Are You a User

June 5th, 2007

Here is some food for thought from a O’Reilly Radar post: “there are only two industries that refer to their customers as users: high tech and illegal drugs”.


Bloglines vs. Google Reader

June 1st, 2007

Update: Looks like I wrote this a little too quickly, I just found out there is a “oldest first” sort! Cool. I’m gonna switch to Google Reader and see how it goes.

I read a lot of blogs, so having a good feed reader is important to me. I’ve been using Bloglines for many years. I have noticed, however, that they do not seem to be upgrading Bloglines very often. I can’t remember the last time any significant features were added to it. I also know that Google Reading has become the most popular reader, capturing around 50% of the market.

I try Google Reader every now and then, but I have been sticking with Bloglines. I’m always disappointed because I’m a big fan of a lot of other Google product. I use GMail as my main email, I use Google docs all the time. Oh yeah, and I even use their search. They just announced that Google Reader is going to take advantage of Google Gears to have the ability to read feeds offline. This seems like a great feature that I would love to have, but I have not made the switch for a few reasons:

  1. Google Reader does not let you order you feeds from oldest to newest. In Bloglines I order my feeds so that the oldest one is at the top. This makes sense to me – I want to read the entries in the order they were written in. Sometimes bloggers refers to a post they did in the past, and it gets confusing if you haven’t read the old post before you read the new post.
  2. You can’t reorder the folders. I keep my feeds in about a dozen different folders, and like to keep the folders I find most important near the top. Google Reader always orders them alphabetically.
  3. Screen real estate is not used effectively. Bloglines divides the screen into two frames. The right frame shows you posts, and the frame stretches right from the top of the browser window to the bottom. Google reader displays the entries in a smaller frame which is only about 75% of the height of the browser window.

Out of the three #1 is the deal breaker. If they allowed you to order the entries in reverse chronological order, I’d probably make the switch. The other two problems are pretty nit-picky and probably wouldn’t keep me from using it. But I really want that offline reading ability. So, if anyone from the Google Reader team reads this, please fix these problems, and I’ll switch.

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