Ever have one of those a-ha moments when reading something? Where the lightbulb goes off over your head, you hear a chorus of angels singing, and a herd of unicorns gallops by? I had one of those last week, and it's still awesome (aside from the torn up yard from those galloping unicorns)!
What caused this epiphiny? Glad you asked! While bopping around the blogosphere, I came across a link in the comment section of Kathy's Ms. Martin Teaches Media blog. It led me to Annette of Annette's Book Spot, who posted back in June about Loving the Next Button on Google Reader.
As explained on Google, the Next button allows you to use Google Reader through just one link - clicking on it takes you to the next unread item, marking it as read in the process. No more having to click through to each post you want to leave a comment on! Even if you don't comment on a post, the blog gets that all-important "hit" to mark your visit. Like Annette says, it's a win-win!
Intrigued, I decided to add the Next button to my toolbar to find out if it was as incredible as it sounded. I follow an awful lot of blogs, so also installed buttons for certain tags so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed. Right now I have the general button and three specialty buttons on my toolbar. While Google Reader helps me manage my subscriptions, the Next button makes it even easier!
I admit it...I can be lazy sometimes. I'll read a post, but it's just easier to go to the next one than open the blog in order to leave a comment. Yea, clicking is sometimes too much trouble. I admitted I can be lazy...what more can I say? But ta-daa! The Next button makes it easy and my commenting has gone way up!
Okay, starting to feel like I'm in an infomercial now...
Anyway, it's been over a week now and I'm still in love with the Next button. Commenting has gone up, and I get to see all the beautiful blog designs that I was missing by reading via Google Reader only. So if you use Google Reader, I definitely recommend checking out the awesome Next button (in settings, under Goodies)!
And if you have any other tools that make your blogging life easier, please share!