Please warn me before you switch to Blogger Beta!

I've noticed a trend, sometimes, when people switch to Blogger Beta they no longer show up in Google Reader.

I consolidated all my blogs into Google Reader a couple of months ago. Google Reader uses your RSS or Atom feed to alert me that you have a new posting. What a time saver this has been. I used to go through my blogroll manually to check to see if you've posted, that wasted a lot of time clicking on blogs that I was already up to date on. Now I only visit your blog when it's been updated. I know I was late to this parade, but it's been great.

In my sidebar you'll see the Great Posts from Great Bloggers. I created this from Google Reader. When I am so impressed by your awesome posts, I tag them with a star. I used a widget to put all my starred posts right in my sidebar. According to my blog statistics people are clicking on the links.

I've run into only one problem, sometimes, when people update to Blogger Beta, their RSS Feed or Atom Feed changes somehow. I no longer know that they've updated their blog, and I don't go visit. This happened with Melli a couple of weeks ago, and I just discovered that I haven't been reading David of Sugarloaf Mountain's posts since February 6. His February 7 post is about switching to Blogger Beta. Resubscribing to their new feeds is pretty easy, but I don't know to do it until I've missed a bunch of my favorite bloggers' posts.

So please give me a warning that you are switching before you switch. If you post about it afterwards I may never know it. There's lots of folks like me who read blogs through a reader, please don't cut off your readers. Thank you.

Answers to Reader's Questions: 

Melli...And I really should set up this reader thing... because I too spend a lot of time clicking into "nothing new" blogs! HOW do you do it? Click here for directions to set up Google Reader
Answer: First you need a Google account. If you are on Blogger Beta, you already have a Google account, it is your Blogger ID and password.  If you use Gmail, that is your Google account.  If you have neither you can get a Gmail account, sign up here Now that everyone has their account, go to the Google Homepage.  Look in the top right-hand corner,  it should look something like this: yourgoogleaccountPersonalized Home | My Account | Sign out

Click where it says My Account, on the next screen you'll see a list of services on the right hand side.  The sixth one down says Reader, click on that.  There, now you are in Google Reader. 

Look on the left hand side where it says Add Subscription, click on that.  A box will open up, add the URL of a blog you want to read via this reader.  You can try mine, type: http://bmiers.blogspot.com then hit the little radio button that says Add.  You should now be able to see the contents of my Atom feed.  Start reading!  Click on Add Subscription to add more blogs

Nicole...I have been coveting your photos of birds of late. So I must know what type of camera and lens that you have. I have never been as successful as you have been in bird photos and would love any advice you may have. Click here to see how I do it.
That's so sweet of you to say. I am not a skilled photographer, but I have set things up to give myself the opportunity to take great pictures. First, I have a great camera, it's a Canon PowerShot G6, I don't use a lens other than the one built into the camera.

Did you see my post where I showed the window I take the pictures from? There is a lilac bush right outside this window and I've positioned the feeders close to this window, one is right on the window. The birds land in the lilac tree before going to the feeder, and go back there to eat their seeds. Having a natural backdrop for the pictures really adds to the composition. I've researched what foods the birds love and I make sure to provide it for them.

The next thing that I do is stand very quietly by the window with my camera ready. Here are two pictures that I haven't touched up at all. In the first I am literally three feet from this cardinal. See the window frame at the top of the picture?

In the second picture the cardinal flew to the lilac bush. He is five to six feet away. I use the zoom, which is only 4x, to get in as close as possible. This picture also shows the bird-feeder attached to the window in the upper right.

I take about one hundred and fifty pictures hoping to get a few good ones. If the sun is shining on them from an angle where the sun side of the bird faces the camera, that almost guarantees a great shot. I download them to my PC and use my photo-editing software. I've been meaning to learn PhotoShop but I haven't got around to it, mostly because Microsoft Picture It is so darned easy to use and does a great job I'm not motivated to switch.

The first thing I do in Picture It is crop the photo. I usually use the rule of thirds to crop the photo. Then I use the software's auto fixes or manual fixes to adjust the contrast, brightness, colors or levels. Then voila! I'm done.

Teena said... Thanks for the lesson re the Reader. How do I get it to feed on my blog?

click here to see how I did it
Here's how I did it:
  • When I see a post I want to show up in my sidebar I put a star on it, the stars are at the top left hand side of the posts in the reading pane. 
To make the widget to display them:
  1. Go into Google Reader
  2. Click on setting in the top right corner
  3. Then click on Tags in the top left
  4. Check the little box next to starred items
  5. Click the drop down box called "Change Sharing"
  6. Pick "Public" to change your starred items to public
  7. Then next to the row that says starred item, click the link that says: add a clip to your site
  8. The HTML to put into your template will be on the window that opens
It appears that you can put an entire folder on your sidebar if you wanted too. 

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Blogger Melli said...

Barb, I couldn't have given you a heads up if I had wanted to! I just woke up one morning and was LOCKED OUT of my blog! I had NO choice but to make the switch! And I've heard this has happened to a LOT of us hold-outs! But what they CAN do, (now that we knOw this is a problem) is stop by and let you know in you comments AFTER it's happened!

And I really should set up this reader thing... because I too spend a lot of time clicking into "nothing new" blogs! HOW do you do it?

2/20/07, 9:03 AM  
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Blogger Lynda said...

I haven't had that problem with Google Reader. That is weird.

Maybe most of my peeps have been switched. But Blogger is forcing their readers to switch over. It is going to be a pain, no matter what.

2/20/07, 10:01 AM  
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Blogger samuru999 said...

Hi Barbara
I did switch over just recently!
But, I had no choice!
I was locked out of my blog!
You sure have a great blog!


2/20/07, 10:21 AM  
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Blogger Jennifer said...

I use Bloglines, and some of my favorites didn't make the switch either...I don't understand that. I thought that new Blogger had basically the same feeds. Bloglines actually ELIMINATED some of my blogs. Google Reader, eh? I wonder if I used both GR and Bloglines if I'd have better luck?

2/20/07, 1:03 PM  
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Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said...

I didn't know about Google Reader, but will check it out.

2/20/07, 3:10 PM  
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Blogger Renee said...

subscribing now! This is cool! YAY and thank you

2/20/07, 4:57 PM  
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Blogger Nicole said...

I have been coveting your photos of birds of late. So I must know what type of camera and lens that you have. I have never been as successful as you have been in bird photos and would love any advice you may have.

2/20/07, 5:07 PM  
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Blogger Melli said...

THANK you Barb! You are soooo helpful!!!

2/20/07, 8:34 PM  
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Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

I've been wondering what that was --- I'm going to look into it.

2/20/07, 8:40 PM  
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Blogger Suzanne said...

speaking of visiting "no new news" blogs, I get notified the day after any post for blogs I've subscribed to at . I find them reliable.

2/21/07, 9:14 AM  
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Blogger mar said...

I should set up a reader...I need longer days!!!

2/21/07, 9:55 AM  
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Blogger Teena said...

Thanks for the lesson re the Reader. How do I get it to feed on my blog?

2/22/07, 10:55 PM  
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Blogger Killired said...

i dont have the reader thing... i just reply on blogroll to show the updated ones... but i've noticed it doesnt work anymore... most of the updated blogs never show as updated.... i really like that feature of knowing who has updated and clicking on them to read...

2/27/07, 12:21 AM  
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