Do You (Feed) Read Me?

I recently posted about changing my blog layout and one comment really got me thinking about other bloggers’ reading habits.  The blogger indicated that she wouldn’t much mind if I added a few small advert or sponsor buttons in my sidebar because she reads her blogs through a feed reader and wouldn’t see them anyway.

Believe me when I tell you that this about bowled me over.  I use a reader too–the soon to be defunct Bloglines*–but am physically unable to read posts without clicking through to the actual blog site.  Part of the fun of blogging (to me) is getting a chance to virtually swing by my fellow blogging friends’ houses to say hello.

Here's my friend Meg's site on Google Reader. It's just *meh* to me this way. Impersonal.

Granted, bloggers who have 50 or more blogs in their readers probably don’t have the time to click through to each blog, but the reader is so impersonal.  I love to see what books are in the sidebars and if a blog has a new layout or design feature.

And here's Meg's site 'in person'. Visiting sites is much more fun to me.

It shouldn’t be such a surprise that people feed read, but my husband always warns me about projecting my traits and behaviors on others.  I’m honest and forthright and tend to believe that everyone else is too.  I suppose that just because I visit each blog site that doesn’t mean the rest of the world does!

So, are you solely a feed reader or do you need the visual stimulation of a blog’s page?

*I’m trying to get in the habit of reading through Google (as my photos show with 900+ unread posts) but old habits die hard and I continue to read posts on Bloglines.

36 Comments

  • At 2010.10.12 21:14, bibliolatrist said:

    I only visit the site to comment; otherwise, I read through Google Reader.

    I often read my feeds while I’m in work, and I can’t access all the sites I follow then — my GReader is much easier. And, as much as visiting individual sites is nice, I don’t have the time to do so, unless I plan to comment.

    That said, I try to comment on my favorite blogs every so often, so I visit occasionally :)
    bibliolatrist´s last [type] ..RR10- September

    • At 2010.10.12 21:52, Christy said:

      Same as the commenter above, I read blogs primarily through Google Reader and only click through if I want to comment or if I want to read others’ comments. It saves time. Also, I don’t have a ton going on with my own blog’s design, so I project as well by assuming I am not missing out on too much.
      Christy´s last [type] ..The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks

      • At 2010.10.12 22:09, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

        I generally also only click through to comment, but I do try to make sure I click through at least once a month, minimum.
        Jen – Devourer of Books´s last [type] ..Haunted by Chicago History – Guest Post by Kelly O’Connor McNees- author of The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott

        • At 2010.10.12 22:27, SuziQoregon said:

          I actually get some of both. With Google Reader and the Better GReader add on in Firefox I can read the post and click a preview button that shows me the blog within the Google Reader pane. I don’t click the preview on every post, but I also often click it to read other comments even if I don’t leave an additional comment and if I want to leave a comment I can. So I guess for me I can read the post as well as see the whole blog and comment all from within Google Reader.
          SuziQoregon´s last [type] ..The Report by Jessica Francis Kane

          • At 2010.10.12 22:37, Coffee and a Book Chick said:

            I really enjoy Google Reader — I’m a fanatic about organization and with the gazillion blogs I’ve been following, I need Google Reader to keep it organized. Plus (speaking of layout), sometimes my eyes can’t always handle the different pictures or colors that are on a page, but I really love the blog, so I want to stay updated with it. Google Reader is standard and it doesn’t show all the distractions that swim in front of my eyes. I tend to only jump onto the site itself if something really jumps out at me and I want to comment on it. Also, since I travel frequently for work, it’s always easier for me to download through my iPhone app as well, so that I can read everyone’s blogs while on the flight.
            Coffee and a Book Chick´s last [type] ..Monday- Monday! What Are You Reading

            • At 2010.10.12 22:44, softdrink said:

              Exactly what bibliolatrist said. :-D
              softdrink´s last [type] ..The Brothers Karamazov

              • At 2010.10.12 22:45, Rebecca said:

                I do love Google Reader, but I also click through to the blogs that I really like.

                I just discovered yours today and I wouldn’t have found it if I hadn’t of been clicking through various blogs!

                • At 2010.10.13 01:53, kay @ Infiniteshelf said:

                  I try to visit as much as possible, but it’s true that I follow too many blogs to visit every post I read. I will visit if I am to comment, though, or if it’s one of my favorite blogs, or to read other comments. There are exceptions though, where blog designs make the text to difficult to read that I’ll stick to my boring feed reader!
                  kay @ Infiniteshelf´s last [type] ..Review – Fahrenheit 451

                  • At 2010.10.13 04:28, J.C. Montgomery said:

                    I also use Google Reader.

                    What I try to do is look at how many feeds I have to read. I then make a note to click through to at least 5% of them and read the actual post and leave comments. I can’t really say I only click through to my favorites as I won’t subscribe to a blog unless I am honestly interested in the content and what the blogger has to say.

                    That being said, I subscribe to 210 blogs. (Not all of them are book related) I’d say on a daily basis about half post. Thats close to 20 posts a day I’d have to get through and except for the weekends, I just don’t have the time..

                    Either I would have to be more selective, or use the 5% rule. I wish there were a better, and more personal way, but I’m just not sure how to do it.
                    J.C. Montgomery´s last [type] ..Review- My Name Is Memory

                    • At 2010.10.13 13:59, J.C. said:

                      OMG….I should never post things at like 2 in the morning. 5% of a 100 is NOT 20. Yes, math was my worst subject.

                      On a busy posting day, I may visit as few as 5 blogs. But on the weekends, when I have more time, I will visit more. Ay yi yi. I feel soooo silly. :-)

                    • At 2010.10.13 07:23, Chrisbookarama said:

                      I also read with Google Reader and only click on the site to comment. Back in the ooooold days when I didn’t know about Feed Readers, I used my blogroll and visiting blogs took forever (and I had a lot less that I followed). I was so happy when I signed up for Google Reader.

                      I rely on it so much that unless I have a good reason, I won’t follow anyone with a partial feed. There just isn’t enough time.
                      Chrisbookarama´s last [type] ..The Princess Bride Readalong- Milestone 2

                      • At 2010.10.13 09:43, Thoughts of Joy said:

                        I’m like many above. I read all posts through Google Reader and click on those that I want to comment on which brings me to their blog.
                        Thoughts of Joy´s last [type] ..DEED TO DEATH

                        • At 2010.10.13 09:47, Meg said:

                          Aw, thanks for featuring me in your screen shots! :)

                          I’m in the small minority who seem to hate Google Reader. I’ve tried twice to get into it — subscribing to all my favorite blogs, organizing them, etc. — and just . . . lost all interest in it a few days later. Seeing the outstanding number of posts next to each blog totally stressed me out, and I found myself scrolling through the unread posts just to eliminate that number. I wasn’t even really read them! Plus, I hated having to go the extra step to comment on everything. I try to comment on almost every post I read (which might be crazy), so that was a lot of extra work!

                          Plus, like you, I enjoy “visiting” each blog — for reals. Seeing the layouts, sidebars, widgets — that’s all part of the fun for me! I’m a very visual person and reading posts in GR just doesn’t cut it for me. Instead, I keep my blogroll very up-to-date with the blogs I most enjoy reading, then visiting right from my site almost every day.
                          Meg´s last [type] ..Book review &amp giveaway- ‘The Itteh Bitteh Book Of Kittehs’

                          • At 2010.10.13 10:25, rhapsodyinbooks said:

                            Like Fizzy Jill and the others, I only click through to comment, BUT, I do love when I have extra time to click through to more blogs, because I do love to see the whole thing!
                            rhapsodyinbooks´s last [type] ..Review of “The Leper of Saint Giles” by Ellis Peters

                            • At 2010.10.13 13:19, Belle said:

                              I do all my feed reading on Google Reader too, and only click over to comment (like now!). I also do a lot of my reading through an app on the iPhone that lets me access my Google Reader feeds – it’s more difficult to comment then, though, so I try to star the posts I want to comment on, and get my comments in when I’m back on my PC.

                              • At 2010.10.13 14:16, Liz said:

                                I totally agree with you Meg! I much prefer just going to the actual blog and reading the post/commenting there.
                                Liz´s last [type] ..Review- Tricia Goyers From Dust and Ashes- A Story of Liberation-Who Doesnt Like Free Books

                                • At 2010.10.13 14:49, Lenore said:

                                  I mostly use google reader now, but I do click through when I have time to leave comments!
                                  Lenore´s last [type] ..Book Review-Fan Letter- Mostly Good Girls by Leila Sales

                                  • At 2010.10.13 15:01, vivienne said:

                                    I always go to the actual blog and read it there as normally I like to leave a comment.
                                    vivienne´s last [type] ..The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

                                    • At 2010.10.13 16:18, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                                      I actually like the way greader simplifies everything. I only click through to comment.
                                      Amy @ My Friend Amy´s last [type] ..Lonesome Dove Readalong Discussion 2- Chapters 10-20

                                      • At 2010.10.13 16:32, Iris said:

                                        I use Google Reader to remain up to date, I mean, see who updates etc because if I’d go through a list of links I would lose track. But I always skim posts in GR, look at what interests me and click over to those posts: read & post comments on the actual blog. I don’t even know how to comment through a feedreader and I prefer it this way.
                                        Iris´s last [type] ..Forgotten Treasures TBR-list

                                        • At 2010.10.13 17:03, Elisabeth said:

                                          I tried the readers and did not like them. One of the best parts of blogs is all the sidebar info. I love to see what the blogger is currently reading, whats coming up etc. I keep all my blogs in “my favorites” – probably not the most efficient but it works for me.

                                          • At 2010.10.13 17:04, Kerry said:

                                            I’m the same as the majority here – I read in Google reader but click through to post or read comments.
                                            Kerry´s last [type] ..Book Review- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

                                            • At 2010.10.13 19:01, Jody said:

                                              I don’t use a reader, just a feed. I prefer going to the sites, but don’t like to get there and find nothing new, so I’ve set up an RSS reader blog for my own use.
                                              Jody´s last [type] ..Bring the crocheting or the computer

                                              • At 2010.10.13 19:17, Natalie said:

                                                i am really floored at how many of you guys really read through feeders! it seems that you’re following (and commenting) on more blogs than i do/am so that might be the reason. it’s interesting to see just how in the minority we ‘straight to blog’ readers really are. :) thanks for the feedback.

                                                • At 2010.10.13 19:44, Jenners said:

                                                  I read the actual post content in a reader (I use Feed Demon) but then click on through to leave a comment. I’ll sometimes browse around a blog’s sidebars or look at what they are reading, but mostly I’m in and out pretty fast due to lack of time!
                                                  Jenners´s last [type] ..Musashi Readalong-Book 2- Water

                                                  • At 2010.10.13 20:26, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                                                    I click through unless a post doesn’t interest me at all – like a giveaway for a book that I already own.
                                                    bermudaonion (Kathy)´s last [type] ..Guest post- Patti Callahan Henry on South Carolina’s Lowcountry

                                                    • At 2010.10.14 17:03, Holley said:

                                                      I feed read, but always click through to the blog when the entry catches my interest…like this one :-)
                                                      Holley´s last [type] ..witchy woman

                                                      • At 2010.10.14 19:29, Alita said:

                                                        I usually only click through to comment or check out other people’s comments – sometimes those can be just as insightful and/or entertaining.
                                                        Alita´s last [type] ..Monday Round Up 101110

                                                        • At 2010.10.15 00:26, Gwen said:

                                                          I do a bit of both depending on time and whether or not I have anything to comment on.
                                                          Gwen´s last [type] ..Apple Picking- Central Coast Style &amp Giveaway

                                                          • At 2010.10.15 08:08, Beth F said:

                                                            I do a mix. I click through to comment (even though I have Better Reader so I can comment through Google Reader). I like the idea of actually clicking on someone’s blog instead of just reading in the reader.
                                                            Beth F´s last [type] ..Spotlight On Kate Ledger

                                                            • At 2010.10.15 11:15, Ti said:

                                                              I read text only posts in Google Reader but if there is a graphic of any kind, I almost always click through to see it in the blog itself.
                                                              Ti´s last [type] ..Man Booker 2010 Winner Will you read it

                                                              • At 2010.10.16 02:38, Cathy said:

                                                                I’m commenting from my reader right now. I have over 600 blogs in my reader; there’s no way on God’s green earth that I can visit each one individually. I will say that when I do comment on a post, I have Firefox add-ons that bring up the actual blog page, so I can see the real page then.
                                                                Cathy´s last [type] ..Id Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

                                                                • At 2010.10.17 00:19, Lisa said:

                                                                  I do a combination of feed read and site read. If I’ve let my reader get away from me, I’m much more prone to only use the reader. But I really try to make sure I stop by the blog sites if there’s something that is of particular interest to me. And if my reader’s not too full, then I’ll definitely go straight to the blog.
                                                                  Lisa´s last [type] ..All Things In Common – Reincarnation

                                                                  • At 2010.10.17 23:38, Bumbles said:

                                                                    I read through Feedly which is a much prettier way to read through a feed reader. It is an add on through the Firefox browser and it pulls your existing feeds from Google Reader into a magazine-like page. But it still doesn’t have the same effect of visiting each site. I follow 100 or so blogs so it is impossible for me to visit each blog to read every post. The blog title, post image and content capture my eye, get me to reading and motivate me to click through to the blog to leave a comment.
                                                                    Bumbles´s last [type] ..ON MOVIES Dress Up

                                                                    • At 2010.10.24 16:30, dw said:

                                                                      I normally read blogs through the google reader, unless i want to comment on them. although i have to admit the number of unread posts do get a little intimidating.

                                                                      • At 2010.11.04 10:36, Kathleen said:

                                                                        I’m a feed reader for convenience. I resisted it for the longest while but after building up hundreds of blogs that I enjoyed visiting it was just the most practical way to go. That being said I usually click through to the blog to do just as you say, visit and check out what is on the “homefront”.
                                                                        Kathleen´s last [type] ..Film Club- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane