I’m trying to get that word into common usage, but since I’m a virtual nobody in the library blogging scene (much less the wider blogging scene), it probably won’t happen. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about.
When I first got into reading weblogs, I initially had my favorites bookmarked in a special folder just for blogs. Then I learned about RSS (possibly from Greg or Steven) and decided to check out reading blogs through an aggregator, or what I like to call a feeder. I was hooked! The convenience of this method was very intoxicating. I began subscribing to more blogs and new sources than I had in my bookmarking days. Then I began to get overwhelmed.
Mondays were the worst. I would come into work early, turn on my computer, and SharpReader would load and then download the new entries for all of those blogs. It would take me close to an hour (sometimes longer) to catch up on the reading. Also, since I started maintaining a blogroll of my favorite blogs to read, I was having to add to both my feeder and to the blogroll every time I ran across a new one, which I didn’t always remember to do.
I had heard Bloglines mentioned a few times as being a good place for beginners to get familiar with reading RSS feeds, and Steven touted the capability to filter email to the feeder, which is a nice for saved searches in Google News and other sites that do not have RSS but do have email announcements. I wasn’t sure I wanted to give up some of the features that my desktop feeder provided for me, but there were two more aspects of Bloglines that convinced me in the end: blogroll generation from subscribed feeds (no more duplication of work!) and the ability to access my feeds from anywhere (no more ovewhelming Monday mornings!). I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now, and I hardly remember any of the features that my desktop feeder had that Bloglines doesn’t have. Probably the only thing I miss is the automatic archiving of posts, but all I need to do for that is to go to the website of the blog in question.