Bloglines beta – so nice to see ya.

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The Time & Newsweek of the Web 2.0 blogosphere both mention the re-launch of Bloglines. It’s great to see another reader on the market just for variety’s sake. I moved to Google Reader a while ago as my main reader mostly because of it’s mobile interface which looks great on the Blackberry. I had left Bloglines a good while back because of their annoying tendency to mark everything in a folder as “read” just because you opened it.

In the release notes, they say they will address the lack of mobile support in a future release. If they solve this, I may actually switch back to Bloglines because they have two other features that are not in Google Reader.

1. People wonder why I have Earthlink’s Reader as my home page on my browser. I tell them it’s the best way to browse full text feeds. I have my “firehose” feeds that post several times a day loaded up there and the Earthlink Reader is set up to scroll very quickly through them and has a handy marker which shows you when you start getting into articles that were current during your last session.

As you can see in the screenshot up top, there’s a nice browse feature which toggles between the My Yahoo-like tile view which they call “Quick View” and a river of news view which scrolls the articles full text called “Full View.” Bloglines even includes “3-pane view” for all you Outlook/Newsgator junkies.

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2. Search. Logging back into Bloglines tonight I was re-acquainted with the Bloglines search. I had stopped using this feature since I left Bloglines and the only vestige of the whole sharing of your subscriptions community I had on Bloglines was from an old ego-search that used the aggregated subscriptions of all the Bloglines users as a way to focus on hits from quality blogs. From the main window, you can search and an advanced option gives you a whole lot of power that, as far as I can tell, isn’t available on any other reader platform. The integration to Ask’s broader web search is a bit clumsy but hopefully that will be addressed now that there seems to be renewed attention on Bloglines as a product.

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The ability to limit keyword searches to your subscribed feeds or search any other Bloglines user’s public feeds, is a very cool option. No need to bookmark things for later, just let it flow by knowing that you can always reach in and retrieve it, using your subscription list as a helpful filter on sources you trust. I suppose you could do this with Google Coop or Lijit but Bloglines does it in an integrated way.

I’ll have to play around with this for a while; I noticed just now that Bloglines doesn’t seem to refresh as often for instance and I don’t see a “refresh” link anywhere on the Beta UI Paul Querna from Ask posts in the comments that Bloglines refreshes every 5 minutes or you can use “r” as a hotkey.

Update: Below is the breakdown of my feed subscribers as of this week. It’ll be interesting to see if people switch to Bloglines in any quantity.

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Update II: Nice, detailed review of the new Bloglines from Nathan Weinberg at Inside Google who interviewed Eric Engleman, the new GM of Bloglines.

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