Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Google Reader: RSS Heaven

Furthering my colonization by everything Google, I just discovered Google Reader, which you can use for any blog that has an RSS subscription.

Some initial observations:

--User Interface. It sure beats Bloglines for UI, which is by itself a huge advantage. Bloglines gets sort of annoying after awhile (I hate frames).

However, at this point Google Reader lacks some functionality. Two Bloglines functions I'll especially miss are the option to keep public lists on Bloglines, as well as the clips blog. (My subscription list and clips blog are here) Still, Google Reader is so much smoother that it's pretty likely that I'm going to go off Bloglines...

--Keyboard shortcuts. The keyboard shortcuts in Google Reader are really cool. Really speeds up the blog-surf process.

--No BlogThis? I'm surprised Google hasn't incorporated a "Blog This" function into Google Reader (i.e., along the lines of the function in the Google Toolbar). Maybe that's coming, or maybe they just want to keep Google Reader and Blogger somewhat separate from one another.

--Search. The "search for new content" function is powerful (and quite fast), but it's sometimes a little wonky. If you do a search for "Maud Newton," you get a bunch of comments on things related to Maud Newton, but not Maud Newton's blog. I also noticed this with the Literary Saloon.

--Import function. It's pretty easy to import your Bloglines subscriptions: export your Bloglines subscriptions to an OPML file, then import the OPML into your Google Reader interface. It took a little while when I tried it, but it did work on the first try. (Om Malik says he had trouble with it)

(And yes, I might be one of just a handful of English professors on the planet who knows what an OPML file is...)


Mihai Parparita said...

Glad you like Google Reader.

We do offer a BlogThis! feature: you can access it from the "More actions.." menu in the item's title bar.

Mihai Parparita
Google Reader Engineer

Manish said...

Man, web-based apps are annoying-- slow and limited. Check out Sharpreader, it's free.

IMO Bloglines' UI is nicer than Google's.

sepoy said...

"(And yes, I might be one of just a handful of English professors on the planet who knows what an OPML file is...)" brilliant, mate. Let us do a panel on technology for next year Madison INDEED.

mohit kishore said...

All google services are now being tied into the gmail username and password.

Pretty soon our Gmail ids will be our unique identifier to everything in the universe! :)