What's Up With Bloglines?

Album Cover: No Line On The Horizon

"I'm running down the road like loose electricity while the band in my head plays a striptease."
U2 / Breathe

Posted on March 24, 2007 9:04 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

I took a look at my Apache logs tonight and noticed that I still have roughly the number of Bloglines subscribers as I did when I made the big switch a couple months ago. I guess that's a good thing, given that I went AWOL for a little bit pretty recently. More on that later...

The question I have now is, what's up with Bloglines? Are they innovating at all? Doing anything about Google Reader and its recent surge in users? From what I can tell over at their "blog," it sure doesn't look like it. But I'm not using their service anymore. According to the numbers, you just might be. So what's up with Bloglines? I'd love to know.


Yoel Roth on March 25, 2007 at 7:19 AM:

It's sort of amusing that you mention the lack of innovation on the Bloglines front, versus Google Reader. I'd been a devotee of Bloglines for ages, even though I tried Google Reader shortly after it was released, mostly because Bloglines was simple, fast, and organized things in a logical manner. And yet, after your post last night, I re-imported my Bloglines subscriptions into Google Reader, changed my home page, and have decided to give it another try.

While I'll admit that Bloglines isn't innovating, there's at least one way that it's clearly superior to Google Reader (in terms of how my brain works). Namely, I like having headings for different sites. While every post is clearly labeled and divided, if I open my "tech blogs" section, I want to know when I'm moving from reading a post on Scobleizer to something on Engadget. GR doesn't make the distinction as clear.

I'm still giving it time, though. I've always liked Google's designs, and the whole site seems "snappier" than Bloglines.


Bernie Zimmermann on March 25, 2007 at 7:41 AM:

Thanks for commenting, Yoel. I'm looking forward to hearing more of your thoughts on Google Reader once you've had more time to try it out. I think you may view your feeds differently than I do, because I read each subscription individually before moving on to the next. It sounds like you are using the "river of news" approach (I think I'm using that term correctly) where you get a random stream of posts from various feeds in each section. I think I had to change Google Reader to behave more like Bloglines (ironically enough), but now that I have I'm pretty much stuck on Google Reader. If you don't like the default view, you might try tweaking the settings to see if you can come up with a format that better suits your feed reading style.


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