‘Tis the season for gifts, and this is one that has been on my please-Santa-I-have-been-SUCH-a-good-blogging-girl list for a long time.
I love Google Reader. As evidenced by:
But it has a lot of negative consequences for readers and for writers. As evidenced by:
In short: Google Reader is great because it makes it easier to follow and organize blogs; Google Reader sucks because it strips away all of the design personality and punishes a blogger by not providing page views (and therefore, CPM advertising revenue).
Enter: the Super Full Feeds for Google Reader extension for the Chrome browser.
(Note: sorry, Firefox friends…I spent a long time trying to find an easy add-on for you, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that’s beginner-friendly. If you’re familiar with using user scripts, you can try this: http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/9455 but it’s not as simple as downloading and installing, I’m afraid. Besides, Chrome is now the most popular browser, ya heard?)
Once you install the extension and refresh or reload your Google Reader, you’ll see some new options for viewing posts. The one that I’m now in love with is “link,” which allows you to view blog posts inside your reader EXACTLY as they are out of the feed catcher.
(Readable and feed give you the content-only look that you’re used to with Reader.)
Not only can you see the post content, you can see the header, sidebars (including ads!), social media buttons…
You can comment directly from your reader, without having to click through.
Now, normally, I urge readers to click through as often as they can, so that the bloggers that work so hard on this great content get the feedback via your comments AND the advertising revenue. (I, like many of you, sometimes get lazy and just get all my posts via RSS and never “pay” the blogger…)
But, this seems to solve all of the problems. You get the benefit of having all of your content in one place, and the blogger gets credit.
I will say — this is what I ASSUME to be true, but most ad networks track views using something called java script, and I’m not 100% sure that page views in Google Reader count. I’ve emailed the extension developer to get some clarification, but haven’t heard anything yet. It’s probably something we bloggers will need to take up with our networks — to my knowledge, these views count, but it would be a shame to have the ads seen without us getting credit.
The extension also adds a tab called “super settings,” which help you have even more control over what you see and how it’s displayed in your reader.
I’m pretty excited about this new tool, and I’d love to know if you’d consider using it. Would this make you more likely to comment on blogs, since you could do it from one place?