Back before the holidays I mentioned that I was going to give Google Reader another try after I wasn’t all that impressed with the initial offering way back when. After a few weeks, I’ve decided to continue using it over Bloglines, for a couple of reasons.
First, one of the things I like to do is keep my feeds in folders, and then just read them that way. Each of the services allows me to do that. What I used to really like about Bloglines is that it would go ahead and mark everything read, without me having to click on it or do anything other than scroll. Google has added that, and eliminated one of the quirks about Bloglines that I got caught with a few times, namely once you highlight that folder, everything in it is marked read, so if your browser crashes or something happens that makes you go away from your computer, if you close that screen, those entries were all marked read and disappear. With Google Reader, the ones you hadn’t scrolled through are still unread, and even if you read something, you can set it to go ahead and show you the posts you’ve already read in each folder as well.
The second, and most recent, reason is the trends page. I don’t really care much about the total number of posts I’ve read or who has the most posts, but I really liked being able to go and find which feeds haven’t been updated in a long time. That helps me clear out dead feeds, and more importantly, prompted me to go looking for those feeds that hadn’t been updated and discover that those folks had moved their feeds and I hadn’t spotted it before. So it helped me get back to reading some blogs I had lost track of without knowing I had lost track of them. That’s always nice.
That being said there are two things Reader doesn’t do that I wish it did. One isn’t really their fault, but I’ve been intrigued by the idea of having “today’s links” added to the Feedburner feed for me, which it can do from my Bloglines link blog, but not from Google Reader’s “shared items”. The other is that Google Reader doesn’t give me anyway to share my reading list, or OPML file the way Bloglines does. I’m going to have to find some other way to do that. I’m sure that I will.