Thursday, October 12, 2006

Bloglines alternative

No matter how many online newsreaders I try, I've always gone back to Bloglines. It's not that I'm really terribly fond of Bloglines, just that it works so well. (It's clunky though, both in the way it looks and in some of the features.)

Now I might have found one that works just as well, looks better and has some really nice features - the newly-updated Google Reader.

I tried Google Reader once before, but the updates released earlier this month have made a vast improvement. Google Reader imported my many, many feeds from Bloglines and even organized them into the folders I had set up at Bloglines. I can't recall any other reader that has done that, and it made a very favorable first impression.

The next big improvement is the way Google Reader treats individual items when a feed is open for reading. In Bloglines, once a feed is opened any item in that feed is considered "read" unless you specify otherwise, which means that if a feed has 100 entries and you only manage to read three of them, the other 97 are still marked as "read" and not retained for you to view later.

In Google Reader, however, items are not marked "read" until the feed is opened and you scroll past the item. If you see the first three but stop scrolling there, the other 97 are still marked "unread" and will be waiting for you the next time you sign in.

Google Reader is still a part of Google Labs, and new improvements are being made every day, but I'm really impressed.

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