Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the three views: Original, Feed, and Story?
NewsBlur defaults to Feed view, which is the plain ol’ RSS feed from a given site. (You might recognize this look from Google Reader.) But we know a lot of people enjoy reading in the original design and typeface of a given site, which is why we also offer Original view (which shows the entire original site) and Story view (which shows each individual blog post from the original site, one story at a time). That sound you just heard? It’s a thousand web designers sighing with pleasure.
How do I view a story in Story View?
To temporarily open up a story in Story view, just double-click. The next story you open will revert back to the view you were using before. Double-clicking a Feed will open up the feed in a new tab.
Am I actually at the original site? Can NewsBlur see what I see?
Well, not exactly. In order to show you a site in Original or Story view, NewsBlur takes a snapshot of the page when you switch over. So if you log into the real site, it might not look exactly the same. We do this because it helps everything load more quickly, and no one likes waiting.
Why doesn't NewsBlur follow me when I click on links on the page?
Since NewsBlur runs as a webpage, clicking on a link means you’re technically leaving our site, although only for a portion of the page. In order to track what you're reading, you need to read NewsBlur's snapshot of the page, or switch to the Feed view.
There’s a way to fix this so it works like you would expect, but it’s pretty difficult to do. We’ve got a lot of other big priorities that come first, and we also like to have some time for things like eating dinner and watching television and playing with random dogs we pass walking down the street, so it hasn’t happened yet. If you really want to see it change, drop us a line, and we’ll consider it if the response is big enough.
What do the three bullet colors next to stories mean?
are stories you don't like
are stories you have not yet rated
are stories you like
How does NewsBlur know whether I like or dislike a story?
Our favorite thing about NewsBlur is that you can teach it your preferences every time you read a story. When you like or dislike something you read, you can click the button at the bottom that says “Train This Story.” You’ll be presented with a whole list of characteristics about the story, including the author, the title, any tags, the blog from which it comes, and the person who shared it. Everything defaults to yellow, which is neutral—you neither like or dislike it. But if there’s an author on a blog you particularly like, or a particular category you want to know more about, you can use the thumbs-up button to mark it green. The same goes for authors, categories, and even whole blogs that don’t really strike your fancy.
What's the point of training your feed?
The more you train NewsBlur, the more able it is to dish up stories that suit your interests. So if you read a blog that covers both politics and sports, but you only like politics, or a blog where you love Author A’s work but not Author B or Author C’s, NewsBlur will only give you stories about politics and stories by Author A. That means less stuff to sort through, and more time playing with random dogs you pass while walking down the street.
Why should I invest the time to train my feed?
We know that training is time-consuming, which is why NewsBlur is still a good RSS reader even if you don’t much feel like training it. We want to eventually develop an automated way of detecting stories without you having to train NewsBlur, but that’s still in the future. In the meantime, consider the time you put into training it now as an investment in your interest and attention at a later date.
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