Friday, August 15, 2008

Blogging and Subsciptions

There's been some blog template changes lately on the sites that I visit. The latest was Dan Batemen's Musings of an Intrepid Commuter, but Steve Williams' Scooter in the Sticks has had some minor changes too.

As I mentioned to Dan after reading about his changes and then visiting his site, most of my blog reading is done through a "reader", in my case, the Google Reader. Readers are a special web site that collects new posts from your favorite blogs and displays them all in a single convenient location.

The Google Reader does a good job of displaying text and pictures, and even video that has been embedded in a post, but sometimes photos are are limited to the first 1 or 2. And since only posts are displayed, whenever someone makes a change in their template that change goes unnoticed by the subscriber.

Another thing I've noticed about the Google Reader is that, often times, the newly published content from a site is collected just moments after it has been published. This has provided some unintentional insight to some of the bloggers I subscribe to and may have provided others with undesired insight into this blogger.

Here's a typical scenario:

A blogger publishes something on their site as a test or rant or something not ready for prime time. A few moments pass and they get the results of their test or think better of posting their rant or whatever, and they save the post as a Draft or maybe delete it.

If the Google Reader retrieved a copy of the post sometime between its publish time and before it was re-saved as a Draft or deleted, some or all of the content of that post is still available to subscribers via the reader. Hence the potential of having unwanted content 'out there', sorta the cyberspace version of an open fly.

Hmmm. I wonder how amny blunders I've made...


John McClane said...

Thanks for the warning.

Does that mean you've seen all my posts?

Even the ones I didn't publish?

Doug C said...

No. Only ones that may have been published and then save as a draft, on a second thought. Sorta like 'unpublished.'

There was one about being an internet travel agent or something like that.

Conchscooter said...

Interesting post as I understand nothing about this stuff. Oh and I find blogger's spell check to be almost useless so I read my posts as soon as I can after they publish automatically at 12:01AM to correct out errors I missed. Do you get 6 different versions of the same post? Weird.Or I could publish all six I have in the queue and you would get a copy of each? weirder.

Doug C said...

Conch- I'm no expert but that's one of the things I've noticed.

I don't get 6 copies, only one post in the reader. Its probably the originally cached copy that Google collected.

If I click on a post's link in the reader, it will normally take me to that page on the blog's site in a new browser window.

Ocasionally, the browser will return a page not found 404 error, which means the post has been removed from the blog site after the Google Reader collected the content.

Earl Thomas said...

Even though I try to proof my post thouroughly before I publish, I never really notice how it will read until I see it on the site, I usually tweak it a half a dozen times or so before I'm satisfied.


Doug C said...

Earl - I do the same thing, deleting empty lines and adding a carriage return here and there.

I suppose the best rule of thumb is, aside from typos and mis-spellings, make sure the subject and flavor of the post is something you want people to read.