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July 04, 2006

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» Bloglines Engineer Comments Great Example Of CGM Brand Management from Backbone Blogging Survey
Matthew Hurst on datamining wrote about his search for a new RSS feed reader, he is thinking of ditching his existing service, bloglines. Bloglines UI Engineer, Ben Lowery, spotted Matthew's blog post, and concerns about the bloglines service and respo... [Read More]

Comments

LeisureArts

Apologies in advance if this is redundant info. We use OSX and Firefox, so that might alter things, but:

We think your probelms with Bloglines are preventable - the 30 post problem should be avoided by selecting "dispaly only updated feeds" in your options.

The frame size is adjustable, so unless you have really long folder names, this shouldn't require scrolling. Also, the edit feature allows you to display folders with the most unread posts in descending order from the top which should also help.

We have no vested interest in Bloglines by the way...

Ben Lowery

Hi there,

Sorry to hear that you're having problems with Bloglines. Unlike the previous commenter, I do have a vested interest in Bloglines as one of their UI engineers. :)

For the first observation, posts showing up as new, that's generally a result of the post being updated by the author. We currently show updates as new posts and are investigating ways to make it more obvious that certain posts are merely updates vs. totally new. For the time being, check out the "Updated Items" preference in the Edit Subscription window for Steve's feed. You can choose to have Bloglines ignore updated items instead of flagging them as new. Not a perfect solution, but it might suit your needs.

For the second issue, definitely check out the "display only updatede feeds" option in the Account -> Feed Options section of the Bloglines preferences. That should help aleviate some of the pain of finding the next new item. Another easy way to navigate to the next subscription or feed with unread items is to use the hotkeys. Just press "s" to get to the next subscription with unread items, or "f" to see the next folder with unread items. Once there, you can use "j" and "k" to navigate through the items displayed.

For the OPML export issue, the easiest way to get an OPML is by clicking on the Edit link in My Feeds and then pick the export link at the bottom of the pane. Alternatively, you just visit http://www.bloglines.com/export to export your OPML.

Hope that helps, and if not, we're sad to see you go. Thanks for posting your experience with Bloglines; it really helps us to continually improve the service and meet your needs.

Thanks again,

--ben

SN

I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader, it was quite a change from a "folder style" newsreader to a "river of news" style. I'm now used to it and think that it was a good choice. No more unread items. It's eithre read or pass.

Matthew Hurst

Ben,

Thanks for reaching out - I really appreciate that. The suggestions you make look useful, but seem more like work arounds for me. I'd like to apply the modification to feeds across all my subscriptions - so I guess I will have to edit every subscription. That is quite a job! Perhaps you could consider this as a feature request. I've edited just the one feed to see if this works. The second issue does actually seem to be addressed with the fix you recommended. Interestingly, the problem I wanted to fix was the need to scroll the window, not to remove non-updated feeds from the view. I'm not sure why checking this removes the scrolling, but it does.

The OPML point is probably a case of 'Matt, RTFM'. However, my expectation would be that exporting would be available without requesting to edit the list of feeds (if I export, I haven't edited or changed my feed configuration).

Thanks for the info - I plan now to use both Bloglines and Rojo to get a more balanced view of the two services and I will probably start looking at a few others as well.

Matt

Ben Lowery

Thanks for the suggestions Matt. Yeah, we don't offer a way to bulk update that particular setting at the moment; I'll see what I can do about that.

As for the having to scroll, if you use the "s" and "f" hotkeys, the feed pane should automatically bring the currently read thing into view. When you said the names and state is "hidden", I took that to mean they're offscreen vertically. Do you mean horizontally instead? If possible, fire me a screencap which would totally clear up any misunderstandings.

--ben

Matthew Hurst

Ben - yes, horizontally. I'll get you a screen cap.

Rob

I've been using intraVnews for several years, liking Outlook's sorting power to manage info, but I'm not at one machine long enough lately to keep current. So I went shopping for an online reader, and found your post and the RSS Reader Survey (http://kbcafe.com/rss/?guid=20060515121320).

Based on those, I tried (or at least looked at) Bloglines, Rojo, NetNewsWire and Great News. I mostly didn't like the UIs (too weak or clunky compared to Outlook), and most just didn't work on my Windows Mobile phone' Pocket IE.

I ended up using Google Reader instead -- sure it's not as powerful as intraVnews/Outlook (no search folders, no deactivating feeds), but I don't think I need that power since the "reading flow" is so smooth (aka "UX", or User Experience in Microsoft's new lingo). I don't Need to filter out the "junk" since it's easy to just ignore it.

Granted, it's only been 2 weeks, but I've been successfully keeping up on 296 feeds pretty easily.

Bitvoid

Might want to give Activorous (http://activoro.us) a try; it provides flexible feed filtering instead of folders, via a pop-out menu that's always available but out of the way while you're reading. Also works on mobile devices.

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