Since I’ve been blogging over the past 3-4 years, I’ve looked at several different software solutions. I’ve stayed with WordPress because it is simple and intuitive, but also allows me to maintain whatever level of control I desire through plugins and access to the code itself.
Nonetheless, Google’s Blogger offers a lot of nifty features, and sometimes I get jealous when WordPress can’t match up. One such feature is the blog list. Essentially, it is a feed aggregator that takes the form of a dynamic link list. My suspicion is that Google runs a specialized version of Reader to accomplish this. At the time of this writing, WordPress does not have this functionality included in the core version.
After much searching, I found Jan Weinschenker‘s Feed Reading Blogroll plugin. It does require some setup, but if you are savvy enough to host your own blog, you can probably handle it. (I am not sure if you can do this with a wordpress.com blog, as you need to be able to install the plugin.)
First, it requires that you obtain a key for Google’s AJAX Feed API. This is easily done and only requires a Google account.
There is an option to enable feed discovery through the Google API, and that works very well. It appears that the favicon image can be automatically discovered too, but for some reason the widget would not display it. I had to define each link’s favicon url in the link editor to get it to work; that can be tedious. My only other complaint is that some of the plugin’s setup options are redundant, and it’s hard to tell at first which takes precedent.
Overall, I’m very pleased that a plugin exists to match Blogger’s blog list. Hopefully this will keep someone else from having to search as long as I did.