Sunday, May 26, 2013

Links Update and RSS Reader Reviews


As it is a long weekend, and I have just started a new project and do not have any photos, I thought it would be a good time to update my second page, which is all of my links.  The second page is available via the tab right under the Blog Title, named:  All My Blog Links.  New links are under a heading called New Links – amazing how organized I am.  In case you did not notice, I follow a lot of blogs.  Today I am adding another 36 to the list. 

This blog post is has two subheadings, both are worth reading.

RSS Reader Reviews 

First, if you are not interested in RSS Readers, skip to Links Update for a few call outs on the new links.

I am able to follow a lot of blogs because I make use of an RSS Reader.  I have used Google Reader, but when it was announced Google Reader was being discontinued, I scrambled for a new reader. 

I tried Blog Lovin' and I did not love it.  It is not awful, but it just did not work for me.  I also did not like that I ended up getting e-mail from them.

I next tried NewsBlur.   I gave up on that fast because they wanted money from me without even giving me a free trial. That may have changed given the passage of time since Google announced the end of Google Reader.  However, even if they had given me a free trial I would have had to pay since at that time I had 331 feeds and their basic policy is to charge for more than 64 feeds.  

I signed up for The Old Reader, which is like Google Reader. The one thing I did not like about it is that it has no android app. This is really not a problem for the jewelry and design blogs I follow because I do not even try to read those on my android, but you might.  I stuck with The Old Reader for a few weeks, but every time I scrolled down to see what was in the queue it marked all my items as read; that was unhelpful.  It also seemed out of date and difficult to edit my feeds.

I tried Feedly, and the load from Google reader was easy, but... I did not like the way the list (title) function worked. More importantly it did not pick up all of my unread posts, not when I filtered under "today" because I had unread blog posts which were older than today; neither did it pick up all my unread posts when I set the filter to "latest."  I think the problem is how far back Feedly looks or perhaps it could be with the number of blogs in my feed. Feedly just seemed to miss too many posts.  Your mileage may vary.

I have opted for NetVibes. It is pretty.  I am able to view the entire post in the reader itself.   It handles the list well.  One of my pet peeves is that there is no alphabetize function.  I also really dislike the edit function for my feeds.  On the other hand, it picks up unread more than a day old.  It is free.  Importing from Google Reader was easy.  I may make my reader a public page; it might be interesting.

I generally embrace change, but the loss of Google Reader has presented challenges.

Links of Special Merit

I follow each and every blog on the list.  I look at, even if I do not read, every post.  They are all unique, beautiful, and return value to me in exchange for my time.  Thus, I feel bad not calling out each and every one of them.  However, not everyone can page though as many blogs as I can so I am going to point out a few that you might want to take a peek at.

First is a Polish blog named Izziland.  Beautiful woven seed bead jewelry.  This blog won my heart right away.

Next up, is Artefactum.  This is a Russian blog.  If you need inspiration this is the place to go.  I do not embroider, or at least I have not embroidered with beads for many years.  Nonetheless, the colors and composition are stunning. 

Bead Lady: The Impossible is Often the Untried is another Russian blog and if you are not following her work you are missing some spectacular bead work. 

Since I am on a Russian kick, I might as well include Chikineva, and GB Dreams – absolutely stunning.  The Russian beaders do such complex work. 

Cherish Designs is not a seed beader.  Which only goes to prove I am an all inclusive gawker.  Cherish Designs was also the grand prize winner of Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party.  If you follow her you will see why.  Her work is quite original.

My Life In Knots – you have to follow this blog if for no other reason than it is such a great name.  If you like micro macramé then add this to you list.  Unfortunately, it has not been updated since February.  Maybe she will be back.

Laura Bracken is just an overall great blog.  She recently published a post about how to get published as well as a post about photographing earrings.  How could you leave this off of your list.

Because I cannot resist I have three new wire weaving blogs,:  Shakitpaj Designs and Blue Almonds.  See also Wired Elements which is really just a link page and not a blog.

Nancy L. Hamilton falls outside of the normal blog fare in that she mostly offers video tutorials on metal work.  

Final Word

These posts always take hours- they require a lot of editing.  I maintain the second page of this blog so I have a record but also because I think each and every one of them deserves at least a look.  If you like to see what everyone else is up to and need a quick way to page through a lot of blogs I highly recommend you adopt an RSS News Reader. 

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.


  1. KJ, I am beyond being impressed - I am astonished. You've done an amazing job and so much research regarding RSS readers. Thank you for the information. I will definitely check out the one that worked best for you.
    Also I love the blog sites that you've recommended, they are wonderful and I found myself floored by the beautiful works of the Polish and Russian beadwork artists. They are artists in every sense of the word . . . and so are you. :)
    Thanks again.

    1. I really like NetVibes. Everyone else really liked Feedly. Both are an enjoyable format.

      It is really hard to pick out which bloggers I want to give special mention to. The Russians are awe-inspiring. Izzyland, the Polish blog, is enjoyable.

      Thank you for the lovely compliment.

  2. I have been wondering where to go to replace Google Reader, and didn't have time to research my options, so your reviews are perfectly timed (and much appreciated!) I will definitely learn from your experience and try out NetVibes.

    1. You are welcome. It was frustrating having to make the move and the timing of the posts are quite different. I did run everything in parallel for a time to make sure it all transferred correctly and you might want to do the same thing.

      Give Feedly a try as well, it seemed the more popular choice but I had issues with it.

  3. wow, the Russian blogs are fabulous, and no where to follow them in the way I usually do. I am going to have to check out your reader suggestions. Tank you for the introduction to blog readers!

  4. Sorry that it has taken me so long to reply Marsha... The RSS Links are not always easy to find either, so here is an assist for when you add them to your new RSS News Reader the links are:

  5. I'm so honored to be listed among the recommended blogs. Thanks!!!

    1. You are welcome. It is true, however, that each and every single blog I subscribe to is wonderful and unique. It is a struggle each time I update my second page list to pick out a handful to highlight- your blog stood out.

  6. Thanks for sharing your reviews with RSS readers! I will definitely check out NetVibes. I sometimes use Google Reader through Flipboard, but it's hard to comment through that system and I don't know what will happen when Google Reader is gone.

    1. I do not "follow" blogs as a rule. I do read all of them in an RSS News Reader. It has worked out well for me. You can comment on NetVibes.

      I did set up a public page for most of the blogs I follow in NetVibes:


Thank you for sharing. I had to turn off anonymous comments because spam was being posted.