Writing Life

Ode to the Blog

(or for the Doctor Who fans out there – Ood to the Blog)

I’ve discovered an interesting thing. I really like blogs.

I like writing my blog. I like coming up with things to write. I like being able to prattle on about whatever I feel like without annoying anyone – afterall you dont have to read it! I like that I can do it as often or as little as I choose to. I like to see how many people read each post, what posts are the most popular (Smurfs and interestingly The Lady of Glencoe), what searches have been used to get people here (again with the Smurfs). I really really like when people comment (hint hint) or “Like” posts but sadly it does not happen enough. I am also guilty of this with other people’s blog and am resolved to improve it.

I also really like reading other people’s blogs. One of things I particularly enjoy about them is the vast vast range of topics. Some blogs have a theme. Some, like my own, are pretty much about whatever the blogger feels like writing about that day. I love the sheer variety of them. If you take a peruse around the WordPress site you can see a selection of blogs that have just been released and they are always so diverse in their topics. Some of those featured today include blog posts on: The Vatican, an Obituary, DIY Photobooth, a brother’s view on Autism, A compost bin experiment and a ponderance on the question….Are you a Hugger?

For me, to a large degree, blogs have replaced magazines (though the pile I have in my house might disagree with that). You can read a quick article here and there or spend ages browsing through the latest “editions”. I like to spend Sunday morning ensconced in Ruby my reading chair enjoying the wit, glamour, fun or practical blogs of the week whether it be from someone famous (usually a writer, I follow several of these blogs) or an ordinary person like myself. Blogs are the opinions of the blogger. Sometimes you agree, sometimes you dont. Unlike with magazines they (for the most part) aren’t trying to convince you their tale is true when clearly its full of… well you get the idea.

To undertake this enjoyable activity, along with Ruby (yes I named my chair get over it), I use my beloved iPad. To date I was using Blogshelf which displayed the blogs in a manner similar to iBooks (which is my other Sunday morning treat). I enjoyed this but have found a few things I dont like. The 60 feed limitation is probably the one that annoys me the most. I know 60 sounds like a lot but given that most blogs are not updated on a daily basis, you pretty quickly find yourself having to toss up which ones to keep and which to toss. Sometimes you give a blog a trial and decide it works for you and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, 60 feeds is just not enough for me.

Also, it takes a long time to update. Often articles arrive while you are reading or you thing there are no new articles but they arrive later, which is fine unless you think there are none and close out.

The final annoyance for me is that a lot of the articles dont render properly so you can’t really see what they look like unless you choose to leave and go to Safari in which case why bother using the app at all. Couple that with the fact that it seems to have disappeared from the Apps Store, well that makes me think there will be no more improvements and it will stay as it is.

For all this complaining I have enjoyed using it to date, we’ve spent a lot of pleasant time together. But it’s time to move on. I’ve been looking at other apps for this purpose and am currently using Feeddler (lite) which seems to be a nifty little app which allows me to look at blogs offline or choose to see them in their full internet glory. I assume that browsing feeds will be included in the Pro version as having to manually type any that are not part of Google (at lot) is a pain.

Still, before I plunk my $5.49 down for the full (ad-free) version I wonder if there are any others that would be contenders? Does anyone have any recommendations or apps I should look at? What are you using to read blogs? Send me your thoughts!

(and that’s the end of my #NaNoWriMo procrastination for today. I’m already behind so back to it!)


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