Friday, 4 June 2010

"Who will not change a raven for a dove?"

Well, what a difference a day or two makes...

With a little more time to play with iGoogle I realised that it really wasn't going to meet my RSS needs. Although it can bring together several feeds on one page, they're still spatially disparate - you have to look at each one in turn to see what's there. Looking at them on one page is quicker than loading up each page from my bookmarks, but it's still not ideal. More annoyingly, I couldn't work out how, at a glance, to see which things were new, and which weren't.

BBC World News iGoogle gadgetThe links I've followed to source have gone purple (though that's not very clearin this screen shot), to show that they're visited links, but they wouldn't be if I were logging in from a different computer, or if my browser history on this computer had been deleted. And what about those stories I've looked at in the reader and not followed? I don't want to have to remember what I've seen and not seen - I want the tool to do that for me, and to show me clearly what's new!

Things *are* clearer when I expand the gadget - the new items are dark, and the read ones are pale. But to check this out, I have to expand each widget in turn.

BBC World News iGoogle gadget expanded
Google Reader sidebar showing subscriptions arranged in foldersIf you're still reading this far, you've probably guess where this is going... a feed reader. LottieMSmith recommended that I try Bloglines. I'm afraid I didn't follow that advice, and simply because I didn't want to set up yet another new account right now (having created all-new email and Google accounts for 23 Things). Despite my qualms about being logged into Google all the time (it feels a bit like selling my soul, somehow), I've set up a Google Reader account, and am loving it.

Although it isn't immediately obvious where some of the features are, there's facility to organise feeds into folders (hurrah for more categorisation!), and you can choose to see all your new stories together in one window, or by folder, or for each individual feed. The overview of your folders and feeds on the left-hand side quickly shows you what's new where, and the overall feel is definitely of the internet coming to me, and not vice versa.

Google Reader view of BBC World News feed


  1. I've tried Bloglines (also on Lottie's recommendation) but have found it slow to load, sometimes slow to update and a bit annoying so far.

    I've tried Google Reader and agree, I much prefer it to the iGoogle feeds I have. However, I haven't yet managed to load all the feeds I want into the Google Reader.

    So now I also have a FeedShow account because I was able to use Josh's great complete lists of both blogs and comments to create a comprehensive listing of feeds. I've only just started using FeedShow, so can't do a proper assessment of it yet but at least I was able to get my feeds into it. However, I will report back to save you creating umpteen new accounts like I just have!

  2. Do let me know what you make of FeedShow - I hadn't heard of that before.

    I've just created what I hope will be a one-stop click and subscribe page for all the 23Things blogs (at least for those using Google Reader). I'm sure if it actually works or not, though: