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Thursday, February 5, 2009

Q&A/Tutorial: Subscribe or Follow?

I received a question about Subscribing and Following blogs. What are they? How do they work? What do I need to do to Subscribe or Follow? Do I have to do both?
Well, I'll describe them, give you the specifics on how to subscribe or follow and you can decide for yourself.

Let's start with Follow (Not a preference of mine... it was alphabetical.)

This something someone can add to their blog. Usually designated by the row(s) of itty-bitty pics or silhouettes of the Followers. Contrary to what one might think, this is not a cult issue. (*wink) it's just people that have Blogger accounts that like what you have to Show n' Tell and they want to add you to their reading list within Blogger.
So, you want to be a Follower? Easy peazy lemon squeezy!! I forget where I picked that up but I love it! LOL You need to have a Google/Blogger account to do this one. If you're not interested in having yet another login/password (Good grief!) then this way of keeping track of some of your favorite blogs might not be for you.

Ok... each Blogger/Blogspot blog author puts their Follower list where ever they want to. No rhyme. No reason. You just have to look for it. My friend Jenna has a fun blog where she chats about some of her favorite recipes. I found her Follower list half way down the page on the right side.

Today, mine is on the right side also but it's near the top. Who knows, maybe I'll move it tomorrow. :o) hehehehehe!

Click on the words that say Follow this blog. A window will open that looks like this:

Choose whether you want to follow Publicly or Anonymously and click the Follow button at the bottom of the window.
A new window appears:

You can click Close or click on any of the links to go to your Dashboard, your Profile or see everyone else in the tight-knit group of followers you've just joined.

See? Told ya it was easy :o)

So, you're probably wondering what it looks like when I update my blog or someone else updates their blog which you are following.... No problemo chickadee. Go to your Dashboard. Scroll down to your Reading List. Here is what it looks like. The blogs you're following will stack up in the left column. Just highlight one and Voila! The info shows up.

Ok... so you're not interested in being a Follower. No problemo... You can still keep track of a favorite blog by subscribing. There are a couple different ways to do this.

Some blog authors use a third-party program (Feedblitz, Feedburner, etc) you simply find the little spot on their blog that says "Gimme your email address and I'll email you when ever I update my blog." This is a great way to get updates, but, I now get a zillion and one emails from all these different blogs and honestly it takes me two hours just to get through them all. Sheesh! Don't get me wrong, there's some GREAT stuff out there, but sometimes some important emails get buried in all those emailed blog updates. So, I haven't added that to my blog yet. (sorry)

But don't loose hope! You can still subscribe! You just need to look for it. (Again, I'm using my friend Jenna's blog)

It's almost always at the very bottom of the page... "Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)" Yes, it's true, you've probably always wondered what this was about. I'm about to let you in on the secret. LOL

Click on the link.

A window will pop-up..... Now click on the words "Subscribe to this feed"

(I have Internet Explorer ... if you don't use this browser you may experience something different)
IE asks if you want the feed to stay within IE or receive it somewhere else. Make your adjustment if you want. Then click Subscribe.

It goes back to the previous window and now you'll see the "Subscribe" word is gone and says "View my feeds." You wanna see what it looks like when you receive a feed?? Go ahead, click on View my feeds. (I dare ya!)

This is what it looks like... basically it's the blog but without all the pretty window dressing.

Ok, so now you're saying, "How do I check my Feeds without finding another blog to subscribe to so I can click on that 'View my feeds' link?"

Again, using IE7 so if you don't use this browser you'll have to figure out how to do it on your browser....

On IE7 in the top left corner you'll find a Star icon. Click it.

You've probably only EVER used it for your favorites. Guess what? Your feeds are now here too! :o) Right beneath where the star is are a few buttons... Favorites, Feeds, History... Click on Feeds.

Click on one of your Feeds....

Ta-da! Yup, just like above... because the Feed Server only gives the info and not the decorations.

That's it folks. Piece o' cake! I hope that answers your questions. And maybe gives you some ideas on how you can organize your email/favorite blog lists.
Special THANKS to my friend Jenna who (unknowingly) got to be my helper today. I owe you big. {Hugs!}
Doramiyi posted some additional information in her comment attached to this post. Click below on the comment link to read her post. THANKS Doramiyi!!


  1. Just catching up on my blog browsing. Great info on subscribing and feeds. Now....just want to mention to you (in case you didn't know).

    Google has google reader, if you have a google account/email, you have google reader. You'll find the link for it to the top when you go on google.com (sometimes in under the 'More' Link). If not then, http://www.google.ca/reader

    You're probably wondering what's my point. Well, this google reader is like a inbox. When you subscribe to a blog, all new up posts show up in there. It's great coz no mess, no junk, only blogs you subscribe to shows up. And you would subscribe to a blog by clicking the subscribe button or adding their blog address to your google reader (there's a place for you to do that).

    Like I said it's great. I follow 98 blogs and each time I have spare time I just log on, see who's updated what. I can even do it at work and not mess up my email account. Not sure why but I always find I end up receiving lots more spam after I use my work computers to check my gmail email. I can even label certain posts (I've labeled many of your posts with .cut file), make it so easy to refer back to.

    All in all, if you have time, take 10 mins to explore. I'm sure that's all the time you need. Google reader really does make it easier, how else can I faithfully follow 98 blogs (+ more being added all the time). Have a good day.


  2. Great info jen. I still new to this blogging thing so that stuff is all good to know! Thanks!

  3. You are such a little sweetie to explain these things to us... I really appreciate all you do my friend.



  5. Hi...happy to have found you! You do cute stuff and give great tidbits. Now if I could only figure out how to actually put stuff on the feed list! Nothing I click works. I will learn about these files you talk about, my sis is more the expert there. My email is hilly77@comcast.net in case you need that. I will figure out how to follow you too...appreciate your sharing. Cheryl

  6. Thanks Jen,
    Very informative and all my questions I had about being a blogger newbie have been answered!

    Have a great weekend!


  7. Thanks for the information, I was wondering what they all meant.

  8. Dear Jen:

    Your blog is great. I am not very good at posting comments on a blog, or follwoing blogs, but I have bookmarked your web blog! I would like to have your cut file for the bra/bikini card if I could. I will leave you a PM on the Cricut message board.


  9. HI! I just got your email and came to your blog to do what u said to do..guess what? IT WORKED! YEAH! *doing the happy dance* ..I truly enjoy your blog and your great BRAIN! honestly...I am clueless about bloglife...that is why I DONT have one lol..I rather roam and hop around all the blogs I find ..I appreciate you and others who share so easily with the challenged (points to self). Now if u recall, I had posted before as I wanted the free downloads you offered. If I can still have them...here is the email: hilly77@comcast.net. If it is too late, I totally get that and will mope and whine accordingly...ty ty ty...things seem so much clearer now lol...Cher


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