I have heard from some of you that you have had little difficulty signing up for Bloglines, but have had trouble adding feeds. I’m going to work us through adding a feed or two, to give you the swing of things. First I go to Bloglines and click “Log in” in the upper right-hand corner. I am presented with a screen that tells me what feeds I am subscribed to. It looks like this:
Of course, since you are starting out, you will probably have a lot fewer feeds. To add to my feeds, I’m going to click on “add.” I’ve decided I want to add the Single Guy in Buffalo blog. I know the URL is http:// singleinbuffalo.blogspot.com/, but I also know that it is a “Blog Spot” blog, since it is hosted on blogspot. So, I can just put his user name “singleinbuffalo” in the appropriate place, like so:
After I hit SUBMIT, it gives me a bunch of options. Frankly, I don’t care about these options, so I hit SUBMIT again at the bottom of the page. Now I’ve added the feed.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t always go so smoothly. What about those sites that aren’t hosted by Blog Spot, Livejournal, or Xanga? The easiest path is simply to add the URL of the blog and let Bloglines try to find the feed. For example, when I decide to add the Elmwood Strip, I just paste the URL (http:// www.elmwoodstrip.com/ elmwood/blogDisplay/index.php) into the box that reads “Blog or Feed URL.” In this case, I am adding the blog URL and hoping that it will find the feed URL. When I hit submit, it does find the feed, and so I look over the options (in fact, again I can just leave them as they are) and I click SUBMIT again.
When I try this with the Greater Buffalo Blog (I paste in the blog URL: http:// greaterbuffalo.blogs.com/), it finds not one, but two feeds. I don’t care too much about the differences among the feeds, so I just click on the checkbox next to the first one, like this:
and then I scroll down to the bottom and click SUBMIT.
Sometimes, you know the URL of the RSS feed itself. Imagine, for a moment, that you are a Buffalo State student. You could sign up for a number of BuffState RSS feeds like those found here. For example, if I wanted to know about “Today’s Events,” I would put the URL for that RSS feed, http://www.buffalostate.edu/rss/buffstateevents.asp into the”Blog or Feed URL” line. Sometimes (rarely), you can do a better job of finding the RSS feed than Bloglines can, by looking for a link that mentions RSS, XML, or “Syndicate this site.” Often, a page will use the now familiar orange XML button () to indicate where the RSS feed is. See if you can find it on this Business First page, for example. Other times (as on Craig’s list apartments in Buffalo), you have to look a bit harder for the link, though Bloglines can find it if you just put in the blog’s URL.
Unfortunately, although most blogs out there have feeds, and a lot of other kinds of web pages have feeds (check out syndic8 for some ideas), not all of them do. Take, for example, Forever Elmwood, a commercial blog. If you look over the page, you find no link to feed page. Likewise, when you try the URL in Bloglines, you get “no feed found.” It’s feedless. Because reading via an aggregator is so much easier, I no longer read blogs that don’t have feeds, which means I won’t be reading Forever Elmwood! (If you are keeping a blogroll, though, you can at least keep track of feedless blogs there.)