Beyond Bloglines

For three or four years now, I've used Bloglines. As of right now, I'm getting 434 feeds, which seems like a case of healthy curiosity turning into a vice. There have been periods when I've just ignored it entirely for weeks at a stretch. The experience of "clearing the lines" -- going through postings at high speed to wipe out the backlog -- carries skimming to new intensities of indifference. But I can't take seriously the idea that that sort of thing is antithetical to serious reading. It's been a way, however flawed, to keep up with conversations and citations, and has led me to any number of books or PDFs that I might not have heard of otherwise.

All in all, then, Bloglines has served its purpose reasonably well, and it's a nuisance that it shuts down on November 1st. (Originally this was to have happened October 1st.) It is possible to store and (presumably) transfer my list of feeds, or so I am told, and I should do this soon.

But I haven't looked into another reader yet. Any thoughts -- positive or negative -- about Google Reader or other aggregators? 
October 21, 2010 2:36 PM | | Comments (6)

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6 Comments

After looking around desperately for a good non-google solution for a text-oriented reader, and failing to find one that's cross-platform and cloud-based (as bloglines was) I switched to Google Reader. It's a lot like bloglines 2.0, in feel, very easy to adapt to. My main problem with it is that I'm using the iPad for a lot of casual browsing these days, and GR doesn't play nice with the iPad Safari. (neither does twitter, by the way, though the mobile version is better) So I got a free GR shell app (Feedler, which I'd give about a 7 out of 10, but most of the other ones I looked at were worse. I might invest in the pro version soon) which I've adapted to quite quickly (the general problem of not being able to switch painlessly between apps aside).

Google Reader seems to have fixed the issue that used to bug me (when new posts would show up when you were getting close to the end of your last batch, you wouldn't be able to read the new ones). It's pretty good.

Jonathan, did you try Reeder? I like it pretty well, and it links reasonably to Safari.

Scott, I'm a Google reader fan as well, but I made that choice a few years ago, so it's hard to say what else might be out there. I'm also sufficiently far behind in the gadget acquisition curve that I don't have Jonathan's issues.

I wrestle with the same problem of "too much", and recently went on a bit of a purge, which has helped.

Thanks to everyone who has responded. Elsewhere (on Facebook and Twitter) people have been pointing me to Netnewswire as well as Google Reader. I'm leaning toward the latter -- unless anyone has a major criticism of it to lodge.

Apart from the point that Google is like something Philip K. Dick might have come up with during a bad trip, which I take as obvious.

I should acknowledge, then, that I work for that same Dickish transcontinental entity. But I would have said the same about Reader even before signing up.

(Trembles in abject submission before digital overlord.)

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