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Using the RSS Reader, Bloglines

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bloglines is a great tool for following your favorite blogs.  This article shows you basic features that make it such a powerful reader.

There are many tools you can use to follow blogs.  I personally like Bloglines, which is a service provided by Ask.com.  It has a simple interface and is easy to use.

I admit, I was originally a Google Reader fan, simply because it was the only reader I knew of.  But I was never fond of the interface so I began to seek out other options.  After experimenting with some other readers, I came across Bloglines and fell in love.

Interface

The interface is similar to Windows Explorer.  The left panel contains your feed list, while the right column displays the chosen feed.  Feeds can be displayed in an expandable format, meaning you can easily browse through the titles and then expand the ones you want to read (as shown below; other options are available, see Settings below).

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Categories

With Bloglines, you can categorize your feeds by creating separate folders.  When you subscribe to a feed using Bloglines, you have the option of creating a folder or you can simply store it at the top level.

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Clippings

Another great feature is Clippings.  Clippings allows you to “clip” a blog post, which is then saved under the Clippings tab.  You also have the ability to categorize your clippings.  So for example, let’s say you find a great post, but don’t have time to finish reading it.  Simply clip it and save it for later.  Or let’s say you want to track the comments of a particular post and don’t want to subscribe to the blog’s comments.  Simply clip it and return to it periodically.

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Settings

You also have control over other options, such as how items are displayed.  For example, you can choose the “posting length”  to either display the entire post, a summary, or just the title (I display only the title as shown under Interface, above).  Below is a screenshot the shows the options that are available.

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There you have it, the basic, yet powerful features of Bloglines. 

While I’m certainly a fan of Bloglines, I’d love to hear from you about other readers out there that you use and why.  Drop me a line in the comments.

2 Responses to "Using the RSS Reader, Bloglines"

Robert Eastman Says:

Thanks very much for this overview of Bloglines. I really like the look-and-feel of Bloglines, but have been thoroughly frustrated by Bloglines' inability to send me a verification email or, failing that, to follow up with me to help.

I have asked 3-4 times for a verification email, and contacted support multiple times.

This abysmal level of performance and support leads me to believe that it is time for me to look at another RSS reader. Caveat emptor.

Julie Cahill Tarr Says:

Robert,

First, so glad you were able to finally get this posted.

Second, I'm sorry to hear about the problems you are experiencing w/ Bloglines. I've had mine set up for a number of months, and can't even remember how I got started.

The only thing I can suggest is that perhaps your email service is blocking the email or considering it spam.

Hope it all works out. And if you come across another reader, I'd love to hear about.

Julie

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