Mary Corbet

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I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

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Needle ‘n Thread Technical Stuff: RSS Readers!


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For those of you who read Needle ‘n Thread via an RSS feed – and especially via Google Reader – I thought I’d address some technical issues that are coming up in the next month.

I don’t generally like writing about the technical side of blogging because it can be really boring for folks who aren’t interested in that kind of stuff. You’re here for an embroidery fix, after all – not for technical tips on using the internet!

But there’s a changes coming up, especially for those of you who read Needle ‘n Thread and other blogs through Google Reader, so I thought it might be a good time to address those changes.

Now, for those of you who read Needle ‘n Thread directly on the website or via the daily e-mail newsletter, this doesn’t necessarily apply. If you still want to have your morning coffee with me, read on. If not, I understand!

Reading Needle 'n Thread through RSS feed

For years, I’ve been keeping up with blogs and news websites using RSS feeds, and Google Reader has been my feed reader of choice for quite a while, because it’s easy and I like the organization.

But as of July of this year (that’s just over a month away), Google Reader will Die the Death. It will be no more, for some mysterious Googley reason.

If you are reading Needle ‘n Thread through Google Reader, then in about a month, you will be left adrift if you haven’t found an alternative. And that would make me sad! We would miss you!

Reading Needle 'n Thread through RSS feed

My RSS blog list is pretty important to me – just as it is to anyone who keeps up with a large number of blogs or news sites. It’s how I keep up with what’s going on in the needlework world and with news in general, it’s how I stay connected with other bloggers of like interests, and how I keep informed on technical issues and so forth. So I couldn’t just let my blog list go down the drain come July.

Google Reader Alternatives

After testing other feed reading options, I settled on Feedly. I made the switch several months ago so I could get used to it.

I like Feedly because it has a nice interface, it offers many reading and organizing options, it works beautifully on my iPad, it has a good index feature that I like to use when I’m looking for a particular blog, and the whole transition from Google Reader was very smooth. Like any different application, it did take some getting used to, but now, after a couple months of usage, I can’t imagine using anything else.

Many craft bloggers I know use a reader called Bloglovin and are happy with it, too. Both Feedly and Bloglovin seamlessly import your feeds from Google Reader, so the transition to either is easy.

But there are lots of other feed readers out there – it’s just a matter of testing and finding one you like. Lifehacker has a good list of Google Reader Alternatives that might be helpful for those who want to find a replacement.

Subscribe to Needle ‘n Thread via Email

Then, of course, there’s the option of reading Needle ‘n Thread through your email.

Reading Needle 'n Thread through RSS feed

On Needle ‘n Thread, each day’s blog post is broadcast to email subscribers, and it lands right in your inbox so that you don’t miss anything. From tips, techniques, tutorials, projects, book reviews, free patterns, give-aways, online class announcements – they all come straight into your inbox, where you can easily save the ones you want for future reference. And you can print articles straight from your email in a format that is more print-friendly than the website.

Make a Switch!

So, if you’re reading Needle ‘n Thread via Google Reader, now’s the time to switch either to a new reader or to the email newsletter so that, come July when Google Reader fades away, you can continue to keep up with stuff here on Needle ‘n Thread.

What about you? Do you read blogs via a feed reader? If so, which one do you use, and can you make any recommendations or suggestions for others who might be transitioning from Google Reader? Do you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about how to keep up with your favorite blogs? Feel free to have your say below!


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(51) Comments

  1. Once google gave the bad news, I switched to The Old Reader. It was completely seamless and works almost identically to google’s Reader. They do have a grey and green color scheme I am not totally wild about … but I love having my blogs, so I don’t mind!

  2. I don’t use a reader bc I don’t know how. Could you direct me to a site that could teach me?

    I read your news thru email. If I read your email correctly this isn’t going to change?

    1. Hi, Pat – well, a reader is usually for reading and keeping track of many blogs or news sites. You can look up any of the various feed readers out there and find information on how they work. Normally they’re just an app that you download onto your computer and then you add blogs or news sites to it. If you’re subscribed via email, that won’t change, so you’re good to go! – MC

  3. I’m not bothered by the housecleaning bizniss, but I’d love to have you do a post on the embroidery sites you have in your RSS feed. I don’t waste nearly as much time as I clearly could waste if I only had more places to visit every day!

    1. It does eat up a lot of time, that’s for sure, Jenn. But on the other hand, it’s a good way to keep up with what’s going on in the needlework world. Problem is, the list is long, and I rarely get to all of them in a day…or even a week. I’ll have to weed out the list one of these days. I generally subscribe to blogs because they show promise of good needlework-related content initially, but then they lapse into personal diaries more than anything else, or they change their focus, or they quit posting altogether. So, once I have a chance to clean house a bit, I’ll see if I can put together a list! ~MC

  4. Thanks for the heads up but I’m in the habit of having my morning coffee with you so I’ll just stay with e-mail.

    1. Thanks, Nelda! Ahhhhhhh – I was going to skip coffee this morning, but now that you mention it, I do believe I’ll indulge in a cup! 🙂

  5. Manter contato por e-mail.
    Obrigada pela sua disposição de nós ensinar.
    Lotus Frossard

  6. Honestly, I prefer the newsletters because I keep them in my saved emails in their own folder to refer to later. That way, I can keep a library of emailed newsletters from a site that I enjoyed once. I will always enjoy them twice!

  7. Another Old Reader user here. When Google dropped the bomb, they were flooded with new users and the first few weeks were rocky. Very occasionally, it will still have trouble loading, but they give you pictures of kittehs to pass the time, so no biggie. And, luddite Grinch that I am, I didn’t have to learn a new interface. 🙂 http://www.theoldreader.com

  8. I switched to The Old Reader too. It was seamless and easy to read. I also tried Bloglovin but I found it annoying, The blog entries were abreviated, It meant constant clicking to read the whole entry. Also there were constantly “spam” blog entries included, which I don’t like.
    Still, I wish Google Reader was not leaving!

  9. I’m enormously peeved that Google are dumping Reader as it’s just so useful to have everything in one place and I can even see how many subscribers my own blogs have! Can you do that with Feedly too? I have signed up with them, but haven’t bothered with it yet as Reader is still in the land of the living…. Thanks for the reminder to get on and experiment.

    1. Hi, Elizabeth – If you burned your feed using feed burner, you should be able to see your stats there. If you want to get really clean stats for your site, Analytics is the way to go, though. Feedly doesn’t show how many are subscribed to your own site… I haven’t noticed that Reader does either, but I’ve never looked…. I’ll have to check that out…

    2. OK, I’ve set it up more accessibly, although I don’t know quite what you meant about burning my own feed… I already sub to my own blogs, but I don’t know where to look beyond that. I haven’t got to grips with it yet and am, frankly, only moderately ‘with it’ when it comes to stuff like this. I have next to no idea when it comes to all the social media stuff I’ll need when I come to opening and promoting my own business….

      On Google Reader, if you select your own blog (assuming it’s on the reading list), you can ‘View Details and Statistics’ on the ‘Feed Settings’ tab and you can see then how many people sub through Reader.

  10. Well, that was all Greek to me or Googlese. I have no idea how I read your blog. I found it one day on the computer (via google no doubt) and bookmarked it.

    What is a google reader? What’s a feed reader? I don’t want to wake up one morning and hit my bookmark only to find your blog is gone.

    1. Don’t know how to edit my reply but want to add something. When I look at the little box at the top where the address is, it has all the www. stuf and then a dark box that says “reader” in it. Is that what I’m using?

    2. Hi, Irene – if you use bookmarks, you don’t really have to worry about it. A bookmark just takes you straight to the website, which, as long as the website is up and running, will always work! -MC

  11. Hi Mary–

    I switched over to Netvibes a couple of months ago, and it has worked well for my purposes. There was, of course, some getting used to the differences from Reader, but so far I like it..

    Carol S.

  12. Dear Mary

    Thanks for the information I get my daily Needle ‘n Thread blog via my emails on the latest information on hand embroidery, whether it be new stitches or current exhibitions or new books or comparisions in various needlework subjects, I prefer it this way as I can store them for future reference.

    Regards Anita Simmance

  13. Ive tried numerous times to recieved the News letter but I never get a confirmation e-mail back, I’ve looked in my junk mail too, please can you help as I love your work ! Thanks , Maryanne

  14. I’ve been subscribed to your newsletter for a few years now via email. It’s one of the highlights of my day, to check my email and see something beautiful that you’ve created with your hands.

  15. +1 on Feedly—I love it. Like most things, once you use it a few times, you forget all about the predecessor.

  16. Thanks so much for this very timely post Mary! I’m going through the same thing right now. I follow you via e-mail and greatly enjoy your newsletter, but for the other blogs I follow RSS is much more convenient to skim through 🙂

    I’ve tried Bloglovin’ and while I won’t be using it personally, it may be worth your while to post the code and “claim” your blog – you can update your information in the service then. They had really old info on my site, so I wanted to be able to change that. I’m currently looking into Feedly, and a good friend recommended The Old Reader so I’ll try that too 😉

    I thought I was safe since I follow blogs in my Blogger Dashboard, but from posting in the Google Help Forum I discovered that this service is powered by Google Reader and will cease to exist too which was disappointing! Having to get used to a new service is very frustrating, but I’m glad Google is at least giving notice of the closure before making the change.

  17. Mary, would you happen to know if I can just keep things the way they are? I don’t have that many blogs I follow. I just read them directly off my computer, from the dashboard, no reader. Wouldn’t it just stay the same for me then?

  18. Feed readers are over my head. Never used them. I get you via email. I look forward to reading your news each email you send. Thanks for
    sharing all the info and your beautiful work. Theresa

  19. I’m going to ditto the votes that you do a post on other needleworking blogs you follow! There are so many – which do you find most interesting and/or inspiring?

  20. I follow hundreds of feeds, both personal/leisure and work-related ones, so Google’s announcement was a disaster. I also switched to Feedly, and I love it! It’s nice to use and synchs well across different machines and devices.

    Having said that, the real test will be whether all Google Reader feeds are automatically ported over to Feedly as they claim they will after the switch-off. Google offer a means of backing-up your feed list, so it’s well worth doing that, just in case, so it’s available to import into Feedly or other feed reader afterwards.

  21. Hi Mary. I follow your blog with Bloglovin AND email.lol. Just incase I ever have to change email provider, I have duplicated heaps of others for the same reason so I don’t miss anything.
    Im sad that Google feels it has to drop reader. It was an easy way to collect blogs. But I suppose times move on.
    Regards Phillipa in NZ

  22. I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to explain these new technical changes. However, since I am computer challenged, I do not really understand what all is going on or how it will affect my getting your emails.
    They arrive to my in box, I click on it, it opens and without problem I read it. I have a PC and a laptop not MAC.
    I have just read that by 2014 all the PC’s will disappear, I guess I will loose all contact with everyone all over the world I have contact with, this is tragic for me. I do not won any other tech gadgets, not even a mobile phone because I have no use for it.

    1. Hi, Velia – no worries, it won’t affect you. I wouldn’t worry too much about PCs disappearing in the next year! Though mobile devices, tablets, and the like – and Macs – are very popular, I think PCs still outnumber them as the standard household computer.

    1. Hi, Barb – I think you’d know. It’s a Google app used for the specific task of reading updated websites that have feeds. If you aren’t sure what feeds are and how they work, then you’re not using Reader. You’re safe! 🙂 ~MC

  23. Mary no quiero quedar fuera”’ya que uso el traductor,,,ya vere el cambio no me dejes sin emails….gracias

  24. I have been looking for a reader that provides a similar bookmarklet to Google Reader – it’s brilliant. I put the bookmarklet onto the bookmark bar in my browser, and when I click it, I get taken to the newest unread post. I LOVE it because there’s no logging in, no interface to deal with; I’m viewing each post ‘in situ’. I haven’t heard of any other feed readers which have this feature yet 🙁 so I’m sticking with Reader until the last possible moment!

  25. Feedly has become my RSS reader and I’m very happy with it. I use the browser plugin version primarily with Firefox. It took a little getting used to, but it has many more options for saving and sharing to social media than Google Reader has and it is far more attractive. I also use the iPhone version which is also very nice.

  26. Nicely written article about a subject most of us don’t really want to know much about (even if we need to. Thanx Mary

  27. I feel like a tiny tyke-I subscribe to 2 blogs, one is yours, and know nothing about “feed readers”. I’m really a needle pointer, but your Medallion Project gold work hooked me & I love your close-up pics of stitches. Your production values are A-1 pro!
    Could you discuss (briefly) how new-bies can get acquainted with feeders? I have Mac equipment, & Google mail, if that makes any difference. Thank you so much.
    Oops, you did all this, I just hadn’t read down far enough. I, too, would like a list if/when you get to it. Thanks!

  28. I’ve used a few feed readers (Flock, Bloglines, and now Sage). I use Sage on Firefox and it works really well for me. It has been a bit of a pain each time I’ve moved feed reader. I think I was ‘pushed’ once (eg they closed down) and ‘jumped’ once. As you mention, once you get used to the format of the new reader, the transition angst passes. I’ve also used each transition to ‘prune’ my list of blogs. I find I collect them quite easily. I like reading and looking at pictures you see 😉

  29. I get your column by email, but I have subscribe to posts from BlogLovin. My big complaint about BlogLovin is that it appears to send them to me around midnight – meaning that I don’t see things until the next day. This normally isn’t a real problem, but sometimes it gets confusing. I tried Old Reader, but couldn’t make it work properly. (probably me, but)

  30. Hola: prefiero el mail, desde Argentina te espero todos los dïas, que llegue a mi correo electrónico. No sé si te lo dijeron pero, qué gran servicio el tuyo. Saludos para todas. Nidia.

  31. It is absolutely scary how much I learn from you! I never knew such an app existed. I’ve been bookmarking and skimming my bookmarks to visit my blogs-UGH! (all except yours which I get in my email) Who knew there was a much easier way…I didn’t! Thanks so much Mary!

    And I agree…I would love to take a look at your blog list 🙂

  32. I have been playing in Feeldey too and absolutely love it! I find it much easier and faster to read the blogs I subscribe to than in google reader. Already saved me oceans of time!

    YOU are already in MY Feedley!!!

  33. Having only just come to terms with a Google account, thank heaven you are still intending to do the emails. I am not into blogging – just about keep in touch with family on Facebook. So I am very pleased to read your answer to “Pat” – good name – one day I may try and find a blog I understand until then please keep up the emails!

  34. Mary–
    I’d like to take a minute and thank you. You have taken the time to inform us about upcoming changes that might affect our enjoyment of your lovely blog. I, for one, truely appreciate it. I have gotted less from my veterinarian, who sold his practice w/out a word to anyone, and my gyn, who also has moved to a different city to practice–all w/out a note, call, or anything else. It’s nice to know that SOME folks still have what used to be considered common courtesy!
    Love, love, love your website and the daily blogs. Keep up the good work.
    Dawn in Ohio

  35. I intended to put you that little bit of note to finally give many thanks yet again on your nice strategies you’ve provided in this case. This has been so wonderfully generous of people like you to give freely all a few people could possibly have offered for an e-book in order to make some money for themselves, chiefly seeing that you might well have done it if you ever considered necessary. These tactics likewise worked like the good way to realize that other people have similar zeal like my very own to realize significantly more on the subject of this matter. I’m certain there are many more fun situations ahead for many who looked at your blog.

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