October 21, 2010

Bloglines: Killed by the Butler, in the Conservatory, with a Need for Brand Focusing

On November 1st, my longtime favorite RSS reader website, Bloglines.com, will be kaput. It's being put down by its corporate master, Ask.com. You know, that other search engine that no one uses. The one that used to be Ask Jeeves, with that happy little butler. I remember asking that website a question a couple times, only to receive a list of search results not unlike Google or Yahoo. It didn't take long for me to realize that Jeeves was feeding me a line of BS. He wasn't answering my questions, he was just making me search in the form of a question. It's the Jeopardy of search engines.

So in an effort to continue being a third-rate search engine, they're cutting the fat—which happens to include Bloglines.

Flash back a year ago: my good friend over at Rick's Cafe Americain was trying to talk me into trying out Google Reader. I was afraid of the implications; I didn't want to give more of my online info and habits over to that privacy-gobbling West Coast monster. This wasn't really taking into account the fact that I do all of my searching and e-mailing through Google, and occasionally use their Blogger service. Now, left with no other place to really migrate my gigantic list of RSS feeds, I turned to the monster.

Surprisingly, Google Reader works about the same as Bloglines: a list of RSS feeds in a column on the left, the updated news articles on the right. It's all packaged in that horribly bland Google interface, but I can live with that. Plus, I can keep a couple of my well-read friends in my list, and they can recommend stuff for me to read and vice versa. It's a lot less intrusive and public than posting stuff to Facebook walls.

I've always said that personal blogging (like, say, this one) is best done with quality in mind, even if that means sacrificing regular posting. Because it shouldn't matter, so long as you've got a working RSS feed. These things let people know when you've updated the site, so you don't have to go around telling everyone to check out your blog post. So for everyone awash in the tragedy of losing Bloglines, Google Reader is like a helpful Red Cross shelter: it might not be pretty, but it gets the job done.

Posted by MikeRubino at October 21, 2010 10:20 AM


An interesting examination...that I read through my Google Reader. I've felt the same way about continually signing up for Google services...but dagnammit they work so efficiently.

Posted by: Anthony at October 21, 2010 11:25 AM

I know... I follow your tweets through Google Reader as well. We're both going to be doomed when they take over, but at least we'll be updated on our individual doomedness.

Posted by: Mike at October 21, 2010 11:44 AM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?