Me & My Big PCS: V {smooth moves}

Should You Bring The Kitchen Sink?

CONTRIBUTED BY MEREDITH NOVARIO

I’m in a gnarly and predictable tug-of-war match over here. On one side is my life in Okinawa. On the other side is my life after Okinawa. When the weather is gloomy like today and Joe is gone like today, I start making notes of the details I won’t miss. My van that collects gallons of rain water in the trunk. The bag of fermenting grass next to our garbage can. The mold. The heat. The rust. But that is all petty. Life in Okinawa is full of Japan-ness and friendship-ness which I dread leaving behind. Tug, tug, tug.

It’s that tricky balance between savoring the last days, weeks, months and planning for what lies ahead. I banned myself from looking for houses on-line until we get orders. When the orders arrive I’ll sign up for a Smooth Move Workshop. Until then my feet are planted in Okinawa. Until then I might just buy every Anpanman gadget that crosses my path. Consider yourself warned, Joe.

So about those polls. We need to talk. Clearly you are not obsessed with blogs. Not judging, just wondering, if there something more satisfying out there than blogs? Fill me in.

As for the aggregator. I’m not even sure aggregator is a word people say out loud in the real world. Just like people don’t really say bathroom tissue when they mean toilet paper. Or mammary glands.

Moving on.

Let’s talk aggregators or readers or feed catchers or whatever. An aggregator collects all of your bookmarks and manages them on a single page. Just like your mailbox collects all your mail, an aggregator collects all of the sites you subscribe to and lets you know when they have been updated. Now if you are only reading a handful of blogs, which seems to be the case with most of you lovelies, then you may not need an aggregator.

But I am about to beg you to use one because the more people who subscribe to our blog, the more options we have for attracting advertisers who could sustain the blog for decades and centuries to come. If you scroll down below the polls in the right sidebar you see an icon that looks like this:

My_weblog

That means that 20 people have subscribed to our blog and view it through an aggregator. Advertisers are big on how many readers a blog has. The more readers, the more better, the more worthwhile to invest in us.

But this isn’t entirely about us. I’m a little worried about you frankly. You should read more blogs. Blogs don’t care if you shower. Blogs are better than taco rice. Blogs can relax, stimulate, enrich, humor, inspire and challenge you. For real. The wave of the future, these blogs.

What’s your poison?

Gossip. Cooking. Fashion. Music. Arts & Crafts. Photography. Entertainment. Sports. Politics. Great writing. Belly laughs.

(I don’t endorse these blogs per se. They are all nominees for the 2008 bloggie awards. I apologize if they offend or unhinge you.)

So gather a few blogs from your bookmarks or favorites and open an account with Google Reader or Bloglines. Friends, meet the aggregators. Google will require you to have a gmail address which you’ll never have to use except for opening this account. Bloglines requires nothing of the sort. I have used Google Reader but am switching over to Bloglines for giggles. Plus I find it easier to organize and somehow sexier.

Google Reader looks like this:

Googlereader

Not so sexy, right?

But how about some Bloglines?

Bloglines

Cleaner. More organized. Less blue. Love at first sight over here.

I double dog dare you to go forth and aggregate your blogs. Let’s jack up our subscriptions and get you all addicted to blogs. After you go Google or Bloglines or whatever else tickles your fancy you can click the RSS feed button at the very bottom of the right sidebar. It looks like this:

Feedicon32x32

Yes, we can.

p.s. What are you reading besides Okinawa hai!?

p.p.s. In the time it took me to write this blog it appears we have lost a subscriber. Down to 19. Is all this shameless self-promotion offending thee?

p.p.p.s. Boo-hoo about the p.p.s

___________

All the posts in Meredith’s “Me & My Big PCS” series: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

For posterity’s sake we have left this universally euphoric, terrified, confused, “what am I doing?!” series on Okinawa Hai.  However, we have closed comments for future readers.  If there is relevant information for all readers to benefit from, we have taken elements from this series and created new posts, which we’ve linked to from the original text. Thank you for joining us on this ride.

11 COMMENTS

  1. If you use Google reader, it looks closer…like you can see the pics and such in the reader but the webdesign is not there.

    That is so weird that Google tells you that you have no subscribers because you should have at least one since I am subscribed…maybe it takes a while for it to find them if you just submitted the url recently…

  2. Thank you for explaining this as if to young children, since that is how I feel in reference to all this! I’ve joined bloglines and got the feed added. But is it possible for it to “look” like the website we are aggregating (can’t believe I just used that word in a sentence!)? Or will it always just be in the boring format of bloglines?

  3. Thanks for the love. I LOVE to be loved. And aren’t you lovely!

    Daniela, I’ve heard of Stumble but haven’t tested it out yet. Do you use Twitter? I’m totally mystified by Twitter. Like I might just be too old to understand why that is so successful. WHY would anyone care what I am doing every bleeding second of every day? Am I missing something?

    Naomi, How cool that you still check in with your old neighborhood. I hope we do it justice in your mind!

    Mishka, Thanks for the break down here. I am no wizard of the mechanics of bloginess. I hope I didn’t give that impression. I understand now that Feedburner only counts the readers that are on their team BUT when I look at my Google Webmaster page it says there are NO people subscribed to our feed which isn’t true. Odd. AND had not idea that you didn’t have to have a gmail account. Wish I had known that. Bah-humbug.

    Anyone having problems with their aggregators and want to talk shop I think I’ve proven that I know very little but I’m happy to pretend and figure it out!

  4. Okay, since I am an official helper on the Blogger Help Boards…let me clarify a couple of things.

    First, you won’t see everyone that is subscribed to your blog through the feedburner icon you have. It will only show you those that are using Feedburner or another reader that feedburner tracks. To see Google reader subscribers and the other readers they track, you have to go to the Google Webmaster tools and submit your url and check the subscriber stats from there.

    Secondly, you do NOT have to have a gmail account to use Google reader or any of the other Google products. You just have to have a valid unique email address. I have my entire Google life set up on one of my many yahoo email accounts (and my Google life is more diverse than I would ever want to admit to).

    Okay, enough of the technical stuff. Meredith, I do the same thing as you. When we were leaving last time, I was completely torn between trying to get in everything I could and planning for the next phase of our lives. I didn’t know that we would ever be coming back here so I was trying to make the most of it and stock up on all those things I thought I would never see again.

    I agree, that you should wait until you have orders. You can’t do anything until then anyhow and you can’t even be sure for sure of where you are going (we were told many different things up until we got orders). So enjoy what you can now, and try not to worry too much about what comes next….it will all work out, it always does.

  5. Hi – I read via Google Reader – and I don’t even live in Okinawa but I LOVE your blog. I grew up there and my family spent 18 lovely long years on Kadena. I miss it terribly and want to go back especially after I read about all the yummy places to eat. I read a lot of crafty blogs and decorating ones like apartment therapy or cooltools . . . but you are awesome for putting something like this together and my only hope is that it continues after you PCS so that I can get my daily dose of Okinawan goodness.

  6. Here is something I do;
    I stumble. It’s a feature that firefox has as an add on. Put in your likes, ie. news, art, humor and it will suggest web sites. Vote on whether you like it or not.
    It’s fun and I have stumbled upon some interesting stuff.
    Daniela

  7. I’m aggregratin’
    and not even aggrevated! That was so clear! Crystal! Think of all the cash I could save by reading blogs instead of all those trashy-supermarket magazines!
    Loving the information.

  8. Okay, I think I did everything right to subscribe and you should be back up to 20 readers now. I love this blog! In the short time we’ve been on this island we’ve been able to use the information from this site to find the best places to visit. Thanks!

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