Sunday, January 5, 2014

Snow Day: Exploring RSS Feeds for the Uninitiated

If you look at the second tab of my blog you will find 275 jewelry blogs listed. I actually see every new post through my RSS feed:
Not particularly interesting? Here is what it looks like as I am reading posts:

I can click on the title and go directly to the blog itself if I want a bigger picture or if I want to comment; or I can click the previous or next button at the bottom of the post to see a new post in the list. In this way I can easily click through over 100 posts a day. I admit I do not read every single post but I see them all.

I have set up a publicly accessible RSS reader which you can use for all of the blogs I subscribe to named KJs Beadacious Beads Blog Links.

I won't lie to you with 275+ blogs it is going to be slow to open.  It is also not quite a true RSS feed.  Instead it is a slide show of the most recent posts of all of the blogs I read.

Here are your basic selections:

There is of course the tab named jewelry which links to most of the sites listed in my Blog Links tab.  Most of the other tabs are easy to figure out, but let me toss a few hints. 

The ... and Other Colorful Things tab are the blogs I follow for color inspiration.  Let me highly recommend Fresh Hues - go ahead and visit her page and play around but be sure to set aside some time.  Let me also highly recommend you add's tumblr page to your bookmarks.  This tumblr is amazing and goes on and on and on.  Again set aside some time just to surf. 

Neglected But Inspiring Blogs are not necessarily neglected but they certainly do not fit my other categories. 

What you can expect to see is something like this:

This is from the decorating tab.  If you click on the top picture that will take you directly to the blog.  Immediately under that top picture is the date of the last post.  Clicking on one of the five lower pictures will bring it to the top position; likewise the previous and next buttons will do the same.  However, this public RSS feed will not bring up posts or pictures of anything older than what is already pictured. 

You are just as likely to see a slide show with all the same pictures, like this:

or one that just has a newpaper logo like this:

I do not know why the same picture repeats nor why some blogs show only the news logo.  I do know that the news logo is a default and may appear if the posts are old or if they have no pictures. 

You may also notice that there are blogs in the list which have not been updated in years- they remain in my list because they are still inspiring and continue to provide useful information.

I love seeing what everyone is up to.  I welcome all the inspiration that comes my way.  I could not possibly keep up without an RSS feed.  I use Netvibes as my reader.  It is free unless you need in-depth analysis of web traffic. 

If it is too cold to go out and you need a break from whatever you are doing, click on the link for my public RSS reader at Netvibes and see what your fellow artisans have been up to.

One final note- the only jewelry blog I showed in this post was Olive Bites- Cat was my first follower.  I found many jewelry posts I wanted to show as examples but since I could not narrow it down and did not want anyone to feel slighted I selected from my other tabs.


  1. For the past several weeks I've meant to do a search for your old post on RSS readers, because I need help! The system I have in place for keeping up with my blog reading, isn't much of one. I can't tell you how impressed I am with your system and will definitely try out Netvibes. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Once I have my current reading list under control, I may go looking through your suggestions for new additions.

    1. I am in a minority liking Netvibes. I think the most popular reader amongst beaders is Feedly, but it just did not work out for me. I published reviews of RSS readers on May 26th, 2013.

      I am, at heart, and information junkie. I could not even pretend to stay current without an RSS reader.

      You have my e-mail if you need to have a conversation.

  2. Cool stuff. Thanks KJ. Happy new year!

    1. Thanks Gwen. I enjoy tech as much as I enjoy reading all those blogs. Good thing they go hand in hand.

  3. KJ - I like the way you've organized your reading blogs under tabs. I do have Netvibes but have not used it, let alone utilized it to its fullest potential, mostly because I do not know how. I would also love to be able to clear out "Dead" blogs (those blogs that no longer exist) but have not figured out how to do so. Guess I need to go into Netvibes and spend some time "exploring" and finding my way around.

    1. The tabs are in the public page, on my private page they are categories on the left hand panel. I wanted something that was more like my Google Reader.

      Netvibes flags the dead blogs- those where nobody is posting. I ignore those flags. Many a blog that has fallen into disuse still has really good stuff.

      Mostly, I like an RSS reader because it lines up all the new posts and that is ALL I need to get through and I can do it with a simple click on the previous/next button. (I use the previous button because I read from the bottom/oldest up.)

      There is not much to the free version of Netvibes, not too much tweeking to be done and not much direction. I found that I like the following settings:
      1) Reader over Widgets because Reader gives me a list and I like lists
      2) In the drop down for 1) List 2) Expanded or 3) Mosaic I like List best, again because I like lists, but also because it just gives me a sentence of text until I click on the post. This loads Netvibes faster and I do not accidentally mark as read something that I have not really looked at.
      3) Show only unread is my default. If I want to go back and see something (usually the winner of a contest) I either go to the blog itself or load all in Netvibes for just that blog. Again, showing only unread speeds up loading the Reader and I know what I have missed.

      Good luck.

    2. Shoot, I should have added that the Mosaic view gives you tiles for each blog so you can see a picture- I think this is what most people like about Feedly. The Expanded opens up the full blog post in the list and it is hard for me to "see" where I am in my blog reading.

  4. So THAT is what an RSS feed is--or, your version of it. Very impressive!
    It is windy and raining here on Maui--like a snow day for you people who live "outside," or like an ice day back home in Anchorage (freezing rain makes the streets into skating rinks). So I went down through your feed and viewed every blog, adding some to my own reading list. THANKS! And thank you for your comment on my own blog. Nancy

    1. I am having another snow day.

      You have been doing quite a bit of traveling.

      I am a blog reader, and I have to say there are many fabulous blogs. Glad you enjoyed the feeds.


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