Review: Bloglovin

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One of the members of GeneaBloggers contacted me with questions about the blog aggregating site Bloglovin (http://www.bloglovin.com). After some extensive research concerning the need to “claim a blog” and the use of “framing” to view blog posts, I concluded that others likely had similar questions. So here is my review of Bloglovin and its use as a possible substitute for the now defunct Google Reader or other RSS feed readers such as Feedly.

Bloglovin Overview and Basics

You sign up for Bloglovin and then you search for blogs you want to follow and add them to your feed. Then when new blog posts are published, you go to Bloglovin and view the new posts.

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Click on the blog post title and you’ll be able to read the entire blog post, albeit inside a Bloglovin frame (see below).

Does Bloglovin’s Use of Frames Violate Copyright?

One of the main concerns with Bloglovin is the default setting to display the contents of a blog post with the Bloglovin toolbar/frame at the top. Look closely at the URL and it is “http://www.bloglovin.com/frame” . . . and not the URL of the original blog post. There is an “X” off to the right that allows me to remove the frame and proceed to the original post. But by this time, I figure Bloglovin has already gotten some of the traffic, right?

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See Have We Been Lied To About Bloglovin? and How Bloglovin’ ate my blog (and yours too) for recent blogger concerns about Bloglovin’s practice of framing content.

Courts in the US have not yet developed conclusive case law on the issue of framing and copyright. Some see framing as not violating copyright since the original work product is not altered in any way; it is simply delivered with a “wrapper.” See Connecting to Other Websites.

Bloglovin’s contention is that its framing makes it easier to read the next blog post in your list of followed blogs and perform other operations such as sharing to Facebook etc. Funny, but with my Feedly account, I can do all these share functions in the condensed view and still click on the original blog post link and see the original content outside of Feedly. Is Feedly in fact framing as well and am I just splitting hairs? Does Feedly get any “traffic juice” in its framing process? I’ll do more research on how Feedly handles content . . . another review on the horizon!

There is a way to remove the frame permanently, but only for your account as a user of Bloglovin: go to Bloglovin Settings and scroll to the bottom, and in the Other section, select “I don’t want the frame” and click Save settings. There is no way to remove your blog from Bloglovin’s listings or the remove the frame from your blog post content when other Bloglovin users access it.

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Personally, I’m not a big fan of “opt out” functions like this one at Bloglovin; if you want me to use your frame, then pitch it to me and make a good argument for it. Otherwise don’t force me into it. This practice an “option” does not make.

Claiming Your Blog on Bloglovin

Yes, there is a process where Bloglovin strongly suggests that you claim your own blog. This is done through the Bloglovin Settings:

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Click Claim blog and search for the name of your blog. Bloglovin will then prepare a snippet of html code for you to include on your site.

This process will “verify” your blog back to Bloglovin. Of course, it also builds a back link from your blog to Bloglovin (which helps build Bloglovin’s page rank). By now you’re understanding the business model Bloglovin has here and how it all works, right?

I realize that like genealogy records providers such as Ancestry.com, RSS feed readers and content aggregators can’t be entirely “free.” There has to be some way to generate income (freemium model) or at least traffic. Feedly doesn’t have a strong “push” to claim a blog; they do however provide you with code for a “Follow me on Feedly” button to place in your sidebar.

Conclusion

Bloglovin is an easy-to-use content aggregator geared towards discovering new content and its target demographic seems to be users who are not bloggers themselves and are unfamiliar with the RSS feed reader concept. Will Bloglovin bring your blog or website more traffic? In the long term, probably but only if the user opts out of the framing option. Content consumers who want a more robust platform and one that doesn’t force them to opt out of content framing, would likely do better with Feedly or one of the other Google Reader alternatives.

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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Disclosure statement: I have material connections with various vendors and organizations. To review the material connections I have in the genealogy industry and other industries, please see Disclosure Statements.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Repixl Affiliate Program Available to Genealogy Bloggers

repixl

Yesterday, I posted a review of the Repixl website over at Hack Genealogy. Repixl offers an economical way to have your scanned family photos retouched or restored and I can see many in the genealogy and family history communities taking advantage of this type of service.

Genealogy bloggers and website owners may want to take advantage of Repixl’s generous affiliate program. You can earn a 15% commission one each sale and what I like best about Repixl’s program is that it is easy-to-use it provides great support as well as marketing materials (banner ads, sidebar ads, etc.).

repixl affiliate

So check out the Repixl affiliate program here and then register and add it to your current affiliate marketing toolbox.

© 2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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Interested in Self-Publishing Your Genealogy Research?

Self-Publishing Boot Camp

[Editor's Note: Readers of GeneaBloggers may not know that I also run the Hack Genealogy website which covers the latest in technology for genealogists and family historians. Every other month I team up with Lisa Alzo, of The Accidental Genealogist, and we offer a "boot camp" covering a popular topic such as writing, project management and this month, self-publishing.  Check out the info below and be sure to sign up soon . . . each and every Hack Genealogy Boot Camp in the past has SOLD OUT!]

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Come join well-known genealogy educators Lisa Alzo and Thomas MacEntee as they team up to offer a unique education event: Self-Publishing Survival Guide! On Saturday, 22 March 2014, you’ll be able to learn from two experts on how to take your written genealogical research and publish it in both print and e-book format.

Are you all ready to publish on your own, but you don’t know where to start and have these questions?

  • What is the best self-publishing platform for me and my book?
  • Should I use a service that handles book cover design, marketing and more . . . or can I really do this all on my own?
  • Should I have a print version and an e-book version?
  • What are the formatting and document preparation requirements for both print and e-book self-publishing?

You’ll receive over 3 hours of educational content, handouts and freebies for the low price of $12.95! You’ll also receive access to the recorded versions of each webinar for up to one year!

Register by Monday, 17 March 2014 and receive $3 off the registration price for a low $9.95! Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Space is limited and if you register but can’t attend, you’ll still receive the handouts, the freebies and access to the recordings!

Win A Free Registration!

That’s right. You could attend this Self-Publishing Boot Camp for free if you are selected as our Registration Rebate winner! Simply register and pay for the upcoming Boot Camp by the early-bird deadline of 17 March 2014. We’ll select one person from the list of registrants and refund their entire registration fee!  No contest forms to fill out! We’ll announce the winner here at Hack Genealogy on Tuesday 18 March 2014.

Schedule

  • 11:00 am EDT /10:00 am CDT
    Welcome / Meet & Greet
  • 11:15 am EDT / 10:15 am CDT
    DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
    Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.
  • 12:30 pm EDT/11:30 am CDT
    Break
  • 1:00 pm EDT /12:00 pm CDT
    Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
    Thomas MacEntee
  • 2:30 pm EDT / 1:30 pm CDT
    Closing and Thank You

Webinars

DIY Publishing for the Family Historian: Tips, Tricks and Tools
Presented by:  Lisa A. Alzo, M.F.A.

Whether you’re a family historian looking to share information with your family, an aspiring author, or a society looking for cost-effective way to produce materials, this session is just what you need to get started with self-publishing. Learn tips and tricks for preparing your book from idea to print, and the basics about which software and online writing tools can help with the process. Various self-publishing/print-on-demand platforms including: CreateSpace, Lulu, Smashwords, Kindle, and more, will also be briefly discussed.*

*    Attendees will also receive a free Self-Publishing Checklist.

Microsoft Word Secrets for Self-Publishing
Presented by:  Thomas MacEntee

Preparing a written narrative extracted from your genealogy research may seem straightforward, even using a generally accepted document software like Microsoft Word*. But there are special considerations when it comes to self-publishing that narrative, in both print and e-book format. Learn the secrets to producing a formatted narrative that can easily be published on a variety of self-publishing platforms.**

*    Microsoft Word 2010 will be the version used during the webinar. Many, if not all, of the features are the same or similar on other versions of Word including 2007 and 2013.

**   Attendees will also receive access to a special Self-Publishing for Genealogists Toolbox – tons of links covering platforms, methods and tips!

Presenter Bios

Lisa Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo

Lisa A. Alzo is a freelance writer, instructor, and lecturer with over 20 years’ experience in the field of genealogy. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in Nonfiction Writing from the University of Pittsburgh, and is the author of nine books, including: Finding Your Slovak Ancestors, Writing Your Family History Book, and the award-winning Three Slovak Women. Lisa has written hundreds of articles and her work has appeared in Family Tree Magazine, Family Chronicle, Internet Genealogy, APG Quarterly, among others. An internationally recognized speaker, Lisa blogs as “The Accidental Genealogist” blog http://www.theaccidentalgenealogist.com. For more information see http://www.lisaalzo.com.

Thomas Mac Entee

Thomas Macentee

When he’s not busy writing blog posts, organizing the 3,000+ members of GeneaBloggers.com, teaching online genealogy webinars and more, Thomas MacEntee is busy in his role as “genealogy ninja.” Stealth is not easy, but he manages to get the inside track on emerging technologies and vendors as they relate to the genealogy industry. After being laid off from a 25-year career in the tech industry in 2008, Thomas has been able to “repurpose” his skill set for the genealogy community and loves to see other genealogists succeed, whether it is with their own research or building their own careers in the field.

How To Register

Ready to join in this great educational event? Here are the details on the registration process:




  • Click the button above to go to PayPal and make payment or click here. You do not need a PayPal account to make payment.
  • Once payment is processed and received, you will receive a confirmation email. You will also receive links to register for each webinar. You must register for both webinars if you want to participate in both webinars.
  • Then you’ll be reminded via e-mail at least one day prior to Boot Camp.
  • Within 24 hours of the start of Boot Camp, you’ll receive the passwords for each webinar as well as links to all the handouts and freebies to you can review them before we start.
  • After the webinars, all registrants will have access to the recordings for personal use for a period of one (1) year. Recordings will be hosted on Vimeo and set to play only on a specific page here at Hack Genealogy. A password will be required to access the video pages.

Questions? Email us at hackgenealogy@gmail.com.

Terms and Conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions for all Hack Genealogy Boot Camp events before you pay and register! Click here for more information.

©2014, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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