I have almost 200 feeds in my subscription list and I spend at least 30 minutes a day going over them, usually more. For me, reading RSS is a crucial part of my business. I've been using Bloglines as my RSS aggregator for almost 5 years now. That is a lot. I regret to say that it is now time to say goodbye.
Bloglines served me for at least half an hour a day for 5 years. That is roughly 40 straight days. It is like an old friend and it has become older and older over time. I had a surge of hope, about a year and a half ago, when the company announced their new beta. Yet, nothing has changed since, the company seems inoperable and the hard core users are jumping ship. Feeds are not being updated on time, read/unread status is being lost and feed counts are a mess. Not to mention frequent outages.
Reading RSS is an important task and I tried many (most?) RSS readers, both web based and desktop applications (for OS X). The natural choice is Google Reader. I still think the Bloglines interface has some advantages, but the service has become totally unusable. Besides, Google Reader is moving forward while Bloglines is inert. For example, the main feature I was missing in the last time I checked Google Reader was the ability to manually rearrange feeds and it is now possible.
So, what I am still missing in Google Reader to make my experience complete:
- In Bloglines, when selecting a feed that has no unread items you may select to show read items from today only, this week or (X) most recent. This is a handy feature if you want to return to a recent post after reading it without loading the entire feed.
- In Bloglines, selecting a folder would show all the feed items grouped by feeds. In Google Reader it can only be ordered chronologically. This is truly annoying. I would probably refrain from reading folders and stick with reading individual feeds.
- Google Reader does not show site Favicons. Luckily, there's a script for that.
Finally, I want to thank the Bloglines team for their service over the years. I'm thankful for what I got and really wish it would end differently.