Yesterday I showed you how your post looks to your subscribers when it is viewed through Google Reader and explained why it is important to subscribe to your own feed so you know what your posts look like to your readers. Today I decided to do a road test of the main online feed readers to show you how different readers can impact of how your post looks!
I tested, what I believe, based on checking various sources, are the top online feed readers (the order below does not indicate their popularity): –
Strictly speaking Netvibes and MyYahoo are both personalised homepages, similar to a Google Personalized Homepage however I have tested them as they are included by many sources as top feed readers for 2007.
Here is what I learnt from my Road test:
1. Not all the feed readers were actually able to locate the blog feeds
Regardless of if I used the feed from the blog or used the “Add to” from their FeedBurner feed it was not always possible to subscribe to a blog with some feed readers (MyYahoo could not locate any blog feeds, and Newsgator was able to locate Michelle but no one else’s blog feed I tested).
2. Personalised homepages, like NetVibes and MyYahoo, are not for serious blog readers.
Each blog’s feed is added as separate feeds on your personalised page. This method is ok if you subscribe to only a few blogs, but if you are a serious blog reader – you would not use them. Image shows how posts look using NetVibes
3. Google Reader, Bloglines and Netvibes are all very easy to use.
No need for me to consult an instruction guide. These readers will also automatically locate the feed for your site using your URL i.e. no need to locate the feed for the site all you do is add the blog URL and the reader finds it.
4. SlideShare PowerPoints are not displaying in most of the top readers
The only reader that displayed the Slideshare was NetVibes when you click on the link to view the expanded post. For everyone, like myself, that loves Slideshare, this is a real issue. I have sent an email to Slideshare asking for assistance. But in the meantime I suggest you let people know that there is a slideshare in your post and insert the URL to your slideshare.
5. Adding a FeedBurner feed to your blog looks like a good idea
As readers are subscribing to blogs using different readers, it is a good idea to use FeedBurner. However I do need to do more research into why some readers are having trouble subscribing to blogs.
My favourite Feed Reader
Google Reader remains my favourite reader because I use a Google Reader gadget that brings all posts from every blog (in order of date) onto my personalised Google homepage. This makes it quick and easy to read the latest posts. It is also quickly becoming popular with other serious blog readers – who are changing from Bloglines to Google Reader for these same reasons.
31 Day Challenge Update
Readers and bloggers are now both able to win in our Chocolate Challenge – read how you could win chocolate! Welcome all new bloggers that have joined us – I will update my list of participants tonight!