Google Reader vs. Bloglines

I’m a longtime user of Bloglines for reading RSS feeds.  It’s simple, clean and very, very quick to use.   But, I’d been hearing good things about Google Reader lately, so I thought I’d take it for a spin.

I’ve been reading my ~150 feeds in Google Reader the past few days, and I have to say, I think I’ll be sticking with Bloglines. 

Google Reader looks a bit slicker, but it wastes a lot more pixels on the screen with superfluous lines and boxes that distract me from the text.  It also doesn’t show as many feeds in the left column, wasting space on the “all/starred/shared items” controls that I don’t use. 

It’s harder to mark things as read in Google Reader — one has to manually scroll through the items or remember to click the “mark all as read” button.  That’s annoying.  I can’t adjust the width of the left column in Google Reader.

I guess the grass isn’t greener after all.

4 thoughts on “Google Reader vs. Bloglines”

  1. I rely heavily on offline RSS reading (30-minute bus commute), and this feature is poorly modeled in most readers. Omea was pretty good, but it had memory leaks and didn’t like having to aggregate hundreds of feeds. I like Bloglines a lot, and given the ease of transferring OPML between the two, would use this and Google Reader interchangably. Yesterday Google launched Gears, which is their volley into offline ajax delivery of page content. Reader was their fist example for this technology, and it’s very slick. It batch-downloads 2000 chunks of RSS and allows full browser navigation against them – starring, viewing parts of the hierarchy of feeds, etc. This offline ajax trick will be Google’s way to move Docs/Spreadsheets/Gmail into wider public acceptance. It’s a direct challenge to the MS Office monarchy.

  2. I used Bloglines for a long time, but then became a Netvibes convert. I love having multiple tabs, and the widgets you can put into Netvibes. It integrates with my workflow better. I also tried Google Reader at one point, but felt it was underwhelming.

  3. I used bloglines (2 years) and google reader (month or 2).. I am now totally hooked on It rocks. I can scan more content faster and more organized. It is not as easy to add new feeds (3 clicks+) but i really see it as the easiest way to catch everything at a glance, netvibes is more focused on reading and organizing rather than subscribing . You can import the opml file from bloglines then set up tabs for major areas you need to monitor. I can scan 23 topic areas (friends, enviro news, network theory, etc.) each with 5-10 feeds under in a very short amount of time. It is a huge difference.

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