Follow Friday starter pack
Someone wanted to know if I was on any non-FB sites since “separate blogs are hard to follow.” I directed her to my post from last year on feed readers. The problem with a feed reader is that you have to remember to open it which, if you’re only following one blog, is no easier than following it on the web. It’s just like going to Facebook and only following one person or page. It doesn’t really make sense until you follow a bunch. So here are some.
I am a grownup and if you hand me a physical newspaper I still turn to the comics page first.
- False Knees – somewhat surreal humor on some amazing bird/nature art.
- Bird and Moon – Humorous birding and… mothing? (is that a thing?) info. This one’s on Tumblr, which is very RSS-friendly.
- Hi, I’m Liz – Adorably wholesome little animal cartoons. Also Tumblr.
- They Can Talk – More little animal cartoons.
DIY and Sewing
- Ink/Stitch – it’s just announcements of new versions, mostly. But that’s what’s great about feed readers: you don’t have to remember to check rarely-updated sites. New entries will just pop in when you’re checking regular stuff.
- WeAllSew – Bernina’s sewing blog, with lots of free projects.
- BeeZeeArtBlog – BZ announces both new patterns (the shoulder dragon was a BZ pattern) and sales of physical plushies.
- SVGCuts – I love her papercraft designs.
I have a college kid who’s been working on cooking skills, so I like new, simple recipes.
- Mel’s Kitchen Cafe – Yes, I got linked there for her sweet-and-sour chicken recipe, but I’ve made a lot of her other stuff since.
- BudgetBytes – It’s been awhile since I had to worry about my food budget, but I’m trying to teach the kid to live on a budget.
- smitten kitchen – These are more involved (generally not requiring special skills, just more steps) recipes so I admit I mostly just read them and drool and never ever try to make the kid cook them. We’ve liked the ones I’ve tried though.
- Veganosity – We do an ever-increasing amount of meatless cooking here.
- The Kid Should See This – Okay, I no longer have a little kid who needs to see this, but it’s still cool stuff that I like to see.
- Tor.com – I am a book nerd, and Tor regularly has free short stories in their feed, and gives away free ebooks for the price of your email address. (I used to be on their mailing list but I would much rather get stuff in my feed reader.)
- Tatsuya Tanaka – This is the YouTube channel (yes, you can follow YouTube channels via reader) of someone who does absolutely amazing miniature vignettes with everyday objects. Seriously, go look at them right now, I’ll wait.
- Your local newspaper. Even if all the articles are paywalled (just subscribe, geez) you can usually get a feed with the headlines at least.
As you might guess, I try to make everything I do have a feed.
- The main blog feed here.
- Shop items feed here.
- Shop items feed for Etsy
- My fediverse feed (Twitter-like).
Other things you can follow
Pinterest boards. Flickr groups. Many web forums. Individual WordPress posts (for the comments). You’d be surprised how many things have feeds sitting quietly in the background – with most feed readers, you can just put the web page in and the reader will find the feed (I’ve been a bit inconsistent about putting the feeds versus the home pages in these links, but readers don’t usually mind). If it can’t find a feed, look for the little feed logo on the page – some sites don’t follow standards, or have a page collecting all their different feeds.
Things you can’t follow
Sadly, lots of sites have disabled syndication, because they want you locked in their walled garden. Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram used to have feeds, but they shut them off. TikTok, as far as I know, has never had them. If you are nerdy and poke around a bit you can find ways to roll your own feeds, but if you publish them they’ll block you.
This is far from a complete selection of the blogs I follow (I have dozens of craft blogs, fourteen local news blogs, a whole category of roleplaying game blogs I didn’t even sample here), but leave a comment anyway if you have one to recommend. Or if you’d be interested in a starter OPML file – a list of blogs that you can import into any feed reader.