January 21, 2011

I’m a member of an internet discussion group among quilt-pattern designers. Our conversations range far and wide, and recently the topic of blogs, blog feeds, and email subscriptions came up.

I myself am subscribed to the blogs I follow through Google Reader, an RSS feed reader that keeps everything organized in a browser tab.

Many people subscribe to blogs that way, while others prefer to subscribe by email. They’re more familiar with email and prefer having a post’s content delivered right to their in-box.

We who write blogs are ecstatic that you’re following us! Any which a way you like! But did you know that if you subscribe through a feed reader or by email, you’re missing a lot?

You’re getting each post in its bare-bones form. You see the text, you see the photos. But we work hard to format our posts, making them look pretty with text lined up and wrapping the right way with the pictures. This formatting is usually stripped away when posts are delivered remotely.

Also, you’re not seeing the blog’s sidebars, which are rich with possibilities.

Have you reviewed lately what All About Appliqué‘s sidebars have to offer? Take a moment to click over to the blog itself. Just click on the title of this post and you’ll be whisked away to the blog.

Are we there now? See how nice the content looks in its intended form? See all the good stuff in the sidebars? Let’s take a tour.

Top left… the Appliqué Bookshop, powered by Amazon. All appliqué titles, hand-picked by me for your browsing pleasure. Just below that is the Appliqué DVD Store.

Next comes a rotating ad from Amazon, with juicy titles to catch your eye.

Below that is a search function for the blog. Type some keywords here and it will search the entire archive, bringing up any post no matter how old. A very handy feature when you’re looking for information on a designer or a technique!

Then come the Categories. These are categories that I assign each blog post so that if you’re looking for info on a certain subject, you can click on one and all posts assigned that category will come up. Another way to search the blog, and very useful when looking for information.

Then there are a couple of blog rings. Click on these logos and you’ll be taken to another blog that belongs to the same ring. You can keep going around from blog to blog for a long time :).

Lastly on the left are the Archives, filed by month. If you want to look back and see all the posts for a certain month, that’s how you can do it.

Now we move to the right-hand side.

Up top are two ways to subscribe, by email or by feed reader. Both of these are great ways to receive automatic notification when a blog post goes up. Just remember, you’re only seeing a stripped-down version of the post when you get them this way, and clicking over to the blog itself is a good thing to do every once in awhile.

Below that are two linked logos, one for the new on-line Quilt Pattern Magazine, and one for the first issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, both of which I had stuff in.

Then there’s a link to the All About Appliqué Flickr group, which you can post your appliqué photos to, or just go and enjoy the eye candy!

Below that is a linked image for the Easy Appliqué Blocks Book-A-Round from 2009. Ooh, that was a fun one.

rose basket3Guess what… there’s another one coming down the pike! That’s right, look for Book-A-Round 2, Inspired by Tradition coming your way in March or April. There will be tons of info about the new book as well as lots of chances to win a copy.

Below that is the blogroll, with lots of linky love for appliqué designers and pattern companies. Another rich resource for appliqué enthusiasts.

That’s it! Thanks for coming on the sidebar tour with me. And thanks for reading the blog, and subscribing to it!

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie


8 Responses to “The anatomy of a blog”

  1. Jen on January 21st, 2011 12:32 pm

    I read mostly through Google Reader, but spend a good amount of time poking around on blogs too. That’s where you find the good stuff! I love the quilt-along or challenge buttons that whisk you away to fun activities. Or blog buttons that whisk you to another fabulous blog. Some people post their tutorials or patterns that way too. I always investigate a blog’s first page and click through some buttons when I first sign up to follow. Sometimes when I’m bored I’ll go to a blog and check it out all over again. I also do that with Linky Parites. Thanks for the tour of your blog, I’ve seen it before, but it’s nice to be back!

  2. Kay on January 21st, 2011 1:01 pm

    Hey Jen, thanks for coming along on the tour!

  3. Kathleen C on January 21st, 2011 2:17 pm

    Kay, I use Google Reader because it’s efficient and a good way to keep up with a large variety of blogs. But I check in with the blog itself, like yours, as often as I can. I’d love to have the time to explore the suggested blogs and quilters that you and other bloggers list on sidebars. I appreciate the large amount of time that a quilter puts into her blog. Thanks!

  4. SarahVee on January 21st, 2011 6:20 pm

    I love your blog, Kay!You have provided a wealth of information. Yours is the first blog I think of to find out about appliqué and quilters who feature it in their quilts. I love your book reviews and seeing the quilts that people make with your designs. I have recently switched to the reader format to stay caught up, but click to the ‘real thing’ still as blogs are so rich visually expressing each quilter’s personality – not just words and pictures but the ‘stationary’ they use:) Thanks for the reminder. Looking forward to your next tour!

  5. candace on January 22nd, 2011 6:37 am

    I’m sort of a newbie here, Kay. I just wanted to share that allthough I’ve subscribed by email, I use this as a reminder that there is something new to see and click over to the blog to read the actual post itself. I find that’s an efficient way of knowing when there’s something new happening and then sometimes I stay and poke around! Love your blog and thanks for all the great info ;o)

  6. Donna on January 22nd, 2011 10:11 am

    That’s great that you did the tour of your blog. I come to it often, and know you put a lot into it.

    My ‘problem’ with blogs, is that I can spend so much time online,looking at all the informative things. There are so many great sites these days. I have learned to set a time limit for myself, otherwise, I’m on all day.

    Thanks for all the info you provide. You do a great job! :)

  7. Pokey on January 22nd, 2011 1:37 pm

    What a great tour, thank you Kay. I read through GR, and through visits to the blog when I want to comment, or encourage the blogger. You! Thanks again ~

  8. anna lee on January 22nd, 2011 2:37 pm

    I read you by email to my email -never knew there was so much to know. mind boggling

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