Bloglines rules

Posted by Swaroop C H on January 12, 2005 Filed under: blogging, tech

According to FeedBurner, Bloglines owns one-third of the RSS market. All hail Bloglines!

Bloglines is a website where you can subscribe to blogs and any RSS or Atom feed and when new stories are posted, you can read them from Bloglines. You won't have to visit every website to read their latest stories. There are many other feed aggregators and ways of reading feeds from Live Bookmarks in Firefox to GUI software such as SharpReader. More info on aggregators are at Wikipedia.

I personally use Bloglines and find it very intuitive and easy to use. Some of the features I like about it are:

  • Its fast.

  • Its free.

  • No ads (yes, really, there are no ads).

  • Want to add a blog? No problem, click on Add and enter the LiveJournal user or Blogspot user name and then presto, it's added.

  • Want to write your own blog? No problem, Bloglines does that for you too.

  • Want to save a particular blog post to read later on? No problem, simply click on 'Keep New' on the bottom right corner of the displayed post. You can save posts as well - its called a clip/blog.

  • You can also import/export your blogroll from/to an OPML file to interact with other services if you need to.

  • The Bloglines directory has a humongous list of blogs out there. Explore!

  • Bloglines generates a you-might-be-interested-in-this list of blogs based on your current subscriptions.

  • There are notifiers for you on all platforms that you can keep running in the background and they'll notify you when there are new posts waiting for you to be read.

  • Bloglines tells you the number of people also subscribed to the same feed. This helps you judge the popularity of a blog and whether it is worth spending your time on that blog.

  • When reading a particular blog and you feel the need to get more perspective on the same topics, just click on 'related feeds' and Bloglines will do the rest for you.

  • I think this is a very subtle yet important feature - I read all the blogs in the same interface. Don't you find it irritating that when you visit many websites, you have to adjust yourself to the layout of the site and figure out where the actual content is? This especially happens with commercial news sites. With Bloglines, the same simple interface is used for all the stories that you read.

  • Bloglines has great Firefox support. They even have a Firefox center.

  • They have a Web Services API and there are already many 3rd party tools and libraries using it.

    • Update: As JD mentions in the comments, FeedDemon is a GUI software that can use Bloglines. This is really neat!
  • If more people read the same feed on Bloglines, it doesn't affect the traffic for the original blog website since Bloglines has to just fetch the RSS or Atom feed once and everybody can read it.

  • You can have a public blogroll. Check out my big blogroll.

  • The 'Search All Blogs' feature simply rocks.

Phew! That's quite a list of features. I think most emphasis has to be on the usability of Bloglines - somehow it feels so natural for me to use Bloglines. I am very picky to say such things about websites because there are so many things that could annoy you.

Best feature of all? Use it once and read anywhere. I usually read blogs at home but sometimes I'd like to read stuff at work when I'm bored or just waiting for a program to finish running. That's the advantage of a web-based tool like Bloglines. Yahoo! and Bloglines are the two websites that are always open in my browser.

The only thing that really worries me about Bloglines is how're they making dough? I mean, Bloglines is supposed to be a business after all, and I see all these great features and yet no ads of any sort or any paid 'plus' model either. I should actually be happy about that but I'm worried that they'll do something nasty later on. Please don't mistake this for FUD, I really love Bloglines and I'm going to keep using it - I just want to know how it's going to survive.

However, let that not get in your way, just try Bloglines - you'll really like it.


Sridhar R says:

Client app for linux?

JD says:

For me, the fact that my subscriptions are in sync whether I access them from Work/Home, is a winner. Earlier, I used to use NewsGator in Outlook which means that if I were to access same feed from home/office, I will to sync read items manually.

Though lately I am looking at FeedDemon (the current beta version) as it is a true Windows program, and it uses Bloglines to sync your subscriptions, it means best of both the worlds!


Swaroop C H says:

Hey JD,

That's a really neat application of Bloglines! Don't know how I missed it but thanks for letting me know. I can't try out FeedDemon because my work comp is a Fedora Box but I still have Bloglines nonetheless :D

Pramod says:

Wow! reads better than any Bloglines ad ;)
I shifted from Bloglines 'cos I generally like rich clients and am not a browser person. And about accessing from more than 1 computer..I do a quick glance of all articles at the office in knode, and file away interesting ones in delicious for later use. I guess my usage pattern is not conventional ;)
And hey, did you try nntprss?

Swaroop C H says:

Hey Pramod,
Thanks! I always thought I'd be a bad marketing guy, but apparently not ;).

Actually, your way is not quite that different. I do bookmark long-but-yet-interesting articles on but sometimes I just use the 'Keep New' feature in Bloglines - it's just so much simpler for me.

And yes, I've used nntp/rss , actually [Avinash]( has set it up on his comp so that any yahoo can access their favorite feeds from a local box - for one, it saves bandwidth. However, I heard you can get latest stories via email as well. I haven't tried that feature yet but that is a lot easier for those yahoos who use mutt or other console email clients...

Somehow, I prefer the browser interface, I don't know why but I do. So, I stick with Firefox and Bloglines for now :)

JD says:


Even I am rich client guy and that is why I am currently evaluting FeedDemon.

The beta version of FeedDemon can optionally use Bloglines for your channel groups and if you read an item which is read in FeedDemon, it is read in Bloglines as well! Pretty neat! Check it out.

And if you are using Outlook, then NewsGator provides similar functionality.


Swaroop C H says:

Hey Sridhar,

I have heard [Akregator]( is good. A whole bunch of aggregators for Linux are listed at [rss-specifications]( and [Wikipedia](


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