Probably the Dumbest Tech-Related Question Ever

Here’s the thing: I’ve resisted the whole syndication wave for eons. I’ve provided various feeds for this site, mostly because the software made it really easy, but also because I knew there were folks out there who I wanted to keep up with the doings here via Bloglines or other such aggregators. For myself, though, I’ve really stuck with my blogroll, checking the sites that ping religiously, and the others a bit less so. Reading blogs has been for me as much about the personalized interface as about the text — actually, probably not as much, but the site design creates an important sense of the blogger for me, and I didn’t want to lose that.

Last week, though, I started thinking about the number of sites that don’t ping, whose updates I frequently miss out on. And then a couple of days ago I dreamed that I opened a Bloglines account.

Honestly. I dreamed about reading blogs via Bloglines.

So I figured this was an omen, and who am I not to follow its dictates? I’ve opened my Bloglines account, and have been adding feeds this afternoon.

But here’s the massively stupid question — and I do mean massively stupid, i.e., so stupid it’s not even included in the FAQ, because who could possibly ask a question like this:

What’s my Bloglines username?

When I created the account, I was asked to log in with an email address as my user id. But if you want to make your subscriptions public (and I may or may not), you are told to direct the folks you’re sharing with to “”. And clearly that username is not meant to be the user id/email address I created the account with. And when I attempt to update my user profile, where I’d assume such a username would be either created or stored, I get bupkis. The form has entries for first and last name, and whether you want those to be shown, but nowhere does it specify a username.

A little help…?

14 thoughts on “Probably the Dumbest Tech-Related Question Ever

  1. I believe your username is what comes before the @. At least it is for me. By the way, I have problems from time to time with people’s feeds not showing that they’re updated. No idea why that is. There’s a few I just have to check on once in while even though they show that they’re not updated.

  2. When I click on options (top right corner of left-hand frame), the right frame gives me lots of options (duh) but the interesting part is that I’m greeted at the top with “welcome tedernst” which is NOT the same as left of the @ in my email address. It is my name so is likely I chose that as my id, but I have no idea how or where or when.

  3. So, Ted is right… when you click on the “My Feeds” tab when logged into bloglines, the right-hand panel will say, “Weclome [USERNAME]”… what’s in the USERNAME space there is your USERNAME. I’m not sure how to change it if you don’t like it.

  4. Okay, but I’m still not getting it. I log in and click on “my feeds” and the right-hand panel sez “Welcome [my email address]”. And no part of my email address works as the variable in the URL for my public feed. All that’s before the @ is “kf,” and if I use “kf” as that variable, I get the subscriptions of a whole other KF.

    This whole process is making me feel increasingly dumb: when I click on the Share tab, I get lots of info about blogrolls and /public. And the topmost paragraph tells me that “to enable sharing, you must make sure that your profile allows sharing,” with “profile” linked to the edit profile pages. But nowhere in any of the edit profile pages do I find anything about allowing sharing. At all.

    [Moments later: problem solved. The trick is Account > Blog Settings. Despite what the page says, the fields do not just affect blogs and blogrolls, but also public subscriptions. Enter a username and set the thing to “yes.” Et voila. Many thanks, all.]

  5. I’ll up the ante on dumb questions.

    Can someone explain to me why clicking through a series of links in Bloglines is any different than clicking through a series of links in my blogroll?

    I mean, what I want is a list of posts from various blogs organized by date posted. So if I am watching blogs 1, 2, and 3, I might have a aggregation of blog posts like 1, 1, 2, 3, 1, 3, whereby those blogs each posted a new entry in that chronological order. In that case, I could see that blog 2 was responding to a post blog 1 had entered 20 minutes prior, or something like that.

    Does Bloglines do this? All I’ve seen is that Bloglines lists the feeds individually, which really doesn’t seem to offer me any advantage, and takes away from the pleasure of seeing people’s individual design styles.


  6. Bloglines does NOT do what you’re suggesting. Very interesting idea. I wonder if they’d be up for it if you asked them about it.

    What I really like about reading blogs in an aggregator (I use Bloglines) is that I don’t have to remember which posts I’ve already read. The ones I’ve already read just simply don’t show up.

    And, if I put related blogs into a folder and then keep the folder closed, it’ll turn bold when any of the blogs in the folder are updated and I can then click on the folder (still keeping it closed) and each of the updated blogs shows up, all on the same page. I have to click “expand” for each one, but if I do that for 2 blogs at the same time, I can read posts from both, all on the same page, not needing to click back and forth, but simply being able to scroll up and down.

  7. I’ve never double-checked by actually surfing to the site to see. I’m not aware of having missed something, but then I wouldn’t be, would I? šŸ™‚

  8. man i agree, i’ve read this, and i’ve clicked everywhere in bloglines – the thing is they make out it’s so easy and straightforward (that we don’t need to tell you how it works ha ha )

    .. and i still can’t get the public sharing thing to work šŸ™



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