I’ve been hearing about Rojo, so I thought I’d check it out.
This isn’t a review; it is more of an observation of the features that Rojo has that I wish Bloglines would incorporate.
So what does Rojo do different:
- Rojo has a more community based approach (Contacts, Share, Directory, Wizard) where you can share information (feeds, stories – individually or within a tag folder) with the Rojo Network, this is part of their product angle.
Community features are always a great add-on feature and I think Bloglines would benefit as they have a great community (already can share public version of aggregator and have a searchable directory).
- Rojo lets you store feeds in multiple folders/tag (still no RSS, unlike Feedmarker).
- When you click on a folder/tag the posts from all feeds show up in recent order and not by feed order, so they are mixed up…I think this should be a choice.
- I don’t quite understand what happens once you’ve opened a feed, in Bloglines, if you click on a feed the bold and number denoting new items disappears (meaning you have read this feed), and if you decide to read it later you can mark it as unread (like nothing happened).
In Rojo, I clicked a feed and had a read of the posts, then clicked on another feed, but the bold and number denoting new items did not disappear from the 1st feed…I went back to the 1st feed and the posts still appeared, why are they still there if I have already viewed the contents of this feed.
Apparently Rojo has a feature called “marked all read” and unless you click this, the bold and number denoting new items will not disappear.
You can also still have the feed in bold but the number denoting new items may decrease, this happens if you click on the title or link of an item, tag, flag, email, share, or collapse/expand an individual item.
When the bold disappears in a feed, it will also disappear if you have the same feed in another folder/tag, it will behave accordingly.
- Another difference is if you go back and click on one of these feeds, all entries still appear, even if it is un-bolded in the left pane (feed list).
The way you can tell if you have read a story is by the colour of the title, if you have previously read the item (“mark as read” on your last visit) the title is dark red, if it is an unread story the title is bright red…in contrast I like how a Bloglines feed is empty once it has been read, if you want to view the past you can choose from last session, 24 hours, last week, extra…
- Rojo has a “stories I’ve read” feature, I don’t know exactly the usefulness of this feature…this is a place where the stories you have read are kept.
But can’t you already see this in the feed contents itself, that is, all items in dark red?
The only difference here is that it does not store items when you mark a page as read (unless some of these items have been individually been manipulated), so it only stores the items you have clicked on individually to read, share, expand/collapse, etc…
- As mentioned before, allows to store feeds and items in multiple folders/tags.
- Flagging a story is a great feature, and the flag icon is a good visual marker. The bonus is there is also a place where you can view all your flagged items, this is a great idea. This would be much appreciated in Bloglines as I sometimes have trouble tracking down my flagged/read later items (shaded in blue).
- Saving a story in a folder or tagging a story is easier in Rojo, each item has a text box, just type a tag label and it’s quickly done…it would be good if you could view a list of tags before you type a new tag.
- Expand/collapse on each item, and also at the feed level, or even folder level.
If you click on a folder in Bloglines you can view feeds in a stream by folder, but you still have to expand each folder (so at the moment it is a stream with obstacles, not free flowing), there needs to be a choice for them already to be expanded…and also another choice to view all items in a folder by date/hour order (so you have a stream of mixed posts from different feeds within that folder…this is what Rojo currently has implemented)
- Print preview
- Recommended feeds
- Feed information – feed website, feed URL, last indexed, number of unread items, tags describing this feed, number of subscribers, mark this channel read, unsubscribe, rename feed, published sources, and related feeds (easy subscribe).
- Search in an individual feed, called a channel for some reason…although no RSS.
It would be good if you could also do this at the folder level or all your subscriptions.
I’ve mentioned before that it would be good to check a box of the feeds you want to search in, and also generating an RSS feed.
- Sort feeds with ease: All tags, frequent feeds (similar to Chameleon version of Bloglines), unread count, and by feed/blog name.
- If you click on the tags icon, you can see a tag cloud (visually weighted list) of all your tags or a public version.
This is like a folksonomy in your RSS reader as you can pick a tag and see the items within according to the Rojo community…although you can’t view a users account, like del.icio.us.
- Since every item can have a label or tag/folder, you can click on these tag/s to see if anyone else in the Rojo community has used them…a way to discover like feeds and items.
This is augmented by showing related tags from the Rojo community for feeds and items.
- The explore icon is the feed directory, the idea is you click on a topic and view the feeds within…again it would be good if you could view a users account (like Bloglines public version).
It would be good to have a user-defined version of the feed directory by aggregating all the tags used to hold feeds, also presented in a tag cloud option…that is a folksonomy for feeds.
Two things I’m unsure of:
- The info link contains a link called published sources, not sure what this refers to.
- When you click on a feed, there is the feed title on the right side, under it says view tag, but this does nothing.
If I wasn’t using Bloglines, Rojo would be my choice RSS reader!
- Now all we need is Bloglines or Rojo to add a search filter for every feed, so you only see content matching your search term, (see here for how to do it with other tools).
- I’m also using other tools to make re-mix feeds (new ones are always popping up)
It would be great for this utility to be a function within Bloglines or Rojo.
- One other thing, everytime I want to email an item to a friend from a post in Bloglines, I have to go to my email client address book to find the email address, it would be great if an address book could be incorporated into Bloglines.
[ADDED 14/10/05: Rojo now offers RSS feeds for your whole account at for tags]