Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Apologies

I'm so sorry I've been absent this week. I hadn't really intended to be absent, but the week got away from me. If you were with me Tuesday evening on Twitter, you know I was at least off doing bookish things. This week I visited two new bookstores, finished two more audiobooks and attended a book event. Plus, I met up with two blog readers who are also very good friends. I will have much more detail on all that next week.

I also have to apologize because we don't have a Five on Friday today. Due to issues beyond my or the scheduled narrator's control, it simply hasn't come together in time. However, I do promise a rain check!

Whew, so the apologies out of the way now, I thought I would cover a topic I had meant to discuss a little earlier but haven't yet....RSS readers. I think most folks know that Google Reader will cease to exist. If you're asking "RSS reader? Google Reader? What's Jen talking about?" An RSS reader aggregates RSS feeds and allows you to follow multiple sites in a single location. In my reader I have news sites, special interest sites, blogs, etc. It allows me to go to one location and see all the recent updates. That allows me to follow a slew of sites for information without having to have a bunch of separate emails flooding my inbox every day.

I, personally, switched over It was a simple transition to move all of my subscriptions over from Google Reader and I really like the organization features. I'm able to have a folder for each of my search areas (Book sites, World news sites, Craft sites, etc.). I also like the visual layout. It's easy for me to see where new content is and isn't. It's easy to mark as read or save for later.

Another popular reader is Bloglovin'. Trying it out I was also able to import my subscriptions from Google Reader easily. And it has a simplified organization system. Follow my blog with Bloglovin. You can click to follow Jen's Book Thoughts on Bloglovin', but I need to enter this to "claim" my blog.

Newsblur is another option. I haven't tried this one, but it appears like it would be great if you don't plan to follow a lot of feeds. More than 64 and you need to pay for a subscription.

MochaRoll was formerly BlogRoll. This one looks a little like Pinterest to me, but to be honest, I found it overwhelming when I looked at the home page and decided not to even try it out. It says you can import your Google Reader subscriptions. Maybe I'm just not enough of a visual person to appreciate this reader.

The last one I have for you is The Old Reader. It's in beta format and I haven't tried this one out.  It says you can also transition over your present Google Reader subscriptions, but again, since I haven't tried it out, I'm not sure the ease of this one.

If anyone is using or has tried any of these suggestions, please feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments... What do you think? What do you like/dislike? There are a slew of other options out there as well, so if you're using something not mentioned, please feel free to share with us.

O.k. so hopefully that's useful for some of you. If you prefer emails on blog updates, you can subscribe over in the sidebar there. If there's some other feature you know about and would like me to make available for Jen's Book Thoughts, please let me know. I can't make any promises other than I will definitely look into it.

On to our weekly round up of contests.

First and foremost, don't forget about my audiobook extravaganza of a giveaway!

BookRiot has a couple contests that I thought you might like to know about. The first is for three mystery books. I haven't read any of them and can't tell you anything about them, but I'm sure they're worth checking out at least. And this one for a redesigned classic book cover poster was interesting to me. It's also got my little gears turning. This could be an interesting concept!

Criminal Element still has their BEA Bundle Sweepstakes going on. And if you hurry (contest ends tonight) you can still get in on a chance to win Missing in Machu Picchu. Plus they have a chance for you to win Tami Hoag's The 9th Girl or a signed set of Professor Bradshaw mysteries. I'm not familiar with those...the only Bradshaw I know was Cleveland's nemesis when I was growing up. ;-)

Lesa has a "smart women" giveaway this week. And remember, her contests end on Fridays so you need to be quick on this one, too.

Finally, the folks at FridayReads and Crimespree have books from T. Jefferson Parker and Bill Loehfelm for their giveaway this week.

And speaking of Crimespree, I'll wrap up today's post with a link to my Lego Interview with Hilary Davidson that you can find over at the Crimespree site.

Have a great weekend all...and happy reading/happy listening!


Naomi Johnson June 21, 2013 at 7:47 AM  

I've been trying Feedly out and I can't seem to get used to it, esp the Android app. The thing I like about Google Reader is how very, very simple it is. I don't need graphics and special layouts. Just folders, with new stuff at the top in each one. I'm waiting to see how Digg's new reader turns out (due next week), but I won't be staying with Feedly.

Jen Forbus June 21, 2013 at 10:15 AM  

Naomi, you don't use just "title view" on Feedly? I don't use that but I like the graphic part...not sure why I just favor that one. But the title view is no graphics.

However, that said, from what I've read The Old Reader is supposed to be almost identical to Google Reader with maybe a few minor features missing. Have you tried that one?

Naomi Johnson June 21, 2013 at 1:19 PM  

When I use the Android app with the title-only view, the app *always* gives me the wrong article. I thought I must have fat fingers but I read that some other folks have the same problem with the Android version. Haven't tried Old Reader, but I have high hopes for Digg. They sound like they know what people want in a reader, but we'll see.

Katharine Ott June 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM  

I switched from Google Reader to Netvibes last year and really like it. Very customizable and easy to add new blogs.

Bookish June 22, 2013 at 6:21 AM  

I tried out MochaRoll and it is very similar to Pinterest but obviously for blogs. It was simple enough to import everything from Google but when it couldn't find my own blog and said that it didn't exist I abandoned MochaRoll, will stick to Bloglovin' although I may have a look at Feedly.

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