15.3.13

69 What Google did next ...


(Gratuitous recycled button image, just because I like it!)

... They announced the 'retirement' of Google Reader*, that's what. Citing declining usage, they've given all users until July 1st to export their subscriptions elsewhere. But where is 'elsewhere' exactly? I've seen a jump in knitsofacto's followers on Bloglovin today. Feedly is promising a seamless transition from Google Reader. Blogger users still have the dashboard 'Reading List' of Blogger blogs they've followed. Or you could virtually sign the Keep Google Reader Running petition and hope Google will extend the July deadline (I doubt they'll rethink the forced closure). But that's not really the point ... the point is that nothing in life is free, even the stuff you don't have to pay for! And we're always going to be at the mercy of the whim of the provider of these free tools that we all take for granted.

Google is spring cleaning again - their words - and anything that doesn't further their dastardly plan for world domination is being tossed, or so some folk will tell you. Certainly, with about 90% of the search engine market share in the UK, and pushing 70% in the US, Google's algorithms control exactly what most of us discover when we seek something online. So don't be fooled into thinking that Google Search is a public service. It's not, it's a billboard for advertisers who, courtesy of data provided by Google, know just what you're likely to be looking for when you're using the internet. 96% of Google's $50 billion revenue comes from advertising, much of which is targeted, but barely a penny comes from Google Reader ... you do the math!

As with the changes to Google Image search, it is bloggers who will lose out here ... prepare to see a dip in traffic come the summer, however hard you work to ensure that folk can still follow your blog, if you have one. So, writer or reader, do please share how you feel about all of this, and I'd love to know which blog aggregator you think you might use instead.

Edited to add that personally I've not been using Google Reader so will have no need to switch. I've also deliberately avoided having all my eggs in one aggregator basket, as it were. I use Bloglines (but am considering switching to Feedly or the The Old Reader), and a while back started using Twitter, via a HootSuite stream for tweets about blog updates, and I have a loooong blog roll on my knitsofacto test blog. I'm just hoping Google doesn't have similar plans for Blogger down the line!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you all so much for the many good wishes you sent my mother's way. She is steadily improving after a minor setback and I'm finally finding time to catch up with a bunch of emails and with visiting your lovely blogs.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

* But hey, soon you'll be able to read your favourite blogs on Google Glass ... and that's a whole other can of worms!

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69 comments :

  1. AHHHH I did a Darth Vader NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! when I saw that popup.

    I've started using Feedly. It's currently based on Google Reader but they saw the writing on the wall and have been developing their own back end. If you sync your Google Reader stuff with them now, the transition to the new back end will be seamless and you won't have to port anything over.

    I'm still getting used to the layout but it seems to be working pretty well so far.

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  2. Hi Annie, this is all above my head! I've never used Google Reader or even Google+ and don't even know how they work, so I guess I won't miss them. I don't use Twitter or Facebook either and find all these things far too time-consuming. I seek the simple life and don't want to spend all my time on my computer! I hope that all those using Google Reader will find an acceptable alternative.
    Have a good weekend and I was glad to hear that your mum is steadily improving. Sandra

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  3. Like Melissa I switched to Feedly. As soon as I saw the pop-up I googled 'alternatives to google reader'. I really like Feedly is is much prettier then reader. You can customise it all sorts of ways and I have already added a lot more blogs to my list simply because I like the way they appear on Feedly. The app is lovely too, for instance when I looked at it just now my screen was filled entirely with your beautiful button picture.

    I think there is a significant blog readership who don't use any kind of feed reader at all -people like Sandra above or my mum who just keeps a list of blogs she likes (mine!) bookmarked and checks them everyday -in fact that's how I did it when I first started to read them. I don't think there will be a drop in visitors over the summer at all, I think there are plenty of other ways of keeping up with blogs.

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  4. Hi Annie. I don't use Google Reader and never have. At variou times I thought I should but could't be bothered to change my habit of adding my favourite blogs to my own list on my blog's side bar. When I notice something new in the top 5, I read it - simples!

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  5. It's been so annoying! I spent ages yesterday, looking for another reader. I couldn't get Feedly, my first choice, to work properly...seems to have a bug that doesn't like Safari. Tried a few others and then settled on Bloglovin, which is, honestly, totally pants! So I'll keep looking and hopefully find a better solution....I heard Newsblur is Ok but From what I could work out only the first 68 subscriptions are free. If that is true then it's no good.

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  6. As a blogger on Wordpress, it has long seemed to me, that Blogger did a much better job of making it easy for Bloggers to follow other Bloggers. The downside of using a feeder that is primarily targeted at blogs from one platform, is that as readers, we may not see the full breadth of blogs that would interest us. I've used Bloglovin for a long time because it's simple and keeps every blog, regardless of platform, in one neat place (I haven't investigated, but I assume Feedly is similar). For anyone currently relying on Google Reader, I'd say migrate to Bloglovin or Feedly - the alternative of doing it manually is a real waste of time and you're bound to miss things. And yes, I tend to agree, I think there will be a decline, at least for a period, while people find their way around.

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  7. Oooh drats! I'm still waking up slowly this morning - the sun's shining, thank goodness - and I am processing the useful information you've shared with us. Thank goodness your readers above, more clued in than myself, have offered solutions which give my blogger's heart a glimmer of hope. It looks like Feedly seems like a good option, then? I've noticed a significant dip in pageviews over the past fortnight or so over at Millefeuilles: fewer Google image search visitors, I believe.

    I'm thinking about your mother, Annie.

    Hugs from afar,

    Stephanie

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    1. Re. the traffic drop due to Google Images changing ... hence my title, What Google Did Next! I mentioned a couple of posts back that instead of returning only a thumbnail that linked to the full size file on the site of origin, necessitating a click through to see the whole image, Google Images is now returning whatever file size you uploaded, and with none of your copyright information attached. And where I think that if the demise of Google Reader does affect us it will be a temporary blip, I'm rather afraid that traffic lost because of changes to Google Images is irrecoverable. Oh, and watch out for a Panda update this weekend that could hit some of us. Drats, as you say!

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  8. I am a google reader girl - and I guess I have to find something else. Feedly works on my ipad but I can't seem to figure how to get it on my laptop. Argh!

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  9. Google glass, no way! It's a horrible thought for me. I don't know what to do yet. But there is still time .... :-)

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  10. Yes, I was a tad put out over that little pop-up yesterday too. I use the Reader bookmarklet which lets me read through my favourite blogs on the actual blog page rather than the Reader format (which I've always hated), so I will miss that for sure.
    I saw Sue's recommendation for Feedly yesterday too so have installed it. I guess, like anything new, it will take a while for me to get used to it. It certainly does look glossy and as she said, the app is cool too. I don't seem to have found any problems with it on Safari so far. We'll see.
    Oh, and I do so love a gratuitous picture! Especially one as lovely as yours ; )
    xx

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  11. I've been using Feedly for quite a while now, so if their transition is seamless, as they promise it will be, the I'm good. I'm thinking of adding Blog lovin' to my site too so people can change easily.

    Glad to hear your Mum is improving now.

    S x

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  12. It's so hard trying to keep up with all this Internet stuff as it is - without them having to change stuff all the time! Grrrr!
    Carly
    x

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  13. I use the "Reading List" but I'm not sure what my readers use! Google is a pest, it it not?

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  14. My brain is now bleeding.

    I love blogging but find it hard to keep up with all the technical mumbo jumbo. I have to admit like a few others I have always either bookmarked blogs that I visit occasionally or they are on my sidebar. Never liked google reader and perfer to visit the blog itself I think it gives you a better feel of the blogger. A bit like visiting someone in their home rather than have everyone in a big hall!

    God knows what will happen in July I have signed up to bloglines yonks ago. But as ever these things baffle me!


    P x

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  15. I've never used Google reader, but I currently use Net News Wire (http://netnewswireapp.com/) which syncs btw my Mac & iPhone and seems fairly idiot-proof!

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  16. I am less than impressed with the Google reader decision. I went and had a look at Feedly but didn't really like having to give them permission to access my google account when I wasn't even logged in - so am wondergin if there's a way around that. It probably isn't anything sinister but I want something more than "Oh, we promise we're not doing anything sneaky." I suspect it may be inevitable though. Blimmin' Google.

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  17. What would we do without you keeping us up to date Annie!
    I clicked on your Feedly link and my iPad offered me an app which I installed. It all looks good, it transferred all my links but I lost two comments I'd made as they just disappeared when I published. Sigh, nothing is ever easy, is it!
    V xxx

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  18. You're right Annie, it seems that nothing is free from the big guys and if it is then most times there is some ulterior motive. I'm off to investigate feedly as I use reader to keep up with my favourite 30 blogs (without it I'd be even more disorganised at commenting than I already am!)

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  19. I saw that too, Annie, and my heart sank, as I DO use Google Reader and rely on it for that first quick scan of the blogs I follow. I too googled for alternatives and am probably going to go with Feedly, but may also back up on another provider too, in case Feedly goes pear-shaped when Google pulls the plug on Reader (Feedly takes its feed from Google Reader at the moment). Hey-ho......

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  20. Don't use any 'outside' ways, of seeing new posts, on blogs I love. Have my own private blog, for that.

    Wondering how many bloggers have noticed this-and-that-problem-notice, on Blogger? Hmmmmm.... When such 'problem notices' crop up, it gives me a bad feeling. What is going on????

    Will BlogSpot (Blogger) as we know it, disappear too????????

    Good news about your mother. So glad she is improving. Both for her, and for you.

    "Auntie"

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  21. Oh, dear me. I use Google Reader too. All of this makes my head spin. There is so little that I understand about all of this. I need a hand to hold!

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  22. I was surprised over the announcement. I have used it haphazardly so I'm not crying about it. I am on feedly and it's nice, and like you I'll have another basket for my eggs :)

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  23. Oooh, you scared me with the idea that Blogger could go away too. I'm not sure what all this means for me. I don't even know if I use Reader. I use the blog list on my Blogger page. It's all confusing for me.

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    1. The Reading List on your blog is not the same as Google Reader and shouldn't be affected.

      Sadly if Google decided to pull the plug on Blogger there would be nothing we could do. That's the snag with our using a free service. But I don't think it's something you need worry about any time soon :)

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  24. Thanks for the information about other possible ways to follow without google reader..........I did notice the message come up from goole, but I'm such a lazy dobbins I chose to ignore it........best sort something out pronto! x

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  25. I am currently trying The Old Reader but plan to try Feedly, too.

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  26. Isn't it just like Google? Last year they got rid of the GFC for non Blogger blogs. As a self hosted Wordpress blogger, I did lose some readers but I've also picked up some more along the way.

    Now Google Reader is being retired. I use it a lot. I also have the little 'next' button on my browser which will take me to the next blog post, directly on the blogger's blog. There's no need to click another link if I want to leave a comment as I'm already there.

    I've got a Bloglovin' account that I've had for about a year but I haven't really used it much; because I find it easier with my Google Next button. I think it may be time for me to revisit Bloglovin'. It's probably changed a bit, hopefully for the better.

    I did read that Digg are looking to develop their own RSS reader. It's meant to be like Google's but with extra enhancements. It's not the end of the world but by gum, it's a royal PITA Annie ;)

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  27. I use Google Reader and just think what a pain to have to transfer to using something else... I don't even know where to start. But thanks for your tips! Glad your Mum's a bit better!

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    1. I think there are going to be a fair few new options and how-to tutorials springing up in the next few weeks. There's plenty of time to make the move :)

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  28. Thank your for this information, I have relied on Google Reader for years now and thought I should have difficulty in transferring to anything else. have just added Feedly for Chrome and it was seamless and fast, though I shall have to spend some time in familiarising myself with the way it sets things out.

    I haven't yet read the comments above so am off to do that now.

    Have a happy weekend!

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  29. Hi Annie, Thanks for giving us this information I wasn't aware of these changes. I too have added Feedly first impressions are good.
    Sarah x

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  30. I really don't understand all this.....better get my head around it, I keep dropping off my steep learning curve, I've got a very sore derrière! :) x

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  31. I've never got into google reader, not sure why, maybe my lack of orderliness for once has paid off....problem is with me and I'm guessing a few others, that I'm not particularly clued up and end up being oblivious to it all....I did spend a little time weighing up blogging platforms when I started out, but honestly I was still unsure so went with the little I knew....I hope I don't come to regret that.

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  32. Whoa! I can't keep up with all this technology, I live in ignorant bliss actually. Maybe I should get my head around a few of these things! x

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  33. ouch! my head hurts just reading about this!!! I never could figure out how everyone kept track of the blogs they follow; I think I read about bloglovin here----and I love it. But, of course, I have absolutely nothing with which to compare it!!! sigh. old dog here---don't try to teach me new tricks.

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  34. I just wanted to mention to people who are worried about the possibility of losing Blogger alltogether, you can transfer blogs from Blogger to Wordpress if needs be!
    Not something I hope to do in the future since I've been happily blogging away on blogger for 4+ years now, but if needs be you would be able to save all your hard work <3

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    1. Thank you so much for the reminder :) Because I was once told that you couldn't build a successful blog on Blogger, and certainly not with a blogspot URL, I set out to prove the gainsayer wrong, so I'm on Blogger by choice, but I'd certainly move to WordPress if it became necessary, although .org not .com ... no point in moving from one vulnerable because free service to another.

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  35. Oh, thank you for your wonderful informed and wiserly posting Annie. I'm puddling around in Blogger and still learning on the fly. All this background techno stuff is like wisps of fairy floss floating around in my brain. Hopefully one day it will all come together and I will know what I'm doing. But will go and check out these Bloglovin and Feedly things and see if I can switch the Google reader stuff over *sigh*. And I agree with Dragonfly, your gratuitous button pic is just lovely. :)

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  36. I sighed when I first read about Google Reader closing, such a pain. But I guess we'll adapt.
    Thanks for the link on Google Glass, which I haven't heard about before. Must've had my head under a rock. The whole thing is a tad scary. Google are a little evil...

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  37. I don't use Google Reader, but I was wondering if it would have any effect on blog stats. I just rely on the "My Blogs" list in Blogger.

    I suppose if Blogger ever shut down we could consider hosting our own domains (don't know if I'm using the right terminology here). But switching to Wordpress sounds simpler!

    Off now to see what Google Glass is....

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  38. P.S. So glad to hear your Mum is better. :)

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  39. Something is always changing! Hope you have a beautiful and crafty weekend sweet Annie! xo Heather

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  40. Crikey Annie, you really are living in the 22nd Century. This is all gobbledegook to me. I have never used Google Reader, just the blogs saved on my internal blog list. Putting my head back under my stone now ..
    So pleased to hear your mum is on the mend, happy weekend to you all xx

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  41. Your link to Change.org, signing the petition did not work. Love your blog! (Bluebell and the Fox)

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    1. Corrected. Thank you for letting me know :D

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  42. Gosh - the mind boggles...I'm so out of the loop, but thank you for the info.

    Have a lovely weekend,

    Nina x

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  43. This is beyond depressing. I don't use google reader, but still! I read 90% of blogs on my blogger reading list, but those that don't have the "follow" option, I get emails from, or they are saved in my sidebar and I just check in when I have time.

    But bloggers are nothing if not versatile, clever, imaginative and creative so I am sure the blogging community will find some way round this.

    Gillian x

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  44. A quick PS. I installed Feedly for Chrome today and after a bit of tweaking to get the presentation as I like it, it works a treat. :-)

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  45. Hello! I too am annoyed with Google. For several reasons. Not even those you've mentioned today.
    But like you say, we're clever and resourceful people. And I'm going to let out a big sigh and make myself a nice Baileys coffee.
    Love the photos at the top of your page btw - really lovely.
    Sarah :)

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    1. Thank you for the photo love :) A Bailey's coffee eh?! Yum :)

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  46. When I read this my initial thought was bang goes being able to easily click on posts from my blog. Until I realised that I was not even using Google Reader, just clicking on blog posts from my reading list! It looked good did Google Reader, shame, not much point trying to get to grips with it now. I'll carry on with bloglovin for now me thinks.

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  47. EEk! I have no time to blog at all right now and depend n Google Reader for catch up on the week end. Dang! I may have a look at this Feedly as your friends have done. Thanks

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  48. Well I'm completely clueless on all of this. I don't use Google Reader so guess I won't be affected as I just click on blogs from my reading list. I like visiting people's actual blogs though rather than reading their words in a different format or location. To think that there is an easier way to visit blogs is a complete eye-opener to me though so I might have to investigate the likes of Feedly :-) Mel x

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  49. I have Google Reader but I really don't use it. I tend to read blogs from my own blogroll and from many, many bookmarked sites. But Google has done away with Picnik, now Reader and, I'm betting, Feedburner eventually. I know that many people use Reader but for me, a great part of the reading experience is seeing the whole blog - the design, the sidebar, everything. I'm on bloglovin, but I really don't use that either!

    xo
    Claudia

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    1. I do agree Claudia, I do like to visit the actual blog, otherwise one looses so much of the feel that it's design gives it. But it's easy to do that via Feedly, and also just to read within the reader if in a hurry. I prefer Feedly to Bloglovin and am also trying The Old Reader, as I mentioned above :)

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    2. You can visit the actual blog from bloglovin, well that is what I do! On my screen there is a small box with the blog on it next to each entry if you click on it takes you to the blog.

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  50. I used to use Blogline, then switched to Reader. On my ipad I use Mr. Reader. I am sure something will work as well, but it is very irritating.

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  51. eeps, so much information. you've brought up so many points in the last few posts annie, much to ponder. i'm so sorry about your mum, i hope all is well with her soon!

    a question? how do you manange not using word verification? spam is truly aggravating, consistent and overwhelming. i am sorry to have to use the word veri, but grateful too, it's a necessity.

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    1. I used to rely on moderating all comments on posts more than a week old, as most spam comments come through on old posts, and on 'training' the spam filter by ensuring that all spam comments were marked as spam, and also that the notification emails relating to those comments were marked as spam. That used to be effective but recently hasn't worked so well so reluctantly I've disabled anonymous and name/url comments. I had checked and only about 1 in 100 of the legitimate comments was anonymous, and the majority of those people will still be able to comment using Open ID (Google/Yahoo/Flickr etc.). I've put that info in my comments message and since then I have had as many legit comments as normal and NO spam comments. Which given that just prior to that pornographic spam had been getting through to the most recent posts is something of a relief.

      Thank you so much for the good wishes re. my Mum :D

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  52. Oh dearie me - I need to arm myself with some knowledge here! Lost a little in the ethereal word of the ether! Thank you for the heads up - now I need to understand what is means.....for now I will think wistfully of your Regency dress...after all tomorrow is another day...

    I hope that it is not raining in your corner of the globosphere today
    Best wishes
    Wet and windy Jenny!

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  53. Not happy, no not happy at all. I'm not known for my techno know how and don't really like it, quite happy with google reader, but have just transfered all to bloglovin, already my poor little mind is feeling confused :) xx

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  54. I've never used Google Reader or any of the others - I just save blogs I like in a folder on my browser. Free, and not likely to be taken away, either!

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  55. Ugh, I know! This is sorta like when google also bought picnik and then promptly shut it down. 'This is why we cant have nice things.' lol
    I have been using google reader, although my reading list constantly gets out of control....I'm gonna have to find a new list home! Ah well....it's always something ;)

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  56. Well, that is one mind boggling bit of info, I am not as savy as you about all of this Annie BUT I am very grateful for all your explaining and it has also helped to read all other bloggers comments too. What would we do without your wisdom :o) Thanks so much, I don't use google reader but will be using Feedly, I like it I do xox Penny

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  57. I rely on my trusty blog list in my sidebar - which is handy because I have it listed not in alpha order, but the latest posts at the top. It is very hard to keep up though. Blogging is about 5 percent writing and 95 percent reading/commenting. And fit it in around a typical busy life and creative pursuits - argh .... gripe gripe gripe :)

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  58. My husband switched to Feedly for his subscriptions. I use Blogger so all the blogs I follow actually show up in the desktop feed.

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