What is your favorite blog to read

Alternatives to Facebook: 4 Great Ways to Follow Blogs

Do you have more than one favorite blog and looking for a great way to follow them all in one place? Then I recommend you take a closer look at the following four services.

There are around 2000 travel blogs in German-speaking countries alone. There are also countless tech, political and literary blogs that you might also be interested in. Not missing any exciting articles or even keeping a rough overview of the scene is hardly possible without aids.

Even if I don't follow every blog, of course, there are still over 500 pages on my personal reading list. In this post I want to show you how, despite this huge flood of information, I manage to find the texts that are of interest to me within a few minutes.

I mainly use feed readers for this. They are practically the follow button for blogs. In this post, I want to introduce you to the two most important feed readers, as well as two other apps that you can use to follow blogs. I will show you the advantages and disadvantages of the different services.

At the end I will explain why Facebook is so badly suited to following blogs and other media content and why, in my opinion, an alternative to Facebook is urgently needed.


Tool 1: Bloglovin

What is it: Bloglovin is a visually appealing feed reader in which all sources you have subscribed to are listed chronologically on the start page. Texts that you want to read (again) later can be saved under keywords of your choice.

Plus point: The app looks tidy and all functions are easy to find. You can add new feeds with a single push of a button.

Negative point: If you follow blogs with widely differing publication frequencies, the big pages flood the small ones. Unfortunately, this cannot be avoided at Bloglovin.

Costs: Bloglovin is free. Every now and then, an advertising contribution ends up in your feed. However, to a very tolerable extent.

Where to find it: Bloglovin is available as an app for Android and iOS. Computer users simply log into Bloglovin's website.

My feed:You can find my bloglovin feed here.

More tips: You can find a thematically sorted list with the feeds of around 2000 travel blogs at flocutus.de


Tool 2: Feedly

What is it: Feedly is a somewhat more complex feed reader in which you can save the sources you have subscribed to under different keywords. The software also evaluates the attractiveness of the articles and gives automated reading recommendations.

Plus point: Feedly scores with more options and setting options for feed subscribers.

Minus point: Designed somewhat confusing. The free version limits the maximum number of feeds you can subscribe to.

Costs: Feedly is free in the basic version. If you want to subscribe to more than 100 sources, you have to upgrade to the Pro version, which costs around 5 euros per month.

Where to find it: Feedly is available as an app for Android and iOS. Computer users simply log into the Feedly website.

My feed:You can find my Feedly feed here.

More tips: You can find a thematically sorted list with the feeds of around 2000 travel blogs at flocutus.de

Tool 3: Flipboard

What is it: Strictly speaking, Flipboard is not a real feed reader, but a customizable news app with the option of subscribing to feeds. In addition to blogs, you can also follow thematic groups.

Plus point: Flipboard is visually very appealing. The algorithm also plays articles from sources that you have not subscribed to. This will allow you to discover new blogs.

Negative point: The feed is a bit chaotic as some very old articles are also displayed. In addition, you can only follow blogs that have previously registered with Flipboard.

Costs: Flipboard is free. I haven't discovered any advertising yet.

Where to find it: Flipboard is available as an app for Android and iOS and is already preinstalled on many mobile phones. Computer users simply log into the Flipboard website.

My feed:You can find my Flipboard feed here.

More tips: I can also recommend the following magazines:


Tool 4: Pinterest

What is it: Pinterest is a mixture between an image-based search engine and a social network in which you can follow thematic groups and people.

Plus point: Pinterest has a well-functioning search function that delivers completely different results than Google and thus offers an alternative tool for research.

Negative point: Since it is quite time-consuming to design pins, only a small part of the blogger community is represented on Pinterest. In addition, the articles do not appear chronologically.

Costs: Pinterest is free and ad-free.

Where to find it: Pinterest is available as an app for Android and iOS. Computer users simply log into the Pinterest website.

My feed:You can find my Pinterest feed here.

More tips: There are also a number of interesting Pinterest groups on the subject of travel that you can also subscribe to.



Why an alternative to Facebook is needed

If you're already on Facebook, you might be wondering why you can't just follow the blogs on Facebook.

In theory it is possible. However, Facebook has hardly played any media content since the last update. So there is a good chance that you will miss most of the posts on your favorite blogs because they are not even shown to you.

But Facebook was already extremely poorly suited for the targeted tracking of high-quality media content. What's the problem?

From my point of view, the most important thing is that the posts are not displayed chronologically. That means, I let Facebook's algorithm make a pre-selection of what interests me and what doesn't. In particular, I find the way the software selects “relevant” posts for me extremely problematic.

Because Facebook says it rewards posts with a lot of interaction. The idea behind it: Articles that are often read or commented on are particularly interesting for readers. The problem, however, is that in this way mainly controversial topics or even false reports are washed into the timeline.

As a blogger, this also makes a difficult decision for me. If I want to design my posts in such a way that they are shown to many subscribers, I have to give them sensational and controversial headlines.

But that's exactly what I don't want to see as a reader, nor do I feel comfortable with such tricks as a blogger.


More articles on the subject of feed readers

If you are not sure what a feed reader is or how to use it, I have put together a small list of articles that are worth reading. You are welcome to write further reading instructions in the comments.


Personal conclusion

Personally, I use Bloglovin to follow German travel blogs and Feedly to follow blogs from the other topics. I mainly use Flipboard as a source of inspiration when I'm bored (for example on long train rides). I never really got warm with Pinterest. I use Facebook primarily to maintain private contacts.

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