Bloglines beta – so nice to see ya.


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.


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.


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.


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

Diller to buy Jeeves says New York Times

Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp is set to buy Ask Jeeves, the 4th largest search engine company (5th according to the WSJ lead) for $1.9 billion (Reuters confirms it’s $1.85 billion) in stock writes the New York Times.

Ask purchased Bloglines, the web-based RSS aggregator, last month. 70% of Ask’s revenues come from advertising served by Google so we might see this change as search results drive traffic to network commerce sites owned by IAC such as Expedia, Ticketmaster, Home Shopping Network, and CitySearch.

No word on the TypePad-powered Ask Jeeves blog at this time.

UPDATE: In a Reuters recap of a conference call, Diller is quoted as saying, “Global search is the gateway to everything.” Sounds like we’re heading back to the portal days of old and that search engines are once again the core to any portal. How many months before people start talking again about search engine lock-in and adding hooks to make a search engine more than just another bookmark?

Still no word from the Ask Jeeves blog or