I have been using Bloglines to keep up with my RSS feeds for as long as I can remember. I decided to play around with Google Reader today to see if I liked it better, and I have to say I liked it a lot better.
I like the way Google Reader enables me to click on a feed and see all the posts in that feed, even if I have already read them. In Bloglines, I had to go through an extra step (selecting from the drop-down menu next to “Display items with the last x”) to view feeds I had already read, and even then, I couldn’t figure out how to review just one feed instead of all the feeds in a folder, which I frankly didn’t want to do.
My feed subscriptions all imported properly in the folders where they were on Bloglines. Navigating was a snap. The look was pleasing to the eye — it seems like a small thing, but the display looked so much nicer. For example, pictures, embedded audio, embedded video, and the like all seemed to “behave” better in Google Reader. Subscribing to new feeds and organizing them into folders was easy. If I click on a feed to read the post on its blog, it opens in a new tab in Firefox. This is nice because in Bloglines I had to right-click (control-click) on the feed, select “Open in New Tab,” and then I could look at the feed. If I didn’t take this step and opened feeds in same window, then hit the back button to go back to Bloglines, I became confused about which feeds I had read already and often missed some I hadn’t read yet. I always found this very frustrating.
I like the shared and starred items features. The discover feature is nice, too. It’s fun to be able to keep up with how many subscribers follow a feed, and a new feature in Google Reader enables users to do this; however, in Bloglines, you can also see the names of the public subscribers, which was nice.
Check out this comparison of Bloglines Beta and Google Reader for more information. I should point out I was not using Bloglines Beta, but rather the older version of Bloglines. I think Bloglines Beta has more features. I’m not sure Bloglines compares as well with Google Reader as Bloglines Beta does.