Bloglines Step-by-Step

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.)

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7 Comments

  1. Posted 10/26/2004 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Professor Halavais:
    I too use BlogLines, and found your tutorial interesting. I have struggled with their MyBlog tool. I want to have my own blog (see attached URL), but can’t figure out how to create a hyperlink in their editor. Are you using BlogLines for your own Blog? What tool is this Blog using.
    Regards,
    Jonathan Haber

  2. Posted 10/26/2004 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I find that feeds are an obnoxious way to read blogs. Most blogs have their own “feel” to them, graphics, blogroll, all kind of things, which I quite enjoy. By using my blogroll to organise my favourite blogs I control the information I get. There are blogs I like to go to just in order to use their blogrolls, no matter if they have updated or not, and there are blogs I sometimes would rather not read, because I am just not in that kind of mood.

  3. Posted 10/26/2004 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Jonathan: Bloglines’ blogging system is actually kind of cool, especially if you are looking for a blog that does a lot of filtering of the web (a linklog), since it let’s you quickly make an entry based on a feed. In fact, given the lack of linkage among my students, bloglines might make for a very interesting system to use.

    This blog is hosted using the WordPress system, on a personal server.

    In order to create a hyperlink in your Bloglines blog, I suspect you are going to have to create the link in HTML. This isn’t really as hard as it might seem at first. Take a look at the earlier entry on HTML for some help on how to create a link.

  4. Posted 10/26/2004 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Torill: I certainly sympathise. On the other hand, if I were to read blogs in their natural environment, I probably wouldn’t get the chance to read nearly as many blogs, and it would take more time. I guess, for the trade off, I prefer the feeds.

  5. Dana LoGrippo
    Posted 10/26/2004 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I just have a quick question…are we supposed to put our feeds under our group leaders sign in e-amil address and password? And if we are how do you know which one one of us did which feeds for credit? Thanks!

  6. Posted 10/26/2004 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    Dana: I don’t! For this assignment you are actually graded as a team…

  7. newsfree
    Posted 7/21/2005 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Bloglines lover, do you want seamless synchronization with bloglines via newsreader?
    Then Check out greatnews man(http://www.curiostudio.com/).
    There’s 4 major reasons why I love it:
    1. It synchronizes with bloglins. Folder hierarchy is synchronized between Bloglines and Greatnews as well. you feel really comfortable to organize your feeds. You know how it sucks for feeddemon to synchronize with bloglines. Cause feeddemon only imports opml from bloglines without Folder hierarchy at all. So it’s a very hard for me to find a specfic feed and to organize those feeds. In all the desktop news clients, Greatnews’s synchronization with bloglines leaves rest news aggregators in dust. It’s like use outlook express to receive hotmail. Once you receive all the news from bloglines server in greatnews, all the news will be flagged read on bloglines online edition.If you love bloglines, you feel at home. Cause the interface and fold hierarchy looks the same like bloglines online version.
    2. It’s extremely small. It only takes 800kb or so to install. You can even install it on a usb flash drive or even a floppy disk. So you take it everywhere to connect to Pc to use it. How cool is that?! It’s like you have yourself own mini newsgator server which can gurantee you won’t read the same news twice.
    3. It runs with only a tiny memory and cpu engaged. So you won’t even notice it when it updates news in the background.
    Above all it’s free.

    You can configure greatnews to use firefox by option–>usability. Tick box before ‘open rss link in external default browser’.
    As in your case, firefox is your default one.
    You can also use it as outlook style by ticking view–>news list.
    After that, once you click on a special feed, you will see all the news you received are displayed in a pane one by one as every single email item looklike.

    There are still some sweet points about greatnews I can tell you below just in case you can put a relevant review in your website to let more people to be aware of a sweet piece of software, to less their pain of losing feeddemon.Here we go:
    * 100% Unicode support. Displays international languages on the same page. Use any languages anywhere in GreatNews, including Search, Label and News watch. Like I read japanese news to do a research, greatnews displays all these south asian news so well including japanese, Chinese, whatevernese. Feeddemon can’t do this . As far as I know, feeddemon can’t support hebrew news,japanese news, and chinese news well.
    ** Full text search with keyword highlights. It’s very productive when you consider get things done.
    * Integrated internet browser, with popup blocking. Working closely with default browser like Firefox. A kill point to please firefox fan.
    * “Channel Organizer” helps organize channel subscriptions in one place. Use “Find Channel” to locate your subscriptions quickly. Again a great get things done tool.
    * With Import/Export wizard, you can import/export all channel subscriptions in a single step.
    * Export rss articles to rss 2.0 format. You can also customize the export by selecting channel/group/label, and/or applying filters.
    *you can use ’search channel’ to keep eyes on special subject like ‘Ipod’, Like using feeddemon’s search channel and newsgator’s smart feeds. The difference is that smart feeds isn’t free but greatnews is.
    There’s 4 major reasons why I love it:
    1. It synchronizes with bloglins. Folder hierarchy is synchronized between Bloglines and Greatnews as well. you feel really comfortable to organize your feeds. You know how it sucks for feeddemon to synchronize with bloglines. Cause feeddemon only imports opml from bloglines without Folder hierarchy at all. So it’s a very hard for me to find a specfic feed and to organize those feeds. In all the desktop news clients, Greatnews’s synchronization with bloglines leaves rest news aggregators in dust. It’s like use outlook express to receive hotmail. Once you receive all the news from bloglines server in greatnews, all the news will be flagged read on bloglines online edition.If you love bloglines, you feel at home.
    2. It’s extremely small. It only takes 800kb or so to install. You can even install it on a usb flash drive or even a floppy disk. So you take it everywhere to connect to Pc to use it. How cool is that?! It’s like you have yourself own mini newsgator server which can gurantee you won’t read the same news twice.
    3. It runs with only a tiny memory and cpu engaged. So you won’t even notice it when it updates news in the background.
    Above all it’s free.

    You can configure greatnews to use firefox by option–>usability. Tick box before ‘open rss link in external default browser’.
    As in your case, firefox is your default one.
    You can also use it as outlook style by ticking view–>news list.
    After that, once you click on a special feed, you will see all the news you received are displayed in a pane one by one as every single email item looklike.

    There are still some sweet points about greatnews I can tell you below just in case you can put a relevant review in your website to let more people to be aware of a sweet piece of software, to less their pain of losing feeddemon.Here we go:
    * 100% Unicode support. Displays international languages on the same page. Use any languages anywhere in GreatNews, including Search, Label and News watch. Like I read japanese news to do a research, greatnews displays all these south asian news so well including japanese, Chinese, whatevernese. Feeddemon can’t do this . As far as I know, feeddemon can’t support hebrew news,japanese news, and chinese news well.
    ** Full text search with keyword highlights. It’s very productive when you consider get things done.
    * Integrated internet browser, with popup blocking. Working closely with default browser like Firefox. A kill point to please firefox fan.
    * “Channel Organizer” helps organize channel subscriptions in one place. Use “Find Channel” to locate your subscriptions quickly. Again a great get things done tool.
    * With Import/Export wizard, you can import/export all channel subscriptions in a single step.
    * Export rss articles to rss 2.0 format. You can also customize the export by selecting channel/group/label, and/or applying filters.
    *you can use ’search channel’ to keep eyes on special subject like ‘Ipod’, Like using feeddemon’s search channel and newsgator’s smart feeds. The difference is that smart feeds isn’t free but greatnews is.

5 Trackbacks

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