Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bloglines vs. Google Reader: How to Manage the Information Overload?

For the longest time, I used Bloglines to manage my RSS feeds. I'm not sure why I chose Bloglines, maybe Trillwing recommended it. I think I read some positive reviews.

Back in those olden days (2006) I started out manually adding other blogs to my blogroll. Then I discovered BlogRolling. BlogRolling makes it super easy to add blogs to your list and for a while I was happy. But soon, I discovered another problem...The blogs I was reading on Bloglines and those I was linking to on BlogRolling often didn't match. Periodically I would go through and match them up, but often I would forget to add some nice person's blog that I was enjoying.

I haven't research it, but I think different folk have different philosophies about their blogrolls. Who you include depends a lot on what you are trying to do with your blog. Are you trying to make money? Become popular with the "in-crowd"? I just wanted to write about my struggles in academia and hear about how other academics were doing. My graduate program was so without community that blogging about my troubles really helped me get through difficult times. (You guys, if anyone is still reading, helped me survive to get my M.A. and get into a better program! Yay!)

The point is, I wanted the blogs I read and the blogs in my blogroll to be the same. Now I could probably do some pruning, since I'm sure some folks I don't really read that often, but it was nice to just sort of keep up with the events in lots of folks' lives.

Then I discovered that I could create a blogroll using Bloglines and specifying only the blogs in my "academic blogs" folder. "Hooray!" I thought. This all Bloglines system lasted me for quite a while. But this summer I was tempted by Google Reader. Certain internet "experts" recommended Google Reader because it has a feature called "list view" which allows you to scan just the titles of the articles. "The Expert" claimed that this would save you hours each day and so I exported my subscriptions to Google Reader and tried it out. Unfortunately, I haven't been keeping up on my blog reading this summer and so I'm not sure how I like this new system. It seems that I'm back to my old problem- with Google Reader I have to maintain a separate list as a blogroll.

Then there is Bloglines Beta, which seems to have many of the same readability features a Google Reader. Now I'm just not sure what to do!

8 comments:

k8 said...

I use bloglines. I'm too lazy to switch - I'm comfortable with it. I've used google reader, but I learned it so that I could present it as a choice to my students (they blog their journals). I think it all depends on which you prefer aesthetically as much as technologically.

JustMe said...

i use google reader, i switched at one point when bloglines was not picking up lots of feeds, and it's fine, so i haven't bothered to explore more. plus, i like the new "preview" thing were you can read the comments, etc and see the actual page if you want to. need to use greasemoneky tho.

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