Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Review: Google Reader

Bloglines Beta has gone bye-bye. Temporarily or for good, I don't know. I don't like the use the regular Bloglines because it marks every story in a feed as 'read' when the feed is clicked on, so I thought I'd try something else for a while. I hope Bloglines Beta comes back, because I have some stories saved on there. When it does come back online, those stories will be saved elsewhere!

A while ago I set up my account for Google Reader (GR). I haven't used it since, but I'm using it again now that my preferred reader is down. I do miss all the cool features of Bloglines Beta (three-pane reading, start page, previewing the actual site right in the reader), but there's one thing about GR that I definitely like: simplicity. For the most part, Google Reader does one thing - serves you your feeds.

I am trying to get used to the reading style on here. I really like the three-pane reading mode in Bloglines Beta (BB), allowing me to see the list of stories at the top and the story I'm currently reading on the bottom. GR has two modes - full view and list view. I don't like full views, so I've been using list view. When you click on a story, it expands, crowding out most of the other stories on the list. You can click the headline to make the story go away, and I'm still getting used to do doing that.

Adding new feeds is very easy. I also like the dragging and dropping organization. One thing I do NOT like is the inability to save individual stories as unread. There is a starring feature that works just the same, but save as unread is something useful that just isn't happening in GR right now. There are sharing options, but I probably won't be using them.

One other thing I like about GR is the search feature. Good search should be expected from Google, and GR search works well indeed. I like having the ability to search individual feeds. In many cases, it might be easier than searching the actual website.

I'll probably stick with Bloglines Beta until it does finally die (if that hasn't happened already). I'll try to keep up to date with Google Reader, too. It's not as flashy and feature-filled as Bloglines Beta, but it does the job nicely.

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