Saturday! So here’s something light and easy (but quite important) to catch up on.
I really don’t want to bore you with nitty gritty backend logistical stuff, but some changes and shake ups are happening around the internet that may (or may not) affect some of you, especially those of you who subscribe to receive blog updates via email (not just from my blog, but from other blogs you may have subscribed to, to receive email). So I thought I’d update a few things at a go, maybe teach you something new or two about organizing your blog reading, and also update you briefly about the Readers Choice Awards 2012 shortlisting and the annual Celebrate October giveaway news.
Feeds, Subscriptions, Emails… wha?
Briefly by way of background, updates from this blog have been served to you by Feedburner, a free Google owned service since time immemorial. However, there are news that Google is going to do away with this service soon. Bah humbug! So what does it mean for you?
If you subscribe via Email
You may stop receiving email updates. Or you may not. Everything is very hazy at this point.
I know a substantial number of you receive blog updates via email and I don’t want you to miss out. Yet, I am not quite ready to switch to a different provider, because of various reasons, primarily due to uncertainty of service, and pricing. The latter may require the selling of various body parts – anyone up for a gently used kidney? 😛 So while I try and work out which is the best option, I’m shutting down all new email subscriptions. What this means is I remove the button from the blog sidebars that allow you to subscribe via email. Existing subscribers should continue receiving updates until I know for certain that Google has pulled the plug. You may have noticed that I no longer display the number of feed subscribers on my blog, primarily because some time in September 2012, it was showing a big fat 0 for a few days and I was upset. I knew you were all still reading, but telling the world that 0 people read my blog is depressing and demoralizing 😛
However, I’d like to share that a reader, Lisa emailed me recently to let me know that when she receives her email updates she cannot view pictures nor click on any links. I subscribe to my own email updates (Bloggers, this is good practice, so you know when something goes wrong) and I did not experience the same problem as Lisa did. I don’t know if anyone else experienced this. However, as I could not replicate it, I suggested that instead of depending on email, she could consider subscribing instead via RSS (more on this later) with a service like Bloglovin’ or Google Reader. She later let me know that she used Bloglovin’ and she loves it so I was very happy to know that!
If you subscribe via a RSS Feed Reader
You don’t have to change a thing. Well almost. I’ve reverted to my original blog feed which reads
http://www.mywomenstuff.com/feed so if you subscribe to my blog through a feed reader, just go in there, edit the feed and input this one and everything is good. You may not need to change anything either, so don’t worry about it.
What options do I have other than Email updates?
There are many options available out there but I will only tell you of a couple that I am familiar with – Google Reader, Bloglovin’, Hellocotton, Facebook and Twitter
Google Reader – This is linked to your Gmail account and allows you to keep all the feeds from your favourite blogs in one place. I use this one myself, and you can even group your feeds together according to interest. I find it easy to use and I can read at my leisure, without having to deal with over 100 emails as each blog updates. To subscribe, just go to the link, sign in with your GMail address, click on the orange Subscribe button on the left, input the blog address e.g. mywomenstuff.com and the feed will automagically be imported for you.
Bloglovin‘ – This seems to be very popular amongst beauty and fashion bloggers mainly because it seems to be very image/visually pleasing. Each update shows you a picture of what the blog post is about, and you can just click through to read the post in its entirety. Its similarly easy to keep track of all the blogs you read in one place and uses a separate login. You can subscribe to MWS through Bloglovin’ through this link.
HelloCotton – This is similarly a women and beauty/fashion blog focused rss feed aggregator and community based. There are many new blogs to discover too which is of course, fun. If this appeals to you, you can follow MWS here.
My personal preference is Google Reader because it shows you text and I’m all about text 🙂 Its also because I subscribe to many non-beauty/fashion blogs, many of which are text heavy so it makes sense for me to use it.
Facebook – This is quite self-explanatory 🙂 New updates on the blog are automagically posted on the MWS Facebook page as they go live so if you are an avid Facebook user, then you may appreciate the notification. If you don’t use Facebook a lot (I don’t for personal uses) then the options listed above maybe a better choice if email goes under.
Twitter – Again it is self-explanatory. New updates are posted to Twitter as it goes live. However, it also means that you have to also put up with my rantings and ramblings on Twitter, that perhaps not everyone will enjoy 😛
Bookmark the blog – Oh there is one more way of keeping track. The traditional method of bookmarking 🙂 Just hit Ctrl+D on your keyboard and the blog will be bookmarked in your browser so you can check on it manually for updates.
But I just want to get updates by email!
I hope to continue providing updates via email but as I have said, it is dependant on Google for now while I check out other options. Hopefully its all a case of crying wolf and putting the cart before the horse and nothing happens.
I hope all this made sense to you. If it doesn’t, or if you have questions please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll address it and walk you through anything necessary to the best of my ability. My apologies for all this hassle, but I am trying my best to minimize disruptions for you and me.
MWS Readers Choice Awards 2012 – update
I’ve got assistants (swank!) helping me shortlist your nominations, and the voting form should be available on Monday. I forsee lots of surprises this year, and many many changes. Also, many nominations had to be disqualified for lack of detail. So if you didn’t see your faves in the shortlist, there was either insufficient nominations received (only the Top 5 are shortlisted for voting) or you didn’t give enough product information for us to include your nomination.
Its quite exciting so look out for the voting form and don’t forget to vote and let your preferences be heard!
Celebrate October – Annual Giveaway
And we get to the meat of the post that I know most of you scanned this post for 😛 Is it any wonder I left the best for last? 😉 “Celebrate October” is an annual giveaway or series of giveaways I run on my blog in the month of October. The choice of month is not arbitrary nor accidental 😉
This year, as was with last year, the Celebrate October giveaway is to be run in conjunction with the MWS Readers Choice Awards 2012 Voting. Each time you vote, you will be entitled to be entered into the draw to win some very nice prizes as I have collated and set out below.
This year, the loot will be divided by 3 winners. So 3 gift packs will go out with a random selection of items from the pool you see here 🙂 It will be open worldwide (of course, because I know MWS readers are a lovely international lot!) but fragrances will not be sent overseas.
Whilst you may only choose to vote for the categories you find relevant to you, participants in “Celebrate October” MUST vote in
ALL categories a minimum of 28 categories. Failure to do so will disqualify your entry. It doesn’t get more simple. If you choose not to participate in Celebrate October, you can easily opt out, and you will not have to leave your name nor email address.
Multiple entries are allowed and the prize winners are based on the luck of the draw, so you know all about probabilities right? 😉
And that ends our MWS Housekeeping Bulletin. There has been quite a lot to take in, so if you don’t understand any part of what I’m going on about, please do ask in the comments and I’ll help you out where I can. In a nutshell, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to, but I’d really hate to lose you as a reader if Google decides to be a pain in the arse 😛
Enjoy the weekend!