Bloglines

I use Bloglines all the time. Here’s what I love about Bloglines:

  • It’s an easy way to keep an eye on the blogosphere, or at least the parts of the blogosphere that I care about.
  • I can access it from anywhere and it saves my state. My browser knows the password, so it’s one-click from work/home/laptop to start reading Battelle, the Spam Huntress, Mapping Hacks, martinibuster, or even the wet/burnt dog hair guy at Yahoo, and I can always pick up where I left off.
  • I can choose whether to read a lightweight comic feed or tackle the voluminous-but-useful set of posts that is the Search Engine Watch blog.
  • I don’t have to worry about funky spelling, capitalization, or a name that sounds close to “Google” (pet peeve of mine). If the name were BloogleLyNes, I’d probably like it less. TiVo gets a pass on capitalization because they rock so hard, but I wish more sites chose easy, memorable spellings. I’m looking at you, kuro5hin and The Cap’n’s Log ;)
  • Bloglines’ favicon is clean, distinctive, and memorable. Easy to pick out from my personal toolbar folder.

Here is what I wish Bloglines would change:

  • As far as I can tell, you can only accumulate 200 posts from a feed before posts start dropping on the floor. Mark Fletcher, can you boost that to 400 or 500? I don’t want to have to check ThreadWatch that often; sometimes it puts me in a foul mood, so I’d rather save it up for a while and then read it all at once. ;)
  • Sometimes posts appear as unread more than once. I know that usually it’s because of an update to the post, but sometimes it doesn’t look like the post has changed. Maybe a different color instead of bold/black for updated posts?
  • When something has to go down for an upgrade, you see the [bloglines plumber]. Less plumber time is always good. :)

13 Responses to Bloglines (Leave a comment)

  1. Matt,

    If you love Bloglines you will love this tool, you can compare de Bloglines subscribers of to different blogs to know how many they share. For example: BoingBoing & Engadget.

    http://www.fernandoplaza.com/experimentos/02_suscriptores_compartidos.asp?lg=en

    I will include now your blog so you can compare your data.

    Thank you

  2. I agree Matt. I’ve been plugging bloglines for a while now, since it really blows away all the other readers in my mind. I really like the easy to subscribe bookmarklet they give you, and by keeping a link in my toolbar to my set of feeds, I can check them periodically througout the day.

    The public profile is pretty nice too. Find people with similar interests and see what they’re readin’. It would be pretty cool to see what else you read if you were willing. I’ll trade ya:)
    http://www.bloglines.com/public/stuntdubl

    They also make the import/ export real easy which is sweet for when you’re travelling to export all the feeds and download them right before you leave for some tasty RSS during your travels.

    The bloglines plumber has to be the coolest “we’re down” image ever. It’s always a bummer…but at least it’s humorous.

    I gotta say…for a free service, the customer service is fantastic too. I lost my feeds once and almost freaked (**Note to others – backup feeds). I wrote to them, not expecting much for help, but did get a helpful response within a very short time. Top notch.

  3. Ahh come on Matt, you know you love TW really :P

  4. Yeah, I love Bloglines too, mainly because of your second point, I can access it from anywhere and it saves the state. I got very bored, very quickly with desktop apps that were out of sync at home and at work.

    Don’t get the 200 post problme too much, but I do wish it looked a little nicer. It’s easy enough to read, it’s just a bit plain an uninspiring, and arguably some sites are easier to read if you actually visit them. Something I’m not keen on doing in all cases because of the number of feeds I have.

  5. I have a love-hate relationship with Bloglines.

    On one hand, it is very useful for all the reasons you’ve mentioned.

    But OH, what a headache it gives me!!!

    - Slow slow slow.
    - A UI from 1999. Could the Gmail folks perhaps stage a hostile takeover, please? :D
    - Have you tried re-organizing your feeds, putting them in new folders? I’d rather perform a root canal on an angry llama.
    - Have the Bloglines folks not yet heard of ajax? As much as I hate to admit it, Microsoft’s Start.com is heading in the right direction. Feedlounge, too, seems promising (though I’ve not yet gotten accepted as a tester).

    Seriously, I’d pay $5 a month to have a reliable rss reader online that’s intuitive to use, easy to customize/reorganize, and so on.

    Surely the geeks of the world can do better than bloglines?!

  6. Organize your subscriptions into folders. I currently have one folder holding at least 300 items

  7. And if you understand German, you have one more point to complain about… the Bloglines localization for my market was horrible when it debuted:
    http://blog.outer-court.com/archive/2004_12_03_index.html#110208516692067379

  8. Is this part of the secret project your working on matt?

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/40076

  9. Have to agree with Adam a little here – the User Interface … it’s horrible. Personally, I use Newsgator Online, which does not have as much of the features of Bloglines (but enough to get the job done) and is rarely down and has a pleasant user interface.

  10. I think it’s amazing how far bloglines has come along since this original post.

  11. Have to agree with Adam a little here – the User Interface … it’s horrible. Personally, I use Newsgator Online, which does not have as much of the features of Bloglines (but enough to get the job done) and is rarely down and has a pleasant user interface.

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