Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Pakistani Blog Aggregators

Once upon a time when I was a new blogger and didn't know very well about promoting my blog. And there was less trend to use Facebook, Twitter and the like to promote your blog and create reading community. People used to say that Blog Aggregators are the way to get traffic and reach wider audience. So for my Urdu Blog, and for this English one as well, I always searched for Blog Aggregators. The main focus was to get Pakistani Blog Aggregators but at times I tried to find other aggregators as well e.g. an aggregator related to Linguistics and ELT. During all this time searching for Pakistani Blog Aggregators I've found these (so far) which can help new and old bloggers to promote their websites. Because the way is old, but the effectiveness to reach wider audience is still there. People like things centralized, they don't want to visit blog to blog for updates so a Blog Aggregator is a good place to tell your reader that here is a new post. :-)
Ok let's come to business and start reviewing the Blog Aggregators I know so far.

Bloggers.pk 

Actually this is the very first aggregator I encountered while running my Urdu blog back in 2007. And until recently I was unaware of anyother ones. (That's another story that a Google search revealed a handful of them which we are going to discuss here, shortly.) This blog aggregator is good one and for a long time I've been a fan of it. I used to go to its link in my free time and read what English "Pakistanis" had to say. ;-)

Pros
  • Simple and clean interface
  • Listing of posts, no categories so reader can see every post regardless of category or blog type
  • Rating Like or Dislike
  • A ranking for top blogs
  • Highlights in terms of top posts
Cons 
  • In beta stage for a long time.
  • No response to emails sent though dev@bloggers.pk (I've asked to add my English blog several times, didn't find an answer).
  • No automatic way to submit your blog.
  • No RSS feed icon visible

Tea Break

Well this one I got while maintaining Khawar's news website. As I work as a translator for this website, sometimes I've to post the news as well. While visiting the website I found out the link backs in comments from Tea Break Pk and followed the link. That's not to mention that I immediately submitted both of my blogs here.

Pros
  • Interactive interface and good looking
  • Featured posts
  • Popular posts and comments
  • Proper website navigation
  • About, Join us, Bloggers everything needed by a new visitor
  • RSS feed icon visible and present
  • Feedback, Twitter and Facebook links
  • Categorisation to choose for the reader
Cons 
  • I felt difficult to go through segmented parts because I want to read everything until I am saturated. So might not be a negative point in your opinion.

Pak Positive: Pakistani Bloggers

Well this one I got from Google. It looked a kind of elite to me, when I saw appraisal notes from New York Times etc on the header of it. But that's my perception, let's see what it has to offer.

Pros
  • Interactive and rich looking interface
  • Positive reviews from world class newspaper and news agencies.
  • Guest posts
  • Member blogs
  • Join us link
  • Post snippets instead of mere listing (more appealing)
  • Email subscription
  • Social media i.e. food for Facebook, Twitter addicts on their very account on social media
  • A collection of professional looking Pakistani Blogs.
Cons 
  • Kind of restrictive and draining policy to submit your blog e.g. blog should be 3 months old, at least 25 original posts, place the linking badge where it is visible. Well, I should admit I was little bit annoyed on this much work :-D. As I am an easy going person, this may be a fault of mine not the blog aggregator.
  • No RSS link. I cannot survive without an RSS, so I do not subscribe to Pak Positive.

Pakistan Blogs

Well this one was a surprise for me, perhaps you may find yourself amazed as well to see what they've done. I got to this one through google of course. The unique thing for it is that it is created using blogspot. I cannot imagine a more innovative use of a free blogging service. It is still unclear to me how the admin updates the posts, as a blog aggregator should update automatically and blogspot does not allow any such facility. If you know please leave a comment clarifying how does it work actually.

Pros
  • Innovative use of Blogspot, a free service
  • Presence on Social Media
  • Email subscription
  • A cool AJAX based interface to read blogs. Click on Read Full Post icon and it will open actual blog suing AJAX. I loved this feature.
  • Comments, Tweet and Facebook Share for individual posts on the aggregator
Cons 
  • No RSS. When I tried to use default blogger RSS (just add /rss after a blogger/blogspot address, it'll lead to the rss feed of the blog), I got the link but the subscription didn't go well. As this is not using a dedicated hosting and aggregating software, the feed is not well formatted and readable. You don't know where the blog title ended and post title started and where did the body start. So I had to abandon it, and use Pak Blogging instead.
  • Looks like manually updated, since blogger/blogspot does not provide auto-update features (apparently).

Pak Blogging

Perhaps got its link from Cric Nam, or google but it looks promising. And more is that I sue its feed to read latest activities of Pakistani bloggers.

Pros
  • Simple and clean interface. The one I like, list of posts no categories scroll down and read whatever you want.
  • Contact, Badges, all the stuff a new visitor needs.
  • Straightforward Submit Blog link. No worries, no restrictions.
  • Categories and Recent Posts widgets for ease of browsing
  • RSS feed link, the one I love to subscribe instead of emails
 Cons
  • Well I suppose nothing is perfect so they should have something here as well. So Too Much Commercialization and adds on first page ;-)
Well I guess that would be all for today. I would suggest all of my readers to submit their blogs to these aggregators and every possible feed aggregator they come across on Internet (provided that it relates to their blog's field, origin and title :-D ). And do not forget to add to this list if I've missed something. Comments are always welcome. Have a nice day folks. :-)

6 comments:

Noumaan Yaqoob said...

Nice review. Aggregators are a nice way to find new readers Tea Break is the best Pakistani blog aggregator it is properly maintained and well kept. 

Yasir Imran said...

Nice informative post. 

eightyeight said...

Yes, some informative & nice reviews.... my comments

bloggers.pk is good, often down for long times but is the Biggest one around......
teabreak banned by my Hosting by pinging server badly or something i think so i dont use it sorry....
pakistanibloggers @ pakPositive are very selective and for "seasoned" bloggers......
i LIKE pakistanblogs blogspot! GREATT discovery by u and kewll interface, i submitted my blog.......
pakblogging is like Spam cheap loaded with ads but they are the only one posting aggregator regularly so i guess OK......

P.S. btw i discovered ur blog on google blog search :P so much for aggregaters!

Muhammad Shakir Aziz said...

Thanks eighteight. Keep on visiting you'll find other interesting things as well. By the way what's your blog address?

TeaBreak Admin said...

Hello, I just stumbled across your post and I really appreciate the reviews you've posted here. Also thank you for your kind words regarding TeaBreak.

I am specially interested in your comment (the con you mentioned) related to teabreak. You said "I felt difficult to go through segmented parts because I want to read everything until I am saturated.". I would like to understand a bit more about this and perhaps see if we can address your concern in future updates.Would love to hear back from you.

Muhammad Shakir Aziz said...

Actually the blogs are categorized according to topics. To if someone wants to just read the whole blog sphere on single page, there comes the problem. Categorization has its advantages but as I said, someone like me who is not interested in categories, he feels it difficult.

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