Bloglines Beta Review + AtA asks Bloglines some Questions... ~ Ask The Admin

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bloglines Beta Review + AtA asks Bloglines some Questions...

We have been using the web based version of Bloglines for some time now. It is our favorite RSS reader for a bunch of reasons - no installation, saved searches, but namely speed. Our only gripes were lack of a specific view (3 paned) and the absence of a social network twist. acquired Bloglines a little whiles back and it stood stagnate for some time. So when we heard about the new Bloglines Beta we were excited to say the least. 3 paned viewing was one of the thing we were hoping for and here it is...

We have been playing with the new Beta for a few weeks now and we are loving on it. The customizable home page is sweet. The new look and feel is slick and comfortable. The drag and drop Ajax functionality is nice and we jumped right in and didn't look back. This is just the first phase in a complete make over of the site. The best part is even with all of these enhancements they have retained all their speed. Maybe it's a little faster even, it does work faster than Google Reader. We were so smitten with the app AtA solicited a little Q & A with the good folks over @ Bloglines. AtA spoke with, the man with the plan, Eric Engleman earlier today:

  • AtA: Do you plan on adding share this or email this an option to posts?
  • Bloglines: We plan on offering comparable functionality in the new version of Bloglines. In the case of email, it was released September 5th. In regards to "share" functionality we will continue to offer shared Blog Rolls, a public profile and in the future we will also offer shared list of favorite "posts."
  • AtA: . How about a browsable blog directory, is that something we could see?
  • Bloglines: There are several services which currently offer blog directories yet none of them have really broken through. At Bloglines we think this is because the average person doesn't really think about just blogs. This is getting even more so with indie bloggers like Perez Hilton with millions of subscribers and major media companies like the N.Y. Times starting to offer their own blogs. As blogs expand from being just personal web journals to mini-media empires the distinction will get even less. At Bloglines, we offer a combined rankings of feeds and blogs because we don't think the average person differentiates the two. Our general approach is to treat blogs as any other feed. This provides some interesting juxtaposition of large media companies and indie bloggers battling it out.
  • AtA: What about blog rankings or top ten subscribed feeds in different categories - does that sound like something that would go well with your service?
  • Bloglines: Bloglines currently offers a top 200 list and provides public subscriber data which is oftentimes used in rankings to judge blog popularity.
  • AtA: How many people use BlogLines? How about the Beta?
  • Bloglines: Bloglines was one of the first feed readers and continues to have a significant number of users. The Beta just started last week and to be honest, we haven't been closely tracking the number of users. Instead, we've been closely monitoring the feedback from our Blogliners. We want to make sure our core users are happy before worrying about additional users.
  • AtA: What do you think about the idea that users' opml files can be marked as shareable and people lists can be ranked?
  • Bloglines:That's a great idea. Yet, a number of people have attempted or are attempting this with mixed results. So it appears there's a little bit of magic required to make this idea of shareable OPML files truly useful for the average person.

  • Ata: We got one more for you Eric. Any chance in seeing a Bloglines for Windows Mobile Devices?
  • Bloglines: A WAP or XHTML interface is currently available for mobile devices including Windows. The Bloglines team is working on a new mobile version for the Beta which will be available shortly!
If you use a web based feed reader other than Bloglines now might be a good time to give it a shot. And if you don't use one - You should start!