Bloglines Revisited

bloglines.gif I’ve been using Bloglines a lot more since my last review of it. Mark Fletcher did a pretty good job of taking care of my caching concern, and known bug in Safari. So I got some of the bad out of the way, what’s good?
First off, the UI is top notch. I can’t think of a better running ECMAScript interface on the web. Then there’s the fact that Bloglines does a pretty good job at handling RSS feeds and updates. When using a computer based system, I run into the two big problems: it doesn’t update when my computer is shut off and it doesn’t synchronize what I’ve read. Bloglines does both of these.
But Bloglines also does things that standard news readers don’t or can’t. It lets you create searches across all RSS feeds, which you can recreate with Feedster. It lets you create email addresses that you can read like RSS feeds, which you can recreate with dodgeit. It can turn your RSS feeds into a Blogroll, which you can kind of recreate with BlogRolling, although it’s not automatic. It uses collaborative filtering to create recommendations for RSS feeds you might like, which I have yet to find a service that does.
Finally, you can show off your own subscriptions, which I’ve found to be a pretty effective way to show people how cool RSS feeds are. So if I dissuaded you from looking at Bloglines before, give it a shot. It’s become my RSS reader of choice.

10 thoughts on “Bloglines Revisited

  1. Glad to hear the Safari issue got quashed. Bloglines continues to impress, especially as I see the flood of new stand-alone tools, such as PubSub or Feedster, that duplicate just one aspect of Bloglines’ featureset. Good stuff.

  2. I still like the blo.gs interface better. I just want to see which sites have been updated recently, not the individual entries. Too bad blo.gs requires sites to actively ping it if they’re likely to be noticed (what with weblogs.com being so unreliable and fast-moving these days).

  3. Feedster was offering blog search and subscribe-to-search options for about 6 months before Bloglines. OTOH Bloglines had a newsreader for many months before Feedster started offering its own (myFeedster).

  4. George makes a pretty important comment when he says: “the fun thing about writing about RSS search engines, they always notice”. I think he was referring to appearance of a comment from Betsy Devine of Feedster. Well, let me assure you that we at PubSub.com also saw the post through our own subscriptions… as we see all the other posts that mention us.
    Frankly, even though I spend all day building this stuff, I’m personally amazed by how well tied in with the conversation we are. I’ve been developing software products for over 25 years but this is the first time that I’ve actually felt like I had a sense of “what people out there are really saying”… It doesn’t matter if someone in India complains about something not working right or if someone in California says we’ve got a wonderful service — we see it all almost instantly! This is cool stuff.
    bob wyman
    CTO, PubSub Concepts, Inc.
    come visit us at PubSub.com

  5. What Bob says is very, very true. We’ve been listening to what people say about us since, oh, 2 days after starting. Its been a huge development aid. Just plain huge.
    Scott
    Founder, Feedster

  6. Well, gee, since everyone else is here, I might as well jump into the pool as well. 🙂 Thanks for the great compliments about Bloglines! Please let us know if you have any suggestions for how we can improve the service.

  7. Maybe more like an RSS virtual hot tub party?
    Scott, you bring the munchies. Mark, do you have some CDs with mood music? Bob, some funny webby anecdotes? I’ll mix the Margaritas–George, a great party, and thanks for the invite!

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