5 tips to make blog reading, commenting, subscribing faster and easier

>> Dec 6, 2009

Love reading blogs but hate all the time wasted having to open up blogs to comment, fill in comment forms and add new blogs to Google Reader?  Here are five easy tips to make it easier to read, comment and subscribe to blogs leaving more time for reading and less time spent clicking.

(most of these tips assume you are using FireFox.  If not, you can get it here.  If you don't want to, fine, but you'll have to find your own tips.  Likewise for Google Reader)

1.  Read and comment on blogs without leaving Google Reader - comment shows up on blog.

With the FireFox extension Better G-Reader this is now possible.
  1. Add Better G-Reader FireFox add-on.
  2. Re-start FireFox
  3. The add-on pop up box will appear when you re-start.  Click on the Better G-Reader add-on and click options.
  4. Under the general tab click on the 'preview item (click button or headline)' box, click OK and exit (the 'preview item automatically' option doesn't work for me)
  5. Open Google Reader and click either on the little blue arrow next to post title or on the 'preview' button at the bottom of the post.
  6. The blog will now open inside google reader.  You can read and comment as if you were on the actual blog and your comments will show up on the blog as if you were too!

2.  Read unread posts easily without having to open Google Reader.

Using Google's 'next' browser toolbar button (works in all browsers). I love this button.  It has become my favourite way to read blog posts.  Without even having to enter Google Reader I just click this button on my FireFox toolbar and fly through all my unread posts, reading, commenting and clicking again to move on.
  1. Open Google Reader
  2. Click settings (top right)
  3. Go to the 'Goodies' tab
  4. The 2nd item on the page is Put Reader in Bookmark.  Drag 'next' button to your bookmark toolbar(you must have your bookmark toolbar open).
  5. Click it.  
  6. Read, comment, click it again.
 They also have a second button on the same page which will let you choose which folder you flick through for those that have their blogs organised within Google Reader.

3.  One click subscribing to Google Reader.

Hate having to click two or three times just to add a blog to Google Reader?  Me too.
  1. Using the same Better G-Reader add-on as No.1   Open the add-on menu (tools, add-ons)
  2. Click on Better G-Reader, click on options.
  3. Under the subscribing tab click on auto add.
  4. You can now subscribe with one click using the rss button in your FireFox address bar.  It will take you straight to Google Reader bypassing that irritating page that asks you if you want to add to igoogle or google reader.

Sadly I can't find a one that doesn't insist on opening Google Reader rather than just adding it and letting you continue to read.   If you know of one, let me know.

4.  Easily know which sites you have already subscribed too without having to open Google Reader to check.

I doubt I am the only one that does this a lot or the only one that ends up with multiple subscriptions of the same blog in their Google Reader.  The same Better G-Reader add on will help with this too.
  1. Open the add-on menu (tools, add-ons)
  2. Click on Better G-Reader, click on options
  3. Under subscribing tab select smart subscriber (parparita)
  4. Each blog that you open will now have an orange rss box in the top right hand corner.  If you are already subscribing it will have a tick through it.  Simple.
5.  Have info boxes on comment forms filled automatically.

Some comments forms aren't a problem, once you've entered your details the site remembers you and you don't have to do it again, others are shit and you have to re-enter them each and every visit.  Use the FireFox add-on easycomments to fill them in on your behalf.

  1. Install the easycomments add-on.
  2. Re-start FireFox
  3. On the far right of your task-bar (at the bottom of the screen) you will see an 'easycomment' button.  Right click and choose 'manage profiles'.
  4. A pop-up box will open, click on 'create profile' top right and fill in boxes.  Leave the comment box blank.  When done, click 'return to main window'.
  5. When you come across a comments form that needs filling in just click on the 'easycomment' button on your task bar and it will automatically fill it in for you.  It will also allow you to use multiple identities and choose which you use with a simple right click on the 'easycomment' button.

I use all of these daily to get through the hundreds of blogs I just can't live without.  If you know of anymore, let me know.
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