I love Bloglines, but this article in TechCrunch has me looking at the alternatives. One that I really want to like is Rojo, which has all sorts of social Web goodness built into it. I LOVE the fact that I can tag individual posts…kind of like a built in del.icio.us. Of course, every tag has it’s own rss feed, which creates all sorts of possibilities. And the recommendation feature a la digg is also very cool. But for some reason, Rojo doesn’t seem to update as consistently as Bloglines. And I have to remember to mark all of the posts read manually instead of just marking stuff I want to keep as with Bloglines. And finally, I guess I just really like the framed Bloglines page which doesn’t require a refresh every time I click on something. This is one of those “wish I had the best of both worlds” moments.
The other one I’ve been playing with is Gritwire which is AJAXalicious and therefore fun to play with. It has a wiki function built in as well as podcast support through the Grit Wire Media player (which is a pretty nifty little app.) But even with all of that, it’s just not as simple as Bloglines, somehow. Maybe it’s just old habits.
So, can anyone give me a reason to switch from Bloglines? Anyone using FeedLounge or Google Reader (which got the highest ratings in the TechCrunch article)?
Robert Greenberg says
I’m a longtime reader of your blog, this is my first time joining in the conversation. Thanks for the constant stream of inspiration!
Over the past two years, I’ve been teaching a course called “Digital Literacy” at a public high school in Westchester County, New York. As the title suggests, the course endeavors to give students opportunities to experience the read/write web.
What I’m looking for (for student use) is a tool that seamlessly combines the functionality of a web-based feed reader with a blogging platform.
What I like about this combination is that it opens up opportunities like this sequence:
–using a feed reader, student finds an article s/he wants to keep
–student “clips” article to his/her blog along with a statment describing why s/he chose to save the article and/or a reacton to the ideas/information in the article
–I as teacher and/or fellow students can watch (and respond, as appropriate) to that stream of clipping and reflecting.
Bloglines comes the closest to what I’m looking for, and it also has the benefit of being simple to use and (relatively) reliable. My problem with Bloglines is that it I (and other students) cannot share comments in response to individual blog postings the way we can in other blogging platforms like TypePad, which in my view make Bloglines’ blogging platform unfit for academic use.
Ergo, our current classroom practice is to live in separate worlds, using two different applications for what they do best: Bloglines for feed-reading and TypePad for blogging.
Reading your (and TechCrunch’s) comments about the expanding functionality set of web-based feed readers makes me wonder if there’s a solution out there that I’ve missed that has a combination-of-feeds-plus-blogging…can anyone help?
PS To my mind, Yahoo! also solves some but not all of the equation. The Yahoo!360 tool offers a “good enough” blogging platform in combination with a “not good enough” web-based feed reader: Yahoo!360’s feed reader is worthless; MyYahoo! is a little better but is not (as the TechCrunch article points out) “industrial strength”; I like how Yahoo! has integrated an RSS reader into Yahoo! Mail but Yahoo360 (blogging) and the Yahoo! Mail product (with RSS reader) are not housed within the same interface.
Steve Lazar says
Will…I used the Google Reader when it first came out, mainly for it’s keyboard shortcuts, but within a couple weeks of that I switched back to Bloglines when it added similar features. Bloglines made it easier to read either by feed or by folder.
In the past couple weeks, I switched to NetNewsWire on my laptop (where I do 95% of my reading). It’s much faster and better designed, not to mention it integrates with ecto. I also picked up a script that allows me to post to del.icio.us from within the reader without having to open the page. NetNewsWire also syncs up with my Bloglines account, so I can still use it when I am not on my main computer (though NetNewsWire can also sync between multiple macs).
Vivian Chao says
Hey Mr. Richarson!
I heard about your book from Ms. Manfredi, so I thought I’d google you up and lo and behold, I found a million and one sites about you. Anyways, I haven’t tried Bloglines or anything, but I downloaded the Google Sidebar and it’s so exciting! The “Web Clips” section lets me stalk all my friends (check their blogs) without actually having to go to each one separately because it’ll show the most recent posts. And plus, you can download additional components (like Sudoku!).. but that’s just me being a nerd.
Oh, if you get a chance… you should check out http://www.cyworld.com which is like the ultimate social network (in my opinion) for Koreans. I actually lucked out and was able to get one before they started requiring korean social security numbers. either way, it’s like a combination of blog/xanga/livejournal, myspace/friendster/facebook, msn/aim/icq… and so much more. it’s a cool site to check out, but you might need some korean translation. Anyways, I should go and do some homework or something. Take care!
Hi Will – I just read you book – it’s great to find all of that info in one place – very helpful. I’ve been using netvibes.com to bring in all of my feeds (or at least my top feeds). I think it might be my visual learning but I like to see them in all in one web page. Though the page can get very big – so for all of my “secondary feeds” – I check in with them every few days using either Firefox’s tabs or Safari’s RSS feed reader.
This is also my first addition to the conversation on this site. I learned of your work through Paul Allison (http://www.nycwp.org/paulallison/), and have found your site and your book very useful. Thank you.
I’ve been using Bloglines for a while now and really like its simplicity and the ability to easily share my “blogroll” with others.
When I saw your post, I thought I’d try out some of the others and found Rojo to be the highest rated. I agree with you that Rojo’s tagging system has great potential, but so far, I’ve found it too “messy.” I’m pretty tech-savvy, but though I’ve played with it for a few days, I still feel a bit lost in the interface. I also couldn’t find any easy way to share my blogs/tags with others (unless they were also Rojo-users or I installed a “badge” on my site).
So, for now, I’ll stay with Bloglines and hope they start adding new features soon … like tagging, a better blogging platform, etc.
Thanks again for the great work!
Vicki Davis says
I love bloglines too. For ease of blogging I’ve started using Google reader which lets me blog directly from my reading. I went to my public bloglines page and exported my feeds as an OPML and imported into Google Reader.
I still use bloglines heavily but since I use blogger, I use Google Reader to sort the most recent information and blog it directly to my blogs by clicking blog this.
I think Google Reader has been the best alternative to bloglines but I hesitate to feed the giant, I guess. For now I use both.