Google Reader is Google’s foray into the heavy weight RSS reader market.
Looks great, has some good functionality, but not good enough for my liking, although if it changed 3 or 4 features it would be a good competitor in the advanced RSS reader market.
Search for blogs
You can search for blogs, and easy subscribe and label the feed from the search screen.
Although this isn’t a directory, so you see individual posts, not just homepages, even if you do click on a result of a blog post it must subscribe you to that blog’s main feed.
Filter (this is when your subscription list gets too long to scroll through, it also works for the labels)
First are the choices:
- Your subscriptions
- Read items
“Your subscriptions” can be read as a river of news (whole account [”all” label] or by label - just like Rojo), or read as usual by per feed (sorted by date or relevance).
What is relevance, rather it should be a personalisation mechanism, ie. what is relevant to my reading behaviour just like Google personalised search… actually the FAQ says:
“prioritizes the items that seem most relevant to you”
It has the 3 pane approach:
- List of feeds
- Title list
- View an item
Bloglines doesn’t have this, once you click on a feed, you scroll all the items, you don’t get a quick title view first, before deciding to click on an item to read.
Also Bloglines decides that if you have clicked on a feed you have read all items, unless you click “mark all as new” or you can also mark a single item unread as “keep new”.
Whereas Google Reader doesn’t consider a feed read at all, you have to click on an item title (up or down) to be considered read, if you don’t do this then it stays new…they also have a “keep unread” check box for single items (this is if you have read an item, but still want to keep it unread).
In comparison in Rojo you have to click on the “mark as read” icon to mark a whole page of items as read, otherwise they stay unread.
Click up/down to see next title of an item, you can even page up/down if there are heaps of items
- Sort by relevance/date
- Show read items: hidden/visible
So it keeps the items you have read by “read”, this means you have clicked on an item from the title index pane to see the whole item.
To see “read” items you can click at the top, or you can see “read” items per feed by clicking on “visible” in the Title pane.
Bloglines keeps all items - see last session…24 hours…All items
Rojo have a toggle to “Show Read & Unread” or “Show Unread Only”
- Star an item
(These are also kept in a seperate section, similar to Rojo)
Also sort feeds by date added, or by name, exporting, importing, unsubcribe, edit label, filter (search within a feed).
- Link to native site
- Gmail this
(Bloglines lets anyone email a link via a box)
- Blog this (Blogger)
- Author labels are listed on the bottom (blog categories)
- Your labels (tag thems like in Gmail)
- Where is the bulk managing of feeds?
- Where can you browse your saved items that are labelled?
If I am on an item that I have labelled “blog”, I click on this and it will show “All Items Labelled Blog”, but how do I do this the other way around, where is my item tag set or item tag cloud…where I my items I have saved, not flagged, but saved with a label.
- Where is Search within a feed, search within a folder, search your whole account
- Biggest problem is you can’t mark all new items as read in one click.
I don’t get it, so if you don’t click on a item title then it isn’t considered “read” and it won’t go unbold, this means I have to click every item title so it leaves, why can’t there be a “mark all items as read” like Rojo.
Reason being is that in one view I can see the titles of the latest posts (even use page up/down to see them all), now I might not want to click on any of these to read as I know I’m not interested by looking at the title. The problem is that I have to read (click down) on each item otherwise it will stay new…this is ludicrous.
- Solution Watch tends to agree that it needs a “mark all items as read”, he also mentions a scroll bar would be a good option, I agree.
- He also mentions to be able to read a feed with one click, and scroll through the items, ie. forgoing the title pane…I agree there should be a two pane choice.
Even better just get rid of the Title pane altogether and offer the collapse/expand mode that Rojo does so well, I’m not talking setting in the options like Bloglines, but doing at will with one click from the page you are on.
Community Engine seems to like the Google Portal much better, but then again this is a virtual desktop, and you can only see feed content in a display box, whereas Google Reader is a focused RSS Manager like Bloglines.
Consuming experience has an informative review but points out the bugs, which is why I’ve taken a while to get round to this review.