Google Reader

A couple of days ago, I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader. I had started thinking about it a few weeks ago, when Bloglines was having some weird problems. Then they cleared up, and I stopped thinking about it. And then, of course, late last week there were more weird problems – every feed in my inbox was updating, in some cases showing me hundreds of old posts. This is not the point of an RSS aggregator. I gave up and exported my subscriptions from Bloglines and dumped them into a Google Reader account, and I’ve been using that since I think Thursday.

So far I like it. I like that you can toggle so easily between list view (headlines) and expanded view (stories). I prefer to go through my subscriptions feed by feed, so I tend to skip the homepage, where Reader mixes together all the updates from all your feeds. (I also feel like there is too much stuff on that page. There are three columns — the regular panel on the left with your updated feeds & navigation for Google Reader, the middle column with the stories themselves, and then a right column that has a box recommending new feeds and another box of ‘tips and tricks.’ It seems like I can’t get rid of the right panel. It’s not really busy, per se, but it still feels cramped.) The only ‘save’ feature I was using within Bloglines was the ‘keep new’ checkbox, which Google Reader also has.

I can’t see any reason to go back to Bloglines (except to bookmark the few things marked ‘keep new’), which is a shame. It feels like the end of an era, especially since I taught so many of my GSLIS classmates about RSS by getting them started with Bloglines. I hope they haven’t been too frustrated with it, or if they have they’ve given another reader a try.

UPDATE 11/19: Jon points out the Better GReader Firefox addon, which is pretty slick. You can get rid of the nav at the top and also bypass the “add to iGoogle or Reader?” page when you add a new feed. Thanks!

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2 thoughts on “Google Reader

  1. Love the Google Reader — the set up is easy and the format is navigable and I LOVE the share feature. I also like being able to star things and bump them to delicious. But most of all, I love using the little links at the top of every Google page to jump between Reader, Gmail, Calendar and any other function I use. The downside? Google runs my life. The upside? Google runs my life 🙂

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