Phil Gyford


Wednesday 7 July 2004

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Bloglines, the web-based RSS reader of choice has had a first birthday revamp. It’s a bit cleaner and more professional-looking, although I’m not a fan of that deep sky blue, or the cartoony tabs. Also, something about the design hinders quick scanning — I think the “Posted on…” lines are rather intrusive to the flow. And I’m not entirely sure why a lot of links are brown. But otherwise, it’s nicely refreshing.

Among several other functionality tweaks, a brand new feature is the ability to quickly make a blog, hosted at Bloglines. Then, while reading your feeds, a couple of clicks lets you add any item to your public blog (or a private ‘Clippings folder’). Others can then subscribe to your blog’s RSS feed. And then they, of course, can blog items you’ve blogged, so others can read their blog and blog what they blogged about you blogging, etc, etc.

Nothing new really, but having all this in a single application makes the incestuous blogging cycle all the more apparent. I won’t be using my Bloglines blog but I put a couple of items in so you can see what they look like. Will it catch on? Maybe there’s a subset of people who use the RSS reader who don’t have a blog and want to try it for themselves. Maybe the next step is the ability to post to existing Movable Type, Blogger, Typepad, etc, blogs…

I’m still not sure how Bloglines is going to make money without suddenly charging all those of us who are hooked on the wonderful service though…

(If you’ve read all this and have no idea what RSS is, try my simple guide.)


I'm getting used too it, but I agree the "posted on lines" are intrusive. I think they (and the horizontal rules) might be better in a lighter gray.

Posted by Lee Maguire on 7 July 2004, 5:18 pm | Link

Just had a response to an email I sent to Bloglines:

"The link colors are meant to help distinguish where a particular link goes to. Brown links go to sites outside of the blog you're reading, blue links go to other links within the blog. We hope this is useful, and we're looking at ways to improve it."

Makes sense, I guess, but it's a bit distracting - doesn't help that the brown looks rather out of place.

Posted by Phil Gyford on 8 July 2004, 9:29 am | Link

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