One of the things I like most about writing a genealogy blog is reading other writers' genealogy blogs. First off, a big round of applause for Thomas MacEntee for his dedication and support of all Geneabloggers. It's only been a few short weeks since I got on board with the Geneabloggers, but I feel as though I've known some of my fellow bloggers for years. I have learned so much about research tips, web sites and upcoming conferences. Most of all, I just love reading other people's blogs - everyone else's stories are fascinating!
As a member of the blogging community, I feel a commitment to support my fellow bloggers. If I'm reading a blog hosted by Blogger, I usually click on the "Follow" button to show my support. I've recently discovered that I can send my blog posts directly to Facebook by using the Networked Blogs application (as do many of my fellow bloggers). On Facebook, I sign up to "Follow" other people's blogs - again to show support for the blogging community. I also try to make an effort to leave comments on other bloggers' posts when appropriate. As a relatively new member of the genealogy blogging community, it really means a lot to me when someone leaves a comment or signs up to Follow my blog [hint, hint!]. So I figure that other bloggers appreciate the comments as well.
But what tool do I use to read all of those blogs? I'm sold on Google Reader. I can subscribe to read all of the blogs I want to keep up with merely by selecting the button "Add a Subscription" and paste in the web site address of the blog. Once you are using Google Reader, there is a Tip on the Home page with instructions on adding a Subscribe button to your bookmarks. This way, any time you visit a blog or page you like, you click on the Subscribe button in your bookmarks toolbar in your browser, and the blog feed will show up in Google Reader.
What's nice about using Google Reader is that you can keep up with the blogs you read all in one location. Even when I choose to "Follow" a blog on Blogger or Facebook, I still subscribe to the feed in Google Reader, so I only have to go to one location to read everything.
Granted - I can't possibly take time to read ALL of the 1,100+ Geneabloggers daily messages, but I am finding there are several dozen blogs I must read regularly. I also like keeping up with posts on the Geneabloggers daily blogging themes, so I've added those feeds to Google Reader.
Geneabloggers has got to be the friendliest and most helpful online community I've ever been part of and I've been on the 'net since 1993! So if you're not following by using Google Reader, give it a try.