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news reader on steroids
October 7, 2005 10:43 AM   Subscribe

Google Reader. Google has launched a news reader at the Web 2.0 conference.
posted by gen (53 comments total)

 
bloglines... uh oh.
posted by gen at 10:43 AM on October 7, 2005


At least bloglines lets me read five or ten or fifty posts at once.
posted by mathowie at 10:46 AM on October 7, 2005


meta
posted by Stynxno at 10:46 AM on October 7, 2005


I'm importing my 150-odd-feed OPML file right now. I've been waiting for an alternative to Bloglines; I hope this is it.
posted by S.C. at 11:00 AM on October 7, 2005


Ugh. It won't load the previous several-weeks of entries for backreading. That sucks. Am I missing something?
posted by verb at 11:04 AM on October 7, 2005


<Dr. Nick voice>
Google!? I'm so sick of those guys!
</Dr. Nick voice>
posted by Robot Johnny at 11:10 AM on October 7, 2005


My first impressions after importing my subscriptions from Bloglines are that the service is pretty damn slow. I think I prefer the way bloglines displays stuff, a page full of all the new posts since you last checked.
posted by chunking express at 11:11 AM on October 7, 2005


Let us all go and chip in to help Google dominate everything, shall we?

gawd, this is cool. I mean, it must be. because, you know, if it's graphical, it's cool, and if it'd Google, it's cool, and if it's "2.0" it must be cooler than 1.whatever, so if it's graphical and Google and more than 1.whatever...
posted by lodurr at 11:13 AM on October 7, 2005


:-( It won't read my 200+ strong SharpReader OPML.
posted by VulcanMike at 11:15 AM on October 7, 2005


When you come across something worth sharing, quickly email or blog it from within Reader. Star or labels items you want to save for yourself.

I'm holding off for Google Grammarcheck.
posted by gurple at 11:18 AM on October 7, 2005


Bloglines's selling points are that you can view all your feeds on one long digest page, and can -- to a point -- customize how the feeds appear in said digest.

That's it. It's a miserable, stagnant trainwreck of a service that somehow manages to be more useful than its faster, shinier, better-coded competitors by virtue of two very simple features.

They haven't set the bar very high. One would think that if anyone could surpass Bloglines for feature set and ease of use, it would be The Google.

One would, it seems, be wrong. Quelle dommage.
posted by S.C. at 11:19 AM on October 7, 2005


for those who are trying to export their OPML files from bloglines, (in order to try out this new service) there seems to be a problem with exporting double-byte feeds to OPML.
posted by gen at 11:22 AM on October 7, 2005


Slow indeed. I'm not a fan. Of course, I've only been using it for 5 minutes. Even so, my first impression of Bloglines was that it was freaking great. I imagine I will continue to use Bloglines.
posted by panoptican at 11:23 AM on October 7, 2005


Bloglines also has the advantage of working. Google reader crashed when I tried to add a single atom feed from search. Google must really mean "beta" this time.
posted by eatitlive at 11:25 AM on October 7, 2005


Just for completeness, I copy the link to this nice screenshot mathowie posted in the meta thread (no, nothing apparently wrong with this post or its participants - just a coincidence). I can't
posted by nkyad at 11:32 AM on October 7, 2005


The "Loading beaker" makes me hate it. Hate it so much...
posted by boo_radley at 11:37 AM on October 7, 2005


When Feedlounge is ready, the bar will be raised for web-based readers. This is the one to watch.
posted by 327.ca at 11:45 AM on October 7, 2005


I just loaded in my 300+ entry OPML export from NetNewsWire. It took it a couple of minutes to load everything, but so far so good..

First impressions:
* It's slow.
* There's no "headline view" mode. It looks like they're making the assumption that you want to read every article of everything you're subscribed to.
* It'll only let you "Blog This" to a Blogger.com blog. This makes a certain bit of sense, since they own Blogger, but I also want to delicious things and post them to my own blog.
* OPML groups are converted into "Labels" (their version of tags?). That's really nice. Tags are fun.

I won't be giving up NetNewsWire anytime soon, but I can see why other people would use this..
posted by Laen at 12:00 PM on October 7, 2005


1. It's not working at all here
2. fuck off with the vi keyboard shortcuts. I mean, jesus.
posted by bonaldi at 12:02 PM on October 7, 2005


It boggles the mind that this could be slow. I thought Google had like dozens of servers.
posted by Plutor at 12:05 PM on October 7, 2005


It imported my opml file, and then showed me about 10% of the feeds it contained after about fifteen minutes of waiting, with no sign of the rest. A little quick out the door, maybe.
posted by mendel at 12:09 PM on October 7, 2005


They frequently test out new services on a low number of servers (remember first few days of gmail and how slow it could be at times?).

I finally found a view of it I like, by going to Your Subscriptions and it's a three paned email-like interface that feels like an improved bloglines.
posted by mathowie at 12:09 PM on October 7, 2005


It has vi keyboard shortcuts? Shit, maybe I'll try it after all.
posted by sohcahtoa at 12:18 PM on October 7, 2005


Is it just me, or is it very. very slow?
posted by Karmakaze at 12:23 PM on October 7, 2005


Why do like 95% of the RSS readers out there think I want to click on every individual entry to read them? That's actually more of a hassle than visiting every website and reading them, in my opinion. All this clicking and annoyance. Show me a big long page of what's new so I can page through it at my leisure, please.
posted by frenetic at 12:27 PM on October 7, 2005


Wow, it does podcasts, with a little flash player for each audio file. Sweet.
posted by mathowie at 12:28 PM on October 7, 2005


The problem with bloglines (for me, anyway) is that it lacks a "sort items reverse-chronologically, regardless of the feed they came from" functionality. I'm currently using NewsGator.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:29 PM on October 7, 2005


I think we broke it.
posted by hyperizer at 12:34 PM on October 7, 2005


It's slower than Metafilter.
posted by smackfu at 12:35 PM on October 7, 2005


Actually, that's cute. Everything done client-side, in Javascript presumably. So it's lightning fast until you do something that hits the server when it just hangs.
posted by smackfu at 12:37 PM on October 7, 2005


Apparently it can't take the hits. I'm rather surprised.
posted by clevershark at 12:51 PM on October 7, 2005


What exactly is the benefit of using a third party server (whether it is Google or Bloglines or Feedlounge) to aggregate and read my RSS feeds? Am I not better off aggregating and reading on my own machine? Hasn't this model of "interpose an unnecessary step between the user and the service so that someone can gather up all my personal information and show me advertising" already failed multiple times on the Internet?

(Okay, if you have to get your Internet access through the public machine in the library, I can see the utility.)
posted by srt19170 at 12:54 PM on October 7, 2005


I'm a big Google fan, but I like Bloglines more. And I'm the type who can't stand frames.

Lets hope they do a better job with Google Calendar.
posted by furtive at 1:06 PM on October 7, 2005


What exactly is the benefit of using a third party server (whether it is Google or Bloglines or Feedlounge) to aggregate and read my RSS feeds? Am I not better off aggregating and reading on my own machine?

That is assuming you use only one machine. When you have a computer at home, another at work, and perhaps even a laptop, you too will be grateful for web aggregators that keep all of your stuff in synch.
posted by Goblindegook at 1:10 PM on October 7, 2005


I'm guessing it runs Context Sensitive Adverts next to the articles? Can anybody confirm this?
posted by gsb at 2:50 PM on October 7, 2005


gsb writes "I'm guessing it runs Context Sensitive Adverts next to the articles? "

No, it doesn't. At least not yet. Their text adverts does not really annoy me. I am quite able to ignore them in Gmail (Actually, I just noticed they exist now, when you asked - so I opened Gmail to check if it had them).
posted by nkyad at 2:58 PM on October 7, 2005


This really feels a bit too clever for its own good. Bloglines' interface is kinda old-looking, but it gets the job done. The Google one, instead of being unobtrusive, makes me feel like I'm on the Enterprise D. Which is neat and all, but I don't actually WANT to pay that much attention to the interface.
posted by selfnoise at 4:27 PM on October 7, 2005


I am quite able to ignore them in Gmail (Actually, I just noticed they exist now, when you asked - so I opened Gmail to check if it had them).

You have ads in Gmail? I just checked and I don't have any.
posted by obfusciatrist at 6:19 PM on October 7, 2005


When you have a computer at home, another at work, and perhaps even a laptop, you too will be grateful for web aggregators that keep all of your stuff in synch.

That's it? I should suffer slow performance, give away my personal browsing habits, and view ads so that... what? I don't have to skip over a few repeat items in my RSS reader?

Seems like a poor bargain to me, but if it works for you, enjoy!
posted by srt19170 at 7:07 PM on October 7, 2005


The problem with bloglines (for me, anyway) is that it lacks a "sort items reverse-chronologically, regardless of the feed they came from" functionality. I'm currently using NewsGator.

Does "reverse-chronologically" mean oldest-first? If so, that's what I prefer too. And Bloglines does it, no problem: just click on "Options" and choose your default sort order.`
posted by Utilitaritron at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2005


I've tried many times and I've never really been able to really get into newsreaders. The last time I tried was the 04 election, and it was sort of useful, but I just got sick of having to slog through all that noise every time I wanted to catch up on things. A couple websites and some friends, instead, seem to keep me up to date on everything important without all the pain.
posted by blacklite at 7:28 PM on October 7, 2005


(Now, maybe if we could cruise through the feeds while being represented by badly rendered floating heads...)
posted by blacklite at 7:29 PM on October 7, 2005


Wow. I've found better RSS readers than this floating in my toilet.

Google, WTF?
posted by Galvatron at 7:47 PM on October 7, 2005


Also, the reader doesn't tell me how many undread posts there are in any given feed as it does in Bloglines. I don't want to click every feed to see if there is something new.
posted by panoptican at 8:21 PM on October 7, 2005


Wait... so there's keyboard shortcuts to move from entry to entry within a feed, but no way to move from feed to feed without using the mouse?
posted by dmd at 8:42 PM on October 7, 2005


Huh. Based on the current state of this, Google needs to acquire a company that makes one of the higher-ranked newsreaders--but frankly, in the state it's currently in, Bloglines would do just fine--and then repackage what they did as Reader, akin to how keyhole became Google Earth. Instead of whatever this is.
posted by Drastic at 8:58 PM on October 7, 2005


That's it? I should suffer slow performance, give away my personal browsing habits, and view ads so that... what? I don't have to skip over a few repeat items in my RSS reader?

I find clicking on my bloglines bookmark to be much much faster than waiting for sharpreader or some other windows program to load. Also, I don't have to then wait for my computer to go out and make 50 different http requests to servers of varying response speed, since bloglines just keeps a running cache of feeds.

It's the same reason why I'd want my search engine's index on a server and not on my desktop macihne.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:49 PM on October 7, 2005


C'mon now, guys, it's BETA...

Geez. Once Google gets done with it, this will all go away...

(Desnarking now, Captain...)

(Sticking with my FeedDemon, thank you... Love the personal newspaper approach...)
posted by Samizdata at 11:01 PM on October 7, 2005


That's it? I should suffer slow performance, give away my personal browsing habits, and view ads so that... what? I don't have to skip over a few repeat items in my RSS reader?

A "few" repeat items? I track dozens of feeds, which translate into hundreds of items every day. In spite of this, Bloglines is pretty fast for me, and if there are any ads then I don't see any because Firefox is blocking them.
posted by Goblindegook at 11:29 PM on October 7, 2005


Interesting how Google seems to be going nuts with all the new services (see Google Labs), many of which are not category-killers like they used to be, but merely so-so imitations of what others have already put out...
posted by shivohum at 11:31 PM on October 7, 2005


As far as I can tell, it doesn't have two critical features.

1. The ability to mark everything as being read, without actually having to read it. This is good when you have a lot of feeds and haven't checked in for a bit and want to clean the slate.

2. The ability to add feeds by bookmarkelet.

These two things make bloglines much more useful.
posted by jonah at 6:32 PM on October 8, 2005


I've never been able to figure out how Google decides who gets ads in Gmail and who doesn't. I've never had ads in gmail.
posted by dmd at 10:04 AM on October 9, 2005


The problem with bloglines (for me, anyway) is that it lacks a "sort items reverse-chronologically, regardless of the feed they came from" functionality.

You can do this with Bloglines. Click on Options, then change the sort order.

Also, the reader doesn't tell me how many undread posts there are in any given feed as it does in Bloglines.


Amen.
posted by clgregor at 9:35 AM on October 12, 2005


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