This post is for the birds


This post really has nothing to do with birds, except the photo that shows the sweet little sparrows that were perched on one of our skylights this morning, capturing moths and other bugs stuck to the screen in their valiant attempt to make it into our house.  MEH’s comment: “I’m glad someone’s cleaning the screens.”

No, this post really has to do with technical difficulties…again…because this month seems to be going that way. Some have been out of my control (like in my last post) but some, like today’s, self-inflicted. To wit: did you use Google reader to subscribe to and read blogs…like I did? Well, right before I went on my road trip out west, I was reminded (again) by Google that their reader was going away. Imminently. Permanently. Shortly after I returned from my trip.

Like so many things on my list, I “forgot” to do anything. I’m using quotation marks because I willfully allowed myself to forget. Sure, I checked out other readers, but I couldn’t find anything free that I was satisfied with. Sure enough, on the promised date, the reader was no longer available. And I’d done nothing. Which means that every single blog I was subscribed to—every single blog—was lost to me.

Sure, there are some blogs I remember, those that I used to visit every time there was a new post: my regular readers, my blogging friends. But I counted on my reminders. When a new blog came out, I’d see it on Google reader. That’s not the worst of it. The worst is that there were many blogs (about 50) that I’d visit sporadically. I have no idea what these were.

Am I complaining? Yes. I’m even saying I’m mad. At myself. At Google. I’m not happy that there are blogs and blogs out there I must refind and then find a way to keep track of. Or that I will never get my list back.

And I’m also apologizing. I’m sorry I haven’t visited your blogs. Or that I haven’t faithfully read them. I’ve missed you, and I’ll be back soon. But not consistently until I find a new reader that I like…that’s free…that’s easy to use.

So in addition to this post being a gripe, an explanation, and an apology, it’s also a request. If you have had a good experience with the reader you use, please let me know in the comments. I will definitely check it out. And if I’ve ever left a comment on your blog (or even if I haven’t) please leave a comment so I can find your blog again! I can’t wait.

Thank you (and cheers),


p.s. Meanwhile, it’s summer and lest you think I’m so consumed with these technical difficulties that I’m not enjoying it, I promise you I am. The bird watching alone has been spectacular (the sparrows but also eagles, great blue herons, osprey, mockingbirds, bobolinks among others), and I’m also enjoying the interesting weather that Maine has been having this summer: first we had the terrible Northeast heat wave. Then we had rain and cold. Then humidity and heat. Now cool and damp. The late planted garden is doing very well, and by very well, I mean to say that by December we should have tomatoes… or snow!



  1. Funny, the timing of your post. While you were ON your adventures, you probably missed Christine Grote’s blog about feedly (she highly recommended it in place of Google Reader), and it’s on my to-do this week while I have some peace and quiet. In fact, it was on my list of things to investigate this very evening! Along with changing over to Hootsuite, because TweetDeck’s new online version SUCKS. So talk about an undertaking … all those Twitter contacts, etc.

    I LOVE technology!

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      This is an embarrassing admission…but since I’m baring all (about technology), I read Christine’s post on Feedly and “meant to” do something… so please tell me how it goes with your investigation. With Feedly and with Hootsuite. Believe it or not, I don’t use TweetDeck OR Hootsuite just plain old Twitter. Sigh. So much technology so little time… (and I’m still having email issues on my iphone, ugh)

      • I occasionally have a “I’m throwing out anything that has to be plugged in,” kind of day. And then I come to my senses. Patience is required. Don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re still learning. (And likely always will have to be.)

        • Julia Munroe Martin says:

          Thank you, Christine! You are one of the most positive people I know, and it’s one of the reasons I come back to your blog again and again. I know i need to lighten up on myself and I appreciate good friends who remind me of that. Thanks 🙂

  2. As long as we’re making admissions: I didn’t even know what a “feed” was until the news about Google Reader going away was all over the place. I’m still not sure how it all works, though I’m finally inclined to do something so I don’t get all my blog emails in my inbox (right? I just go to one place and they’re all there? It’s not stupidity–really–it’s just a willful ignorance because I don’t want to make the time…)

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      Not getting emails in my inbox was the reason I went with Google reader in the first place, sigh. Yes, I know all about willful ignorance, unfortunately. It’s just so annoying to have that one more thing to do! Let me know what you decide, Jess and hope you add me to your feed (I’ll add you, too!).

  3. Julia, I have no idea what a reader is – me and I.T have a rather reluctant relationship with one another. I just subscribe to people’s blogs individually and then I get email reminders when posts are published… I have no idea if I have a reader to do this or if it just happens. If this helps you in any way I will be amazed 😀 I hope you sort it out though and manage to re-find some of those lovely blog sites.

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      Thank you, Abi…. I often wish I had a reluctant relationship with IT. I seem to seek out the technology and hence the problems. I wish I understood it better and yet that takes so much time and energy away from writing… or just (frankly) enjoying life, haha. Yes, your comment helped because I feel like I’m not the only one! 🙂

  4. Shary says:

    I never liked using any kind of reader because it was just too overwhelming. Blogs that come via e-mail feel more like letters from a friend to me, and I can read them one at a time as they appear. Remembering to go to a reader and having to wade through a bunch of posts from many different blogs takes a lot more effort and time, so now that my Google Reader has disappeared, I probably won’t replace it. Your posts, and those from my other favorite writers, come straight to my inbox and I’m always very happy to find them there.

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      What a lovely sentiment, Shary! You’ve reminded me… maybe I should revert back to the email method. I originally went away from it because my box was inundated. BUT if I cut down on how many and maybe even use a separate email account… thanks for the sweet compliment and the idea all rolled into one 🙂

  5. I am the worst to ask about this. I finally started subscribing to blogs by email. If you come to a good resoluion please let us know. And we are finally getting some hot here. I have only had about five ripe tomatoes off my bushes this summer. They are filled with green ones and have been for two months.

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      That’s so good to hear about your tomatoes (If I make a fall road trip, I know where I’m heading). I’ll let you know what I decide, Jamie, and I’m super glad you commented — yours is one of the blogs I just can’t miss!

  6. Leah says:

    I switched all my feeds to Feedly before Google Reader disappeared and I’ve been really happy with it. You can even color code your categories. Check it out.

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      I will definitely check out Feedly, Leah! I’m still searching and color coding really appeals to me 🙂 thank you!

  7. I’m sure you’ve figured things out by now. One thing I did and continue to do, is look at those people who “like” my posts and/or comment on them. You will eventually build things back up. I think you will be surprised at how fast it goes. You could also go through back posts to cull people from there.

    I like Feedly fine as I posted about. The downside is it doesn’t have an app for the iPad, which I often use to read blogs, especially while traveling. I use Newsify on the iPad and it syncs with Feedly. So far so good.

    Good luck. Let me know what you decide.

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      No… I haven’t figured anything out yet! You honed in on my fear: that I’ll never build things back up. I will take your advice on how to do that. I will check out both Feedly and Newsify (does that work on the iphone and mac book? I don’t have an iPad, but maybe that’s what I need to tie this all together, haha, yep one more piece of technology!) Thank you so much for your perspective and vote of confidence!

  8. Ugh! What a pain! I used Google Reader also and I loved it. I prefer having the feed so it cuts down on the number of emails. But I switched to Feedly and think that it’s pretty nifty. I was able to have all of my feeds imported from reader. I’m guessing that it’s too late to import them now, but you never know. What’s nice about Feedly is that the feeds are in the Cloud also so you can access the feeds from a different computer if need be.
    I have also used Byliner on my mobile apps and liked it as well.
    Good luck!

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      Sadly I didn’t save my feeds prior to the end of google reader… procrastination was not a good plan! Feedly sounds awesome and I love the idea of Byliner on the iphone. Thanks, Jackie!! (and yes, it’s a real pain, but I suppose I can accept the fact that it was my own fault in a way…)

  9. Nina says:

    Thought you’d like to know that while going through my Bloglovin’ list I saw this post! 🙂 I’m loving using a reader. I used to keep up via twitter which as I started following more people was a bit silly. This is WAY better!

    • Julia Munroe Martin says:

      That’s great!! After your suggestion on Twitter, I too signed up for Bloglovin’ but haven’t yet really started using it — I’ll try this week. It seems very easy to use. Do you get sent daily digests or just go and check on site? Thanks for the suggestion (and the comment!), Nina!

  10. Julie Luek says:

    I’ve been using Bloglovin’ successfully. I never really did use Google Reader, so I was one of the few who didn’t notice its demise too much.

    Use the no reader as a good reason to take a bit of a break. It can be busy trying to stay caught up on all those blogs!