribed From Blogs


With a new blog, I like to test-drive it for 6 months before I declare the blog a keeper and add it to my blogroll. Once a month, I go through the process for blogs added to my feed reader 6 months beforehand – I visit each blog individually and revisit the posts over the past 6 months and then I decide – keep reading, or unsubscribe?

Here are some reasons that have helped me make this decision in recent months.

1. Blogs With A Partial Feed

I read a lot of blogs and 85% of them give me a full feed. When a blogger chooses to provide a partial feed, subscribers only see the title and the first 10-50 words of the post. I do not know why anyone would do this – to me it is like cutting off ones blogging nose in order to try and get traffic to their blog.

Bloggers work hard on their content – it is unwise to make their blog readers jump through hoops to read it. SRSLY, think again. Please, provide a full feed.

This is the number one reason I will unsubscribe from a blog. When I subscribe to a new blog and find it is a partial feed, I will still give it the 6 month trial but I already have a feeling what the outcome is most likely going to be. Sometimes people surprise me and end up in my favourites folder instead.

So if you are reading this, bloggers, do you know what kind of blog feed you provide? If not, best you subscribe to your own blog and find out. :)

2. They Never Commented On My Blog

So, I added a blogger to my feed reader, and I really liked their posts, so much so that I became a regular commentator over at their place, leaving a comment on 3-4 posts each week. After a while though, I noticed things were only going one way – theirs. They never once left a comment on my blog.

I don’t know if it was because they couldn’t be bothered clicking through, or whether they did not like my blog – either way, I’m not into one way only relationships. One tiny comment in return for my multitude of comments was all it would have taken to keep me as a reader, and they had a whole six months to do that in!

If I have only left one or two comments in the space of 6 months, then this is not a reason I take into consideration at all. Just in case you were wondering. :)

3. Too Many Photos All The Time

I don’t mind the occasional post with 10 or more images but when every single post is just pictures with a few lines of text, that can be a deal breaker. Especially if the blogger has not re-sized them – large images can take a long time to load, so I’ll get all the text without any images at all and then when I’ve moved on to the next post in that folder, *that* post will keep loading images and bumping what I am trying to read downwards. Annoying!

Please, bloggers, check the size of images before you post them. If you are pulling them right off your camera into your blog then chances are, your readers are getting way too many megapixels as a surprise. Use something like Fast Image Resizer to quickly and easily resize your images.

Not everyone is on a fast internet connection, so it is worth keeping your file size and your readers in mind. :)

4. Too Many GIFS All The Time

Bloggers, if you have more than one GIF in your post, chances are, you are annoying your readers. What is a GIF? It is like an animated image. Here is a GIF.


Gifs are all well and good when used sparingly and occasionally, but use too many and they slow right down and do not work as intended. Your funny GIF is not so funny in extra slow motion. It is also not so funny if it comes from a TV show and I have never seen the show it originated from.

I personally limit GIF images to one per post and very rarely at that. :) Of course, it is their blog and a blogger is welcome to post 20 gifs on one post if they want to – that isn’t something I’ll likely enjoy long term, unless their content is incredible.

5. A Lack Of Good Manners

It is fine to disagree with your blog readers politely. It is another thing to belittle, besmirch, or attack a commentator who disagrees with a post. My preference is to treat people who take the time to comment on your blog decently even when they disagree with you, otherwise you risk losing not just the commentator but readers who see the exchange, as well.

Even worse – on occasion I have seen bloggers totally misinterpret a comment someone left and then attack them for having left it!

One the positive side – I have sometimes found bloggers via their excellent manners and wonderful, thoughtful comments in the comments sections of other blogs.


6. Deleted!

A blogger wrote a post people strongly disagreed with – when people disagreed – politely, mind you – with that blogger in the comments, they DELETED the whole post. Whoa! That is so not cool with me. If you write something, stand by it, even if the comments you receive oppose what you wrote.

Be open to the fact that maybe not everyone agrees. Be open minded enough to allow blog commentators to express their opinions. If people have taken the time to thoughtfully disagree with a blogger via a comment, it is NEVER COOL to delete the post in my opinion, and it will make me hit unsubscribe.

7. Deleting Recent Posts –

I had bookmarked several recent posts intending to link to them on my blog at a future time and when I went back to grab the title and link the post, those posts were gone. And these were not deeply personal subjects – these were recipes that the blogger had cooked and provided excellent photos for, or posts where they had travelled and done a lot of interesting commentary and photos. I’m not sure why these bloggers felt these posts had to be deleted but I was disappointed enough to hit unsubscribe.

It is totally normal for a blogger to go back in time and check to see that their blog content from years ago is still relevant and the links and videos still work, and if not and they can’t find new links or videos, it is normal – and good for your blog – to delete those old posts. But to me deleting recent posts feels slightly unusual and somewhat odd to delete stuff they recently wrote.

Maybe this happens all the time and I just don’t notice it, because I’m not trying to link to the deleted post months later. :)

8. I Left A Comment –

Which the blogger did not choose to publish, but they then used my comment to create their next blog post. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spring-boarding a post out of a comment someone left on your blog. If a blogger is going to do that, they could at least have the decency and good manners to publish the comment, reply to it and say something like “I have been thinking about writing a post on that subject for a while, and your comment has inspired me to write it. Look out for my upcoming post on this topic!”

Whenever I write a post here which was inspired by something I saw elsewhere or a comment someone left, I make sure to mention that and if that person has a blog or a specific blog post of theirs inspired me, I link to that in the post. That is just good manners, in my opinion.

9. They Spelled My Name Incorrectly!!

This one is a very specific example. I emailed a blogger once, they replied and spelled my name Snoksred. Oops, I thought! I am super careful not to accidentally spell peoples names wrong – I will copy and paste if there is any doubt at all. But I forgave it, because perhaps it was a mistake..

But I emailed that same blogger a second time, they replied, and spelled my name Snoksred *again* – and that was the moment I looked for that blog in my feedreader, and hit unsubscribe. Once is a mistake, twice is carelessness and to be honest, a little bit offensive. Especially when my sender name is Snoskred, so when they hit reply my name is right there in the body of the email.

10. They Became Brainwashed

They had a wonderful and very interesting blog. But then they got involved with some kind of multi-level marketing company, or perhaps a brand of skincare, or cleaning products, or something they wanted to sell to the world. And now every post they write is All About That Fascinating To Them But Very Boring To Me obsession. I wouldn’t have minded if they had posted about it once a week and still kept the regular amazing content. However that content went AWOL, and now I’ve gone AWOL too.

14 Reasons

I also have an older post on this subject – 14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Your Blog.

Over To You –

Are there reasons you unsubscribe from blogs that I have not listed in my two articles? If yes, leave it in the comments.. :)

blogging tips, feed readers, what not to do

Housekeeping part 99 zillion trillion

Chickens, just chilling.

I’ve updated the blogroll page – the previous blogroll was a code from Google Reader but once they went kaboom the blogroll also vanished..

This blogroll has been hell to create involving the other half, magic coding and secret tricks to alphabetise the list, plus then I had to go through the list and make sure the URLs were correct which involved manually clicking through to each blog.

Please do not think that if you are listed last that means anything other than your blog begins with Z. The list is alphabetical.

In fact, in my feedreader everything is contained within folders, and Zazzy would probably be shocked to know she is in my very first folder which is rather oddly named aaaafaves. Frogdancer and her fellow Aussies are just below in AAussies


The aLadies folder is where people like Jocelyn from Mama’s StyleTia Cherie and Suger would find themselves.

But wait, a couple of these are Aussies? Yes, this is true. I have to go through a massive list of new blogs I subscribed to over the past 6 months to work out if they should stay in Ladies or head to Aussies. I was on a fashion blog subscribing spree and not considering the long term organisation of my feeds.

Don’t worry Ladies, you still get read on the day you publish a post – and organising my feeds is presently high on my todo list, after fixing my blogroll and choosing and customising a new blog design.

As I have been clicking through to the blogs on the list, I’ve noticed a lot of them have not updated in a while, some dating back to 2006.

After going through the entire list, there are 321 blogs listed – and that is after I deleted those which went to a wrong place, no longer existed or had not updated since 2007.

I don’t delete a blog from my feed reader unless the blog no longer exists, which means if and when people return to it, I get the next post they write. If it is on my blogroll, it is in my feed reader. :)

My current cut off for the blogroll is – 2008 – if you posted after 2008 and you are in my feed reader, you should have been listed on the blogroll.

If you are reading this and you have a blog and you are missing from the new Blogroll list please let me know in the comments for this post.

Each day I would have somewhere around 150-180 new posts to read. Some of the blogs have 5-10 posts a day, though, so numbers are not really a fair representation of, well, anything.

I’m going to put together a little featurette on some of my most favourite blogs in the world, as well as my most favourite bloggers. I might even try to get some of them to answer a few questions if possible.


A small update on the work front – this is going to be a longer process than I’d hoped. I’d love to be able to talk about it here but it would not be especially safe to do so. I might put up a protected post later if this drags on too long because I might want to rage type it all out. If I do, all you need to do to get the password for it is email me – best to use the contact form here on the blog. :)

blog housekeeping, feed readers, work

Thanks a lot, Bloglines..

For the last couple of weeks, it has seemed like there hasn’t been a lot of people blogging. I thought maybe it was just everyone being busy, or something. But no. Turns out that Bloglines was doing something odd. And today I log in to see over 500 posts – as I am going through reading them, I realise a lot of them are old posts, dating back to early October.

And so, I missed out on this great post from Artoholic Cindy for 12 days.  As well as other important and great stuff! And it seems it is not quite over yet, posts are still dribbling in.

So if I haven’t been visiting, now you know why – I had no idea you were posting. Looks like I have been trusting my feed reader a little too much! Yes, it is a free service, but you still expect it to work.

feed readers

Am I A Good Blogger?

Kirsten from All About Me – And Then Some asked many interesting questions yesterday in her post Am I A Good Blogger? and it’s such an important topic that I felt a comment would not do justice to it. So today I am going to take on two of the important questions we bloggers should ask ourselves. Do I buy my own domain? What about social networking?

Do I Buy My Own Domain?

Absofreakinglutely! Kirsten is on Blogger, which makes it easy to use your own domain yet continue to enjoy all the benefits of using Blogger. There are many reasons why you need your own domain and here are some of the important ones –

– Wherever you go, there you are. People will always know exactly where to find you.
– You build links back to your blogspot domain – you could be building them to your domain name.
– You have absolutely no control over what the people at Blogger do.- If Blogger went haywire – would any of the people who read you regularly know how to find you again? If you have your own domain they can easily find you.
– If someone hacked into your blog, you would be able to redirect your domain to the new blog (this happens a lot more than people realise, don’t think it’s impossible) and people could still find you.
– You may decide later to change your blogging platform to WordPress, or create a portal instead of a blog (tinyportal is my favourite and one I have looked at using in the past) or do one of a million things, and by having links to your domain rather than a blogspot URL, you get a jumpstart on page rank, on links to you, etc..
– It gives you flexibility – you can decide to move, or not
– either way you’re *able* to make these decisions yourself.
– If you decide to take your blog down for whatever reasons you can leave a simple page with instructions on how to contact you.
– You cannot get your own Alexa ranking on a blogspot domain. You automatically get Blogger’s ranking. For the bloggers who do want to earn some money from blogging, an Alexa rank is a bit important. ;) It is one of the things advertisers look at. (Update – check the comments, you can have an alexa ranking on blogspot but you have to have a large-ish amount of traffic to get it, Thanks Meg!)

The only time you should not use your own domain is if you have been blogging for a very long time on the one you have now and have high rankings on that blog. Even then I would STILL consider it.

Now a few quick myths we need to get out of the way re owning your own domain name.

It’s Expensive.

No, it’s not. You can buy a .com domain for as little as $8.95USD a year – and some domains are even cheaper. I do recommend that you also purchase the privacy protection for $6.99USD per year – that means nobody knows your real name, address, phone number, just by looking up your whois information – worth a little extra money! For less than $16 you’re all set. We use Go Daddy for all our domains – all five of them. Meg from Dipping Into The Blogpond also wrote a great post about getting your own domain name and debunking the myths of .au domain names.

You Need Hosting.

No, you don’t. With Blogger all you need is the domain name. Blogger is going to do all the hosting for you. Later down the track, if you wanted to go to WordPress you may need to consider hosting – but Go Daddy provides hosting for as little as $2.99 a month and there are many excellent hosting packages out there on the internet.

It’s Not Worth Doing Now.

Any blogger who has moved from a blogspot domain to their own domain will tell you – the sooner you do it, the better. Even if you’re just blogging as a hobby you may change your mind about that later – and then have to go to all the effort of re-establishing page rank (which you may well have built to 6 or even higher) and Alexa rankings and backlinks and blogrolls etc.

When I changed from the blogspot domain, Sephy had just done it weeks before me, and he already had a list of the sites I needed to change my URL on. The list was long but it was a fast job and only took me an hour or so. However all the backlinks I lost.. whoa. I had the old domain on a 101 rating with Technorati. My new site was a 0. I had a google page rank of 4. My new site was (and still is) a 0. It was painful. I made the change on the 17th of July and my new domain name is up to a 78 on Technorati – without me having the time to devote to letting people know I’d moved by visiting their blogs personally. It’s still on my to do list. ;) The longer you leave it, the more painful it will be.

Blogging Is Just A Hobby.

Can you name one other hobby of yours that you can do completely for free? All my hobbies cost something. I can’t think of one hobby I do that I haven’t had to put some cash towards.

I’m Not Blogging For Money.

I’m not painting for money. I’m not reading for money. I’m not playing computer games for money. I’m not gardening for money. I’m not watching DVD’s for money. I’ve easily spent 3 times what I’ve spent on buying my own domain on all of the above – sometimes 30 times.

What About Social Networking?

Kirsten said – I don’t have time to dedicate to heavy social networking… If I did I’m sure I’d have more readers than I do now.

The only social networking tool that draws large amounts of traffic is probably StumbleUpon – Digg is not quite the same thing, that’s more a news and article network. The others are nice, and often leave pretty pictures in your sidebar but realistically don’t bring large amounts of traffic in the way StumbleUpon can. So in my opinion, StumbleUpon is an absolute MUST – I’ll talk more about StumbleUpon in a minute. I do still recommend you sign up to a couple of the networks, as follows.

Bumpzee –

Bumpzee is basically a series of blog communities. Each community has an RSS feed. That means whenever you post, your blog post goes out to a lot of people. If you can make your title and first 250 words eyecatching enough, you will get some traffic from it. However even better you will find that some absolutely legendary people within these communities – and you will build excellent relationships.

It does not require a lot of time to join Bumpzee, and once you have joined you can throw the community feeds into your reader. They do generate a fair bit of posting traffic but as time goes by you will figure out which blogs you can live without, and add your favourites into your reader on their own.

MyBlogLog –

One thing I love about MyBlogLog is the fact that it autoadds you to a bloggers community once you have visited their site 10 times. So just by cruising around the blogs you love, you are social networking too. I log in there once a week and add any new friends to my friends list, this takes maybe 5 minutes. They also have some great stats which come for free when you’re a member – outclicks is really useful for me.

BlogCatalog –

Very similar to MyBlogLog. I think if you have one you should have both, but maybe that’s just me. It doesn’t take much effort to sign up at these, and very little effort to maintain them unless you *want* to put more effort in. I wish BlogCatalog did the autoadding thing, too. (Jonathan, BlogCatalog’s new blogger liason team member, are you reading this?)

Make An Impression –

With all three of the above communities, you can put the little widgets in your sidebar and see when people have dropped by on sight. I personally love that. Make sure you get yourself a unique and eyecatching avatar – preferably an image you have taken yourself if possible because then it is less likely it will be copied. Use the same avatar on *all* social networking sites. People will click on your avatar to find out more about you, and they often end up at your blog. It’s not a huge amount of traffic but it is one way to find new readers.


The main thing you need to do for StumbleUpon is download a toolbar in order to use it. The toolbar is excellent. It contains everything you need in order to stumble. I’m not going to write a guide on how to stumble here, because Meg already did that much better than I can. ;) Beginners Guide To StumbleUpon – You do not need to absorb all the information in the guide at once. Bookmark the article, and go back to it once a week, learn something new. I still keep going back to it.

I stumble sometimes 5-10 minutes a week. If I find myself at an internet loose end, I tend to stumble rather than do anything else. Sometimes that happens – you’ve read everything in your feed reader, you’ve checked the news sites, youve done everything you wanted to do, and now you’re like.. hmm.. the internet is BORING. Then you see the toolbar, and you remember – no it isn’t! and you hit the stumble button.

The even better thing about stumbling is, you can give a blogger a bit of a traffic burst when they blog something you really enjoy – and you can do this with just ONE click. They deserve that – and they will appreciate it and thank you for it.

You *should* make sure to tag anything you stumble – take a couple of moments to do this and make sure to put it in all appropriate categories. A post like this for example would belong in blogs, internet, blogger. There’s a drop down box, adding tags is simple. Meg had to send me an email to let me know that one. ;) hehe thanks Meg!


You don’t have to want to be an “A list” blogger to make the most of your blogging by having your own domain name. You just have to want to be the best blogger you can be. A lot of people don’t read blogs about blogging and when they *do* read blogs about blogging they feel a bit offended – I haven’t done that, I don’t need to do that, etc. You have to take the best bits of what the blogs about blogging are saying, the bits you can use, the bits that apply to you, the tips you want to try, and let the rest go. ;) I’m not going to just follow one persons advice on something, I want to read a lot of opinions, that’s why those blogs are so popular.

Social networking can seem time consuming but tends to be a lot less time consuming than you’d think. ;) Have I convinced you of the benefits of both, Kirsten? As long as you don’t use Facebook, which I am told is the temporal vortex of the Internet. I don’t know for sure, I haven’t signed up! :)

When I get time, I’m going to add a “best blogs about blogging” list of blogs to the sidebar. If you’re reading this and you have any suggestions on blogs that should be in that list, leave a comment with a link to the blog please. ;)

blogging tips, feed readers, internet

Spring Cleaning & Retail Therapy With Photos!

Looking through my Google Reader, I see a few blogs I’m not feeling a connection with anymore. Yes, it’s time to clear out the reader. I’ll be working on this over the next week. It feels like a harsh thing to do. I don’t enjoy doing it however I am reading a lot of blogs now and I have a few projects I want to focus on so I will have a little less time for reading. I won’t be deleting anyone who’s linked to me, just so you know. ;)


Today we went shopping. I had a voucher for Dusk. I find either you love Dusk or you hate it. I love it. They make these great tea light candles which actually throw their scent around so it’s not like burning a candle just for the sake of burning it. I was going to buy several packets of 6, then I spotted they had a bulk bag of 50 scented tealights for just under $25. These will last me ages. w00t!


I also wanted to check out their essential oils and was surprised that they didn’t have very many of them but they DID have lemongrass which is the one I wanted. Yay! And the bottle is beautiful, that cobalt blue color.


Aussies and US people alike, keep an eye out for this Lander product. I got it at Woolworths a couple of weeks ago and I’m crazy about it. I used to use Palmers Cocoa Butter but it doesn’t absorb into the skin very well and tends to leave a residue on your keyboard. The Lander stuff absorbs fast, you only need a tiny amount and it has this scent that I’m nuts about, because it contains coconut oil. Even The Other Half likes this stuff. It’s made in the USA so I’m guessing you can get it there too.


I picked up the final season of The West Wing which was released in Australia a couple of days ago. I now have the full collection and I’m feeling pretty happy about that. ;)


Yay, we got cookies too!


Here’s all my essential oils.


aromatherapy, blog housekeeping, feed readers, health, shopping, Snoskred hearts, The West Wing

Great How To Guide – Feeds & Feedburner

Please note -update 23/08/2014 – Snoskred suggests that you DO NOT use feedburner anymore. :(

Sephy wrote a great how to guide with screenshots on how to integrate your Blogger RSS feed with Feedburner so that you can get detailed stats about your blog’s feed. Right now most blogger people probably don’t know how many people are reading their feed and this is a really good way to find out.

It’s also great because I really struggled with the layout of feedburner and kept having to ask him “what do I do now?” and I bet it got a little trying for him because every time I went there I seemed to have forgotten how to navigate around. Now I can just refer to this guide, which I have bookmarked YAY!

I find that some websites on the net are intuitive – as in, very easy for people to use. Some just don’t click for me. I’m lucky Sephy is my technical guru and always willing to help me even when I keep asking the same questions over and over. I can be a technical low wattage light bulb even at the best of times. This will probably come to people as a surprise – I seem like I am a technical master of things but what I am is more of an idiot savant – if you show me how to do something a couple of times I can remember it and even tell other people how to do it.

If there’s anything computer or blogging related that you want to know how to do, Sephy is offering to make a guide on that especially for you – and others. All you have to do is ask him – either in the comments section of his blog, or shoot him an email via the link on his blog. If you want him to keep it quiet that you were the one asking, he will happily do that and just pretend like I asked him. Its likely I did at some point anyway. ;)

Do you have a technical guru? Are you good with technical things, or do you struggle like me? Leave a comment and let me know.. ;)

blog housekeeping, feed readers, internet