Friday, January 21, 2011

Feeding the Need to Read

The Hard-Boiled Poker RSS feedHad a nice comment today via Twitter from a reader (@tracyfm) who mentioned having added the Hard-Boiled Poker feed over at Google Reader. As it happens, I, too, have been spending some time this week with Google Reader adding a number of my favorite poker blogs.

I used to use Bloglines, logging in just about every day to see what the 200-plus folks I was following over there were writing about. At some point last year Bloglines began requiring users to enter one of those “captcha”-type codes in order to log in, something I’ll admit I found a bit tedious to do. I suppose there were good reasons for the added security, but the extra keystrokes actually might’ve kept me from logging in as often, as lazy as that sounds.

Then in the fall came news that Bloglines was going to go offline completely, at which point I stopped visiting the site. I believe Bloglines was bought by someone and saved, but I’ve moved on to Google Reader, where, like I say, I’m now busily adding all the blogs I have listed over on my Blogroll page.

All of which is to say that over the last couple of months or so, my reading of blogs had fallen off a bit, which is not something I’m so happy about.

I’ve always believed that writers need to be readers, too. If you want to write a decent blog (about anything), it’s worth your while to read others’ blogs on a regular basis, both to see what sorts of conversations are going on as well as to learn what makes a good blog post and what doesn’t.

You’ll discover some blogs are better than others, and thus more useful to you as a blogger than others. But they all help give you insight on what people are saying about a given topic, always of use if you decide yourself to share some observations or opinions about it.

BlogrollI suppose what I’m saying relates in a way to the subject of my last post where I was thinking out loud about trying to study poker more in addition to my playing. Feeling as though I am in a bit of rut at the tables, I think I can stand to benefit from stepping away and spending some time studying strategy (via videos, I’m primarily thinking) before returning.

Similarly, I have always believed that reading others’ poker blogs has (for me) been a kind of “study” that has helped me write my own. Indeed, before I wrote my first post here I was already reading folks like Iggy (our erstwhile “Blogfather”) and Dr. Pauly and a number of others, folks from whom I got the idea that writing my own blog might be something fun to try.

Keeping up with others’ blogs also often helps you find still more good ones to follow. (Recall Iggy’s legendary “uber-posts” that would send us all over the intertubes for various pokery goodness?)

I know my current Blogroll includes a lot of the good ones, but there are still more out there I’m undoubtedly missing. So if you have some recommendations, send ’em along. ’Cos I’m always looking for another good read.

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Blogger Loulou said...

Always surprised to see so few people using RSS. I don't use Google Reader (don't like the web interface) but Brief with Mozilla and I can follow so much great articles because of this. I really enjoy reading you and following your class I just bought Cowboys Full ;)

Really nice to follow you!

1/21/2011 4:05 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Wow - thanks so much for the mention and keep up the writing. Some blogs are easier to read than others, they tell great stories and don't make you feel like you are trying to plow through it. Your's is one such blog and I thank you for it. :-}

1/21/2011 7:19 PM  
Blogger The Shrink said...

"A good writer must be a good reader"

1/22/2011 10:16 PM  

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