Sorry, Bloglines

Posted in development, technology at 12:39 am by wingerz


I’ve fully switched over from Bloglines to Google Reader. And I feel horrible about it. Now in addition to knowing about my email, Google knows what I read online. Fortunately, I’ve switched over to using Yahoo Search so they don’t know everything about my digital self. Bloglines is a nice app, and I feel bad for leaving. In the end, it came down to a few features:

  • Marking read items: Google Reader marks items as you read them. If you open up a feed with many many items and don’t want to get through them in one sitting, this is awesome. In Bloglines, once you open up a feed, all of the unread items get marked as read.
  • Lots of items: Bloglines limits the number of new entries per feed to 200. In practice I run into this rarely, but it’s still a lame restriction.
  • Viewing past entries: Google Reader lets you scroll through already-read entries, while Bloglines makes you pick a time period (like “within the last 24 hours”) for retrieving entries.

I still hate the fact that Google Reader won’t let you assign a tag to a blog when you subscribe to it through Firefox 2’s button in the address bar.

One feature that I like about both is the ability to share entries in your own feed. Google Reader lets you do it with one click (“Share”) while Bloglines opens up another window to let you write some text to go along with a marked item. Google Reader should let you do this too because sometimes it’s not clear whether you are sharing something because you agree with it or because you think it’s somewhat outrageous. In any case, I’ve set up my shared items to display in the sidebar of my blog using Simple Pie, a php library (which comes with a WordPress plugin) for parsing feeds.

When I exported my OPML file, it included the Bloglines news feed, so I can keep an eye on new features that might bring me back.


  1. gdogg said,

    November 18, 2006 at 3:10 am

    I’ve switched from netvibes, which ended up being too slow. I really like Google reader. My main complaint is the same — not being able to write a short text snippet on why I’m sharing. Hopefully they’ll change that over time. Out of curiosity — do you use list view or expanded view? (I use list view). There are a few times it’s messed up and displayed the same post multiple times, but that may be the feed’s problem.

  2. wingerz said,

    November 18, 2006 at 7:16 am

    I usually use expanded view, but normally I’ll just use the keyboard shortcuts to skim through the headlines quickly.

  3. notawesome said,

    November 20, 2006 at 7:58 pm

    I have the same concerns about Google and privacy that you mentioned. Despite this post on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, I’m still sticking with NetNewsWire Lite:


    I’m already highly conflicted about Gmail, but have remained with it anyway. Still haven’t gotten around to blogging about these particular concerns. :-(

  4. wingerz said,

    November 20, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Completely agree with the above link about the search. There have been countless times when I’ve been talking to someone about something that I skimmed through quickly, only to not be able to find it later. Sharing and starring can only take you so far since there’s no way to predict what tomorrow’s lunch conversation is going to be about.

    I guess all we can do is hope that they’re not up to no good.

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