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July 18, 2008

Fav.or.it – A Community of Blog Readers

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As newspapers become less popular with younger readers, online journalism and blogging continues to gain popularity. Blogs, written with an informal voice and fresh perspective, often give us niche topics and unique stories that the traditional world of journalism cannot.

Avid blog readers subscribe to their favorite sites and view new entries using feed readers. These applications are used to assemble all subscriptions in one place for streamlined reading. Although the article itself is the focal point, there are also rich comment sections, where readers gather to talk about, dispute, and add to the blogger’s stories. Until now, feed readers haven’t been able to provide any of this within the application.

A new feed reader called Fav.or.it changes this, putting a unique spin on blog reading and making it possible for us to add comments to blog posts from within Fav.or.it and get suggestions on new blogs that we might like, based on our reading habits. Fav.or.it does have some limitations – especially for users who are used to more traditional reading applications. Still, the ability to participate in blog comments within a reader and find new blog postings is very exciting for blog fans – and a revolutionary way for new blog aficionados to begin participating in the blogosphere.

Practical Uses:

  • Browse blog postings for writers’ thoughts on celebrities,
  • Utilize Fav.or.it to monitor changes in gas prices and news about the fuel crisis
  • Search for ideas and inspiration on creating storage in small living spaces
  • Leverage Fav.or.it to find the stories that people are talking about most and share with friends and family

Insider Tips:

  • Use your Twitter, OpenID, or other online logins instead of creating a unique Fav.or.it registration
  • Use the Fav.or.it widget to create a badge that displays news or popular articles on your own website or blog

What we liked:

  • Fav.or.it allows you to seamlessly add your own comments to a blog posting, without ever leaving the reader interface
  • Fav.or.it tracks how long you spend reading posts to help you find more of what you already enjoy reading

What we didn’t like:

  • The interface “portal” isn’t completely intuitive and takes some getting used to
  • Fav.or.it limits blogs you can subscribe to, so you can only view feeds that are already within Fav.or.it’s database

Alternatives:

No comparable alternatives. Below are several popular RSS readers:

Company Info:

  • Launched: February 27,2008
  • Privately Owned (still in Beta)
  • Headquarters: Reading, United Kingdom
  • Founded by Nick Halstead
  • Web site: http://fav.or.it

Costs:

  • Free