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August 4, 2007

Blogroll Powered by Google Reader

Update (November 7): Google Reader implemented the feature described in this post.

Bloglines has a feature that lets you automatically create a blogroll from the feeds you've subscribed to. This way, you don't have to maintain your blogroll because it's permanently in sync with your subscriptions. "On many blogs, there are lists of links to other blogs. These lists are called blogrolls. You can incorporate your Bloglines subscriptions into your blog, as a blogroll, by including a small piece of HTML that loads a script from Bloglines."

Many people want the same feature in Google Reader, but don't know it's already available, albeit not in a transparent way. Because you don't want to include in a blogroll all your subscriptions, you could share a folder (in Google Reader, a feed can be placed in multiple folders). So how to convert all the subscriptions from a folder to a nice list that can be added to a blog?

1. You need to add all the blogs you want to share to a folder. This can be easily done from the settings: select the blogs, click on "more actions" and add them to that folder (Google Reader calls it a tag, but you should ignore that).

2. To make your subscriptions visible outside your account, the folder should become public. Go to the Tags tab from the settings and click on the small broadcasting icon next to your folder. The icon should become orange and the word "private" should be replaced by "public". In the screenshot below, cool-blogs is a public folder.

3. Copy the link for "view public page". It should look like this:[NUMBER]/label/[FOLDERNAME]

Then enter the link below and click on "Build".

4. Copy the code in your blog's template. In Blogger, you could paste the code in a new HTML/JavaScript element.

I've also included an option to save the blogroll as an OPML file that can be easily imported in most feed readers.

Customize Google Reader's clips

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