Bloglines

I’ve been using Bloglines now for a couple of months, after Sarabian mentioned it and I tried it out. I think it’s great. I’ve never liked desktop RSS aggregators, because I read at both home and work, so a web-based one keeps context. My home-brewed aggregator, Contrary, did OK, but Bloglines does what it could do fine and I don’t have to maintain it (so that me having to edit the subscriptions file to remove feeds now doesn’t have to happen).
I don’t run my blogroll off it, though, because I like it to be in most-recently-updated order, and you can’t tell that from the Bloglines subscription list—it exports in OPML, which doesn’t have a last-updated-date. I’ve mailed the guys to ask if they can add a (possibly namespaced) date to their OPML export, and they’ve said they’ll see what they can do.
I’ve changed the way I work with an aggregator, too. Contrary always showed you the last ten (or however many) post titles for each feed, with the ones you hadn’t read emboldened. Bloglines doesn’t; to see posts that you’ve read you have to explicitly tell it to show you old ones, on a feed-by-feed basis, and this selection isn’t remembered. When I first started using it this annoyed the hell out of me, but I’ve changed the way I work—now I just read the posts that are outstanding, save any that I want to chase up later with the excellent Save feature, and that’s it.
The notifier is also superb; pops up a tiny window with a Bloglines logo in, and refreshes that window every thirty seconds; if you have unread posts the logo changes. So you just pop it up in the corner of your screen, and when the logo lights up you click it to pop up a window on your Bloglines subscriptions. It’s brilliant.
The one serious flaw I’ve found with it is that I can’t really do private feeds; I used to generate RSS from the Open University’s FirstClass online conferencing system and then read the conferences in my aggregator, and now I can’t because the feeds are local to my machine (and hence Bloglines can’t see them to subscribe to them).
In short: Bloglines is recommended highly, especially if you need to read from multiple locations. I mean, maybe other aggregators do commenting or other flash things, but I’ve never needed that anyway. A hearty Good Work, Fella from Castle Langridge!

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