From Bloglines to Google Reader

October 31st, 2007

Bloglines ScreenshotUp until last week I used Bloglines to organize and read my RSS feeds. Since I have two computers and regularly access my feeds from both, I found this to be the best solution. While Bloglines satisfied my needs at first, over time I got more and more upset with their interface. Clicking on a feed automatically marks ALL items in it as read, no matter whether you actually read them or not. So if you have a feed with an already fairly large amount of unread items in it, you better work through them at one go, otherwise you’ll loose some. Trying to bring back items that you couldn’t read (because you maybe clicked on another feed in-between) by setting the display option to display “All items” will do the thing, although then you will still have to determine on your own, which items you have or haven’t already read. This got me to the point where I postponed reading some of my feeds until I could spare the time of struggling through 300+ news items and over time this got worse and worse. In the end I always just clicked on the damn thing to get it over with (not having read a single line:-)

The second thing I really missed was a search capability that lets me search in any of my RSS feeds. Even when setting the feed’s display option to show “All Items”, that only gives you the last 100 items instead of ALL as the control’s caption might suggest.


Enter: Google Reader (GR).Screenshot of Google Reader

I gotta say. I’m really impressed! Not only does GR present solutions and improvements for all of the weaknesses mentioned above, it also presents itself with a simple and intuitive interface. Clicking on a subscription actually gives you the whole feed…and I don’t mean 100 items, but the whole damn thing. The politics news cast of “Spiegel Online” for example is browsable back to Oct 2005. Upon opening a feed, GE pre-loads the first 20 items and then constantly streams in more, the further you scroll down. In contrary to Bloglines, items get automatically marked as read when you scroll by or click on them. This way you can actually read some updated items now and then continue dealing with any left unread items later. For me, the implemented full-text search, however, was the most determining factor when making the descision to switch to GR. Being able to search in RSS feeds makes information inquiry so much more uncomplicated. Although I can still mark or tag (or “star” as GR calls it) my feed items, at the moment I don’t actually feel like I need to anymore since retrieving them is so simple now.

What more can I say…try it yourself.

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One Response to “From Bloglines to Google Reader”

Ich freu mich, dass du auch auf google umschwenkst und die nützlichen Dinge siehst und keiner von denen bist, die die Finger davon lassen, “nur”, weil Google evtl. in manche Daten schaut. Die machen ihre Sache schon recht gut… :)

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