Thursday, February 09, 2006

Become a blog reader with the baddest newsreader

I used to use Bloglines to subscribe to feeds of blogs I wanted to keep up with, but I switched to Google reader. (Google is starting to rule the world, rightly so, with its variety of fine resources and services.)

The thing about Bloglines that can get overwhelming is that if you have a lot of subscriptions you sort of feel obligated to check them all out, clear every unread item.

In contrast, Google reader’s default mode is “relevance.” The way it works is there is a “lens” you scan over unread items and click on something when you want to read it. (There is also a mechanism for “saving” things by marking them with a “star.”) As time goes by it learns what you’re most interested in—presumably which blogs, which authors, which subject matter, etc.—based on what you actually click on to read. Whenever you refresh the reading list it takes the unread items from all your subscriptions and sorts them with some mysterious algorithm involving both how recently posts were published and your interests based on past reading selections.

This way the new and interesting (to you) stuff tends to automatically show up near the top of your list, and you can just let the stuff lower down the list slough off without the guilt of seeing all these “unread” indicators in Bloglines.

So join Google juggernaut on its rise to world domination. Use the Google reader—with, of course, your first subscriptions being the posts and comments here at The Spinozist Mormon:
Let me know if you’re interested in subscribing but need a little more help to get started.

(P.S. As this post neared completion I noticed its unintentional chiastic structure, born not of conscious literary design but its natural ‘in and out’ logical structure...)


I haven't checked out the google reader yet. Because I'm lazy. I subscribe to so many blogs, I don't want to have to resubscribe to them all. 

Comment by Susan M | 2/09/2006 02:34:00 PM  

One thing I like about Bloglines is the ability to create and destroy email accounts at whim. I'm guessing I can't do that with Google reader? 

Comment by Jared | 2/09/2006 02:44:00 PM  

Susan,  there is usually an easy way to deal with this. The way I handled it with Bloglines was to export my links to an OPML file. Then this file can be read in by Google Reader and voila, you instantly have all your old subscriptions. (I suspect most readers now have this OPML import/export capability.) 

Comment by Christian Y. Cardall | 2/09/2006 02:50:00 PM  

Jared,  yes, that is the one drawback of Google Reader for some, you can't create email accounts specifically for email lists and read your email lists like you do blogs. If it's not for email lists but just multiple email accounts, you can always make as many gmail (Google mail) accounts as you wish and use a mail client to retrieve them all for you (POP is free on gmail).  

Comment by Christian Y. Cardall | 2/09/2006 02:54:00 PM  

oooo. Sounds really nifty, I'll haveta see if I can figure it out. If I can't, I'll holler. 

Comment by sarebear | 2/09/2006 11:51:00 PM  

Crap. Why'd it use my jewelry blog as my link instead of my piebolar blog? Ugh. | 2/09/2006 11:52:00 PM  



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