Reader or Email Subscription?

Reader or Email Subscription?
Image provided by Ed Yourdon

I have been blogging at WordPress.Com for a little over ten years. When I dwell on this fact, I start wondering why I haven’t paid more attention to this host site. Some of their improvements over the years, I consider to be utter ludicrousness. (Please don’t take the original editor away!) One of the many features I like about the WP site is the options provided to read the blog posts. As far as I know, no other blog host site has this aspect. (If I’m wrong about this, sorry.) All the same, I find myself perplexed about what option is the best — in any case, the best for me.


Email Subscription

Right now I have all the blogs I follow at WP under email subscription. Believe it or not, this doesn’t mean my inbox is bombarded with blog post notifications every day. I have them set up according to how often the blogger posts and how much my general interest in the blog or owner is.

The authors I’ve been following for what seems like decades (no, not really quite that long despite my years of being with the site itself), are usually in the category of daily alerts. I say usually because there’s a few in there who only post once a week. And, of course, I’ve adjusted the delivery of their pieces to the weekly slot.

The blog writers whose posts are not always in my line of enthusiasm are put on my weekly bulletin list. Some of their posts just don’t move me so there isn’t any reason to fill up my inbox with those notices. I still get them undoubtedly, but they come in one batch. I just scroll the email until I come to the pieces I want to read.

There is another category for email subscriptions from WP — instant delivery. I don’t know of anyone who would need this, but then my cyber circle isn’t all that large either. Could it be that some of the business blogs are that important to some of their followers? Could be.



I’ve used the reader at WP, but not for the daily and weekly activity. When using it in the group of the blogs I follow, I’m usually looking for the site address of one because I’m quoting something in my post from his or her blog. (I believe in giving credit where it’s due.)

Through the reader, a person can shop for blogs to follow, scan blogs WP recommends based on the type of blogs a person follows, or search for blogs by word tags. There’s even a place to list those most used tags. Mine is a list of tags about writing, general life, and the personal blogs.

As I stated before, I’m a little muddled as to whether I should continue to use my email inbox so profusely (even though it’s still manageable) or switch to the reader at the WP site.

I’m aware that I’d have to go through more blogs every day, and I’m not real sure if I want to do that. Still, I would be more inclined to read blogs I’ve ignored and just haven’t seen before, which could widen my scope of information and people to know.

When I first considered this change, I thought there may be a way to do both the email subscriptions and the reader in some sort of fashion. Mulling it over though, I realized that the site doesn’t have the capability to section the reader according to when the clients want individual posts. (Something for WP to consider, ya?)


Is it just an internal dispute about deciding how much time I want to spend in the blogosphere each day?

Do you prefer the email subscriptions or do you visit the reader often? What is the reasoning behind your preference?

A man without decision can never be said to belong to himself. – John W. Foster


12 thoughts on “Reader or Email Subscription?

  1. I prefer email notifications. I use the Reader, but sometimes, some of the bloggers I follow go on a reblogging frenzy and fill the reader. This causes some of my “regulars” to get lost in the noise. Also, I’ve had periods where someone just falls out of the reader for some unknown reason. If I like your blog, I subscribe via email.

    The thing I don’t like about the Reader, as a blogger and as a reader, is the fact that they don’t provide access to the other stuff people put on their blog page. I actually complained about this to WP. My complaint was: “why do you sell me a ‘premium’ theme, and then bury all the elements in the Reader?” They responded, but only to say “yes, that’s what we do.”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dan, maybe we need a community voice to tell WP about their shortcomings. Yes, there is the forum but I would think you’d likely get exactly what got when you sent your complaint. If there were enough bloggers posting articles about how they’re flubbing up around that same general time frame, maybe they’d pay attention.

      If I could have my druthers, I’d get the reader in my email inbox once a week. Do you think I want too much?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think you’re asking for too much. I opened a support ticket with them earlier this year. On things that didn’t work, they were actually helpful. On things I didn’t like, they (I’m guessing) shrugged. I see a lot of posts like yours. I honestly don’t think they care.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I read my blogs through the reader, and I follow over 250 blogs. That is certainly a lot of blogs to keep up. The reason I chose the Reader over email subscription is because I don’t want my email clogged up with notifications from WordPress, and I generally keep email for personal and work-related things. Blogging emails or notifications as I see it, don’t fall into these categories, but a separate entity by itself. There’s a need within me to be “unplugged” from blogging whenever I am not on here.

    I visit the reader twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. In the morning, I’d note down who has posted and then come back in the evening (or whenever I have time in between work) to check out the blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I certainly understand your need to ‘unplug’ anything “bloggy”. Although I check my email twice each day, I usually leave blog notices dangling in my inbox if I think I’ll need more time to read them than I want to put in at that time. I just feel the need to get away from the blogosphere before my mind explodes.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I tried the reader yesterday. It brought to my attention the fact that I had stopped a few email notices within my list of blogs I follow. Maybe I should treat the reader more as I would a social media site, hitting it hard about once a month. Hmm… 😉

      Just out of curiosity, are you continuing to be less visible on the blogosphere or have you come back with full stream?


  3. JoHanna Massey

    You inspire me that you have maintained your site for ten years. Just stepped over my one year anniversary of having a website.
    This essay of yours was especially helpful to me as I am trying to figure out what I want my website, and the way I respond to those I enjoy reading and following. The tip about adjusting the email to how often the writer posts is helpful. I only recently began to use the Reader. I like it, but it can ‘lose’ a site and I not catch it for awhile.
    All my best to you for the upcoming New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I tend to like the email notifications, as I do follow quite a few entrepreneurs and authors. Sometimes I forget one (especially if they do not post that often). If they blog multiple times in a week, I choose any weekly option they have (whether through wordpress or their own email list option). I like emails over the reader also because it helps with my online networking, and because as a content creator, I like providing a heads-up personally for my readers too.


    1. Even though I wrote this post over a month ago, I’m still undecided as to whether email or the reader is best here at WP because I’ve been hoping to make my email more of a place for personal correspondence. I do understand about wanting to give certain people a jump on events and articles though.

      Liked by 1 person

Please comment on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.