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Bloglines Beta -- not yet

I tried out the new Bloglines Beta to see if it could win me back from Google Reader. I had stuck with the original Bloglines for quite awhile, even through the first release of Google Reader, but it has stagnated under the guidance of Ask.com. Bloglines Beta is the first real attempt to catch up with Google Reader 2.0 and, for the most part, that's all it really is. It adds new message reading views that are pretty much restyle-ized versions of Google Reader. The one notable exception is that you can drag-and-drop feeds onto a "Start Page" for that My-Yahoo-ish feel.

I wasn't particularly won over. The two major annoyances for me are:

  1. You can't read "Everything". In Google Reader, I like to breeze through All Items if I'm not feeling picky. The Bloglines Beta requires you to view their fancy new "Start Page." This forces you to read folder-by-folder, which for my habits is a bad choice.

  2. There is a major bug for the speed readers. I tend to type "j" quickly to go through one item after the next. It will often jump to the next feed before finishing the one I was scanning through. My best guess is that it caches a certain number of items from the current feed and thinks you've reached the end when the cache is empty, instead of fetching more items.

These are both fixable, but as they both pertain to my feed-reading workflow, there's no way I can make the jump. I ran across these annoyances within a minute of using the new Bloglines.

Comments (4)

Hi, thanks for taking a look. We are aware of that jj bug (it's bugging me too), and working on it! Hopefully we'll iron out all of the rough edges soon. :)

Gordon McCreight:

The problem with Google Reader, and most likely with any other reader service, is that *they* decide when to slurp the feed. This isn't a problem with the bigger feeds like Slashdot because they realize that they need to slurp it every ~10-15 minutes, but it can be a problem with smaller feeds which they decide to slurp only every several hours. As far as I can tell, they ignore the TTL attribute in the feed, so if you're the feed's provider, you can't speed up their slurping schedule, even if you *want* your server to be hit more often.

In Google reader there is a "refresh" button, but it refreshes the client from Google's cache, not Google's cache from the source.

This several hour lag can be a real issue if you like to react to certain feeds quickly.

kwc:

@Bjorn: Thanks!

@Gordon: Yeah, I definitely feel the need for the "deals" feed reader, i.e. one that hits limited-time-offer feeds ASAP. Nothing like getting an entry that says, "available to the first 300" and find out that you're already 2 hours late. I also run into the staleness problem with outage feed -- by the time I get the entry, the outage is almost over.

FeedDemon apparently is one of the few readers that semi-supports TTL, tough it won't go below 30 min. For Google Reader and some of the other big services, I imagine it's a server issue.

movabletypo.net refreshes every 15 min ;)

I still use ChameleonReader from Josh Tyler. Auto-ranking of your feeds by different usage is just so useful.

I really don't know if anyone else does this.

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This page contains a single entry from kwc blog posted on August 27, 2007 9:14 AM.

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