The Switch To Google Reader is Official

Recent issues with Bloglines picking up feeds in a timely manner have been well documented – Walt at Random’s Are you reading this?,  David Rothman’s Dumping Bloglines, Information Wants to Free’s Bloglines Issues and my own. For the past week and half, I have been monitoring how feeds are discovered in both Bloglines and Google Reader. I did a couple of things – I subscribed to several different feeds for individual blogs (especially those that had been giving my trouble including Walt at Random, Tame the Web and my own). Fortunately, Bloglines makes this easy. I deleted all of my subscriptions in Google Reader and then imported my Bloglines opml file. Thus, the feeds that I subscribed to in both were identical.

At this point, whenever I checked my subscriptions, I logged into both Bloglines and Google Reader simultaneously to check what was new. Sadly, I didn’t really find anything conclusive. The only solid thing that I can say is that the number of new feeds that I had to read in Bloglines and Google Reader was never the same. So far, there were always more new articles in Google Reader (by a lot). Other things that I have noticed were that different feeds for one blog do not ever get updated simultaneously – while the atom feed might get updated first in Bloglines, the FeedBurner feed might get updated first in Google Reader. Although FeedBurner feeds seem to get picked up by aggregators prior to other types of feed, Bloglines and Google Reader do not discover them at the same time. It all seems to be remarkably random. However, Google Reader does not seem to have the same problems with serious lag times that Bloglines does. As such, I have officially switched. I still log into Bloglines from time to time in order to log through my clipped articles. Eventually, I think I will be able to weed them all out.

Bye, bye Blogines – I am a bit sad to see you go!

5 Responses to The Switch To Google Reader is Official

  1. ggwfung says:

    Google Reader’s fast, and offers the news dump of River-of-News. Bloglines developed to a certain point and then stopped. I would like to see another entrant into the market (namely Yahoo) as one supplier always raises issues (even though it is the noble minded Google).

    At present, it offers a deluxe service. Improvments could come in search, being able to manipulate feeds (a la Yahoo Pipes), and perhaps more drag-and-drop. An index of tagged feeds would also be nice.

    Enjoy the Reader experience. I was one of the originals (Dec 2005, version 1).


  2. […] I had been noticing the time lag before Bloglines picked up new feeds for some time.  Today I read Jennifer Macaulay’s post  and decided to make the switch to Google Reader.  As an added benefit, I discovered I was wrong […]

  3. Ross says:

    Jennifer, how smooth was transferring your Bloglines feeds to Google Reader? I’m not ready to jump quite yet … not sure the impact on my bloglines column in the blog, either. Your experiences, please?

  4. Jennifer says:

    GGW, I would love to see another entirely web-based reader also. I imagine that we will definitely see improvements (such as those you suggested) as readership grows.

    Ross, the transfer was much smoother than I had anticipated. If I remember correctly, there was no way to import one’s opml file into Google Reader up until recently. This was one of the reasons that I didn’t switch when I first noticed problems with Bloglines back in early fall. There is no way to transfer clipped articles – so I have to continue to log into Bloglines.

    I haven’t even thought about the issue with my Bloglines blogroll. I haven’t unsubscribed from anything at Bloglines yet. This is definitely something that I need to look into. Otherwise, the moving to Google Reader has been pretty painless. I am actually very happy with Google Reader. I really like the way you can manage folders – and move feeds from one folder to another.

  5. Ross says:

    Thanks, Jennifer. While waiting for your reply I started fiddling with Google Reader, and before I knew it I had done the entire export … presto! My only qualm (and it may have to do with being unfamiliar with Reader) is that I can’t rearrange my folders out of alphabetical order. Not sure if this is even important quite yet. I also have to see if I can unconfigure the RSS icon in Firefox url box to post to Google Reader and not Bloglines. Not sure I can manage two feed readers simultaneously without disastrous results. Good luck to you!

    I also realize I’ve been ‘Kleenexing’ all along; that is, using the term ‘Bloglines’ for ‘feed reader’.

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