By on October 7, 2005

Google has launched Google Reader, an online feed reader. As expected, it’s a fairly slick and AJAX-ized reader interface that seems at home alongside Gmail. I imported my feeds from Bloglines, and here are my first impressions:

  • Google’s reader takes the approach of focusing on aggregating all the posts into one big feed, whereas Bloglines puts more emphasis on reading individual feeds. If you’re someone who only subscribes to a couple of feeds with low or moderate traffic, Google’s approach is probably preferable. If you’re like me and have a large list of categorized feeds with lots of posts, and just prefer to skim for the interesting stuff, the Bloglines interface is preferable.

  • Google allows you to ‘star’ posts similar to Gmail, and saves them for you in a ‘starred items’ tab. Bloglines offers a similar feature for ‘web clippings’, but it involves going through a popup and interrupts your reading. Google’s method is very slick.

  • There are ‘Gmail This’ and ‘Blog This’ functions that do a fair job of tying in to Gmail and Blogger, respectively. Blogger asks for a password again, though, which seems unneccesary.

  • Of all the ‘Beta’ apps I’ve used from Google, Reader feels the least polished. The site stopped and had to be refreshed after I imported my feeds (there were 56 in my OPML), and at one point some Javascript function got stuck in an endless loop, because my browser locked up. After those two hiccups, though, it worked fairly well.

I have a theory about new restaurants: Never judge them until a month after they’ve been open for six weeks. They’re still working the kinks out before that. I’d advise the same for web apps. Overall, though, Google Reader seems like a nice app aimed at getting more people into reading RSS feeds.

Via Waxy’s Links.



  1. I like visiting all the sites. The RSS feeds are nice but it just seems boring.

    Doesn’t using RSS feeds cut out revenue streams for the provider?

  2. I just don’t want to have to visit a site several times a day to see if there are updates. Waste of time. I want to be told when there is new content.

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