Thing 6 – Blog Readers

I’ve been using the old Bloglines as my aggregator/blog reader for a while. I’ve been fairly happy with it, although there were times when it had trouble with feeds, and a few years back there were some privacy issues (resolved before I started using it). I only have 46 feeds in there (more than I can keep up with), and hadn’t added Blogger blogs I was following via my Blogger profile Dashboard. Since I was thinking about deleting even more feeds (more about this in my Thing 7 post), it seemed like a good time to try out Google Reader, especially since I already use Blogger, Picasa Web Albums, and Gmail.

And in fact, because I was already “following” blogs through Blogger, Google Reader set up was very easy. Google Reader automatically added all the blogs I was following through Blogger as subscriptions. Interestingly, it also added four other blogs automatically. Two were other Blogger blogs that I subscribe to in Bloglines – but don’t follow in Blogger. One was Leon Hale’s blog through the Houston Chronicle – I follow it in Bloglines, but it’s not a Blogger blog. The last one was really odd – a Blogger blog I used to follow in Bloglines, but dropped months ago. I can’t figure out anything these four blogs have in common that made them automagically appear in my Google Reader! Google Reader also put three of them into folders I did not create – but that make sense (friends, librarian, and Texas for Leon Hale), even though there’s nothing in the names of the blogs to indicate these classifications. I’ll continue to use those folders and add other blogs to them. Not sure why it didn’t place the fourth one (a Blogger blog) in a folder.

I haven’t worked with Google Reader long enough to make any real comparisons. However, I found a number of blog posts and articles that DO compare them:
Google Reader vs Bloglines Beta (Phil Gyford 12-17-08)
Bloglines vs. Google (CAKES: learning technology blog 12-16-08)
Bloglines Returns to Challenge Google Reader – Thank Goodness (ReadWriteWeb 10-20-08)
Aggregators: A quick note ([librarian] Walt [Crawford] at Random 10-12-08)
Bloglines vs. Google Reader (JenG, Rutgers library school student 9-28-08)

I’m glad I found these links because I hadn’t realized the Bloglines Beta version has been out for about a year and a half now! I immediately opened my Bloglines with that and I like the interface MUCH better. For one thing, One-Minute Book Reviews, a blog I read regularly, now formats correctly in Bloglines Beta:

Bloglines Beta:  One-Minute Book Reviews

Bloglines Beta: One-Minute Book Reviews

Looks like I’m going to have to play around with both of these, Bloglines Beta and Google Reader, for a while to figure out which one I like best. I’m leaning a bit towards Bloglines Beta just because I hate to see Google pulling a Microsoft.

I’ve tried to use the RSS read/feed feature within Microsoft Outlook at work, and it doesn’t work properly.  I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that I access my work e-mail from four different computers, sometimes two at the same time.  I understand Firefox has an add-on RSS reader, but if that will just clog up my toolbar, I’m not interested.  My (and my husband’s) vision isn’t so hot any more, and we have screen resolution at home set to 800×600.  That makes for a pretty small screen as it is, and I don’t need any more toolbars on the top of the page than the one I have to have!

I’ll write more sometime next week or the week after. I will be in New York City May 30 through June 3, and it’s going to be a REAL vacation – I will only use a computer to print the boarding passes for the return home! Tomorrow I need to get a bunch of things done before we go.

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