I had this problem of finding a program for my PC and my Mac that would fulfill my needs as a RSS reader. I fell short on both ends. I would find one that I liked on the Mac and then one I liked even more on the PC. But, when I read feeds on one of the systems, it was still marked as unread on the other. A simple little problem, but a nuisance that I didn’t want to deal with.
Then, one day, I was beginning my search again online to find that RSS reader that would meet everyone of my needs and desires. I stumbled across bloglines.com and I thought that I would give it a shot. I signed up and then imported all of my blogs and feeds into their easy to use interface. What then happened hooked me.
I had an epiphany. I realized that since this is stored online that I could view this from anywhere at anytime to view my feeds. So, if I read one feed it would be marked read the next time I logged in. This was great. I was liking this service already. So, before I get ahead of myself, what exactly is bloglines?
Bloglines is a FREE online service that helps you subscribe to and manage lots of web information, such as news feeds, weblogs and audio. Bloglines tracks the information you’re interested in, retrieves new stuff as it happens, and organizes everything for you on your own personal web news page.
Yeah, that sums it up pretty well.
If you read blogs, or the news, or whatever, I would highly recommend looking into this service. It is really easy to use and you can tool around the interface and look at what it has to offer you.
You have the ability to make folders of feeds and you can also get a notifier for your favorite browser or OS to inform you when you have new entries to look at. The notifier makes it easy to see when you have new entries to read.
Some other nice features are their recommended feeds. They look at the feeds that you are subscribed to and then what other people are subscribed to based on your current subscriptions. I have found a couple of good feeds that way. They also have a listing of the most popular feeds on their service (based on subscriptions). Also, for each feed that you are subscribed to you can look at how many people are subscribed and if they have public blogrolls you can then see exactly who is reading your feed from bloglines. I have my feeds public and you can see them here.
Now, one thing to look out for is how often it updates. It is not like your desktop reader that can scan on load and update all of your feeds. This is a large service and feeds are usually updated once an hour.
One thing that I should also point out is that bloglines makes it really easy to add your LiveJournal, Xanga, Google Group, or Yahoo! Group to your online repository of feeds. This, again, is another great feature if you use any of these services.
I have been really impressed so far, and I can’t imagine another way to read my feeds. I have used quite a few RSS readers for the PC and the Mac and this beats them all hands down. If you read just a couple blogs it is even worth it. The searching, the single location online, and the ease of use makes it a great tool to use.