Monday, March 12, 2012

hello cotton {review}

With the changes to Google Friend Connect earlier this month, I've noticed a lot of bloggers have been moving away from using it. Even though I use blogger, I did away with the widget on my blog about a month ago and have given readers the option of using Bloglovin or Hello Cotton to follow my blog. Some bloggers may be anxious about change or just don't have time to play around with it on their own, so I thought it would be helpful to introduce Hello Cotton for those who may not be familiar with it.

I've been using Hello Cotton for a few weeks now. About two months ago, I blogged about my experience with Bloglovin' and what I liked about using it to follow blogs. I've been slowly moving away from Google Reader, mostly because I love that these other options allow me to view blogs as they are laid out with fonts and text colors. Sometimes, I felt like I was missing out following along in Google Reader.
My page (shown above) allows you to complete your own page (don't worry there are only four fill-ins plus an image) and it acts as an intro to your blog. It shows a photo (gravatar), your blog name/link, and gives you space to add a tag line or whatever intro you want to give. It also highlights your previous posts in a list with an image and snippet.
Each time you login, the newsfeed shows how many new posts have gone up since the last time you were on Hello Cotton. Within the newsfeed, you can see one image from the blog post and a snippet. As someone who follows a lot of blogs typically, this can be helpful to scan and see what you want to read (if you're pressed for time). Even if you don't view all the blog posts in the newsfeed, they won't appear as 'unread' the next time you are on the site.

Other features worth noting:

  • The categories feature makes it easy to find other blogs based on what categories they're listed under. You can search for other DIY or design blogs or whatever you're interested in. 
  • It's simple to follow other blogs as you're discovering them on the site. Simply click on the follow button and they will be added to your newsfeed.
  • There are also buttons you can easily add to your blog so readers can follow along right from your blog. One is a button (see my right sidebar) and there's a mini-profile that looks similar to the GFC widget.
  • Another one feature I like, allows you to like other posts. It makes it easy to bookmark posts you want to return to. A list of your liked posts shows up on your account page.
  • There's a talents directory which features popular blogs along with newcomers. I really like how they feature new blogs and not just well-known ones. 
  • They also have great social media integration for Twitter and Facebook. You can even link your profile to Facebook. I haven't used this feature, but it is there.
Have you tried Hello Cotton yet?

11 comments:

  1. I've been on bloglovin for awhile now, but I'm not in love with it. I might have to try this out next time I'm on!

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  2. I like hellocotton a lot better than bloglovin', honestly. I like the way it's set up & it has been a really friendly place so far!

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  3. i've signed up!! but haven't really used it as much as i should!

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  4. Thanks for posting this - it was really helpful! I have been wondering about this whole hello cotton thing. I think you might have convinced me to sign up =).

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    1. glad you enjoyed it and I hope you love hello cotton! it's a great community :)

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  5. I'm loving Hello Cotton! I hope that more people hop on board asap : )

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    1. I know, right?! I figured it was a good plan to blog about it and spread the word :)

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  6. Hello Cotton is really excellent, such a great interface too!

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