You've become slow and unreliable in your old age. I've mostly been able to ignore this now and then, but recently your pace has hindered my ability do get thru my RSS feeds in a timely fashion. But let's face it. You're not young and spry anymore.

I can look past the fact that you're not the prettiest aggregator on the block anymore. I'm always willing to put function before appearance. But when function starts to fall behind, you can't really fall back on your good looks either.

While Google Reader is calling me from afar, I sit here reading a message about your "problem with the database" and wonder how long you'll be down this time.

Are you off sneaking around with that plumber again? I thought we had something special--a real connection. Were my daily visits not enough to satisfy you?

Please tell me if it's over. I don't want a long, drawn out break-up. No passive-aggressive mind games, please. I'll pack up my OPML file and move on with life.

I miss the days when I didn't question your stability or, dare I say, performance.

Update: Bloglines responds in excellent form.

Posted by jzawodn at April 04, 2007 10:53 AM

Reader Comments
# Jeremy Johnstone said:

I've recently started using NetNewsWire on my Mac. It's fit the bill perfectly for me and has returned me to being regular blog reading. I've used Google Reader (and Bloglines prior to that) but found I couldn't stay focused on reading my blog feeds regularly.

on April 4, 2007 11:12 AM
# Rich Lafferty said:

Like Jeremy Johnstone, I've finally given up on web-based RSS reading and moved to the desktop. For me it's FeedDemon. It synchronizes with NewsGator, which is nice, although if you find Bloglines slow you'll find NewsGator painful, I think.

Google Reader's just too.. Googly for me. All those primary colors and rounded corners. I want dense information and newspaper-style reading, and Google Reader always feels like it was designed for people new to RSS.

on April 4, 2007 11:56 AM
# Mike said:

After using Bloglines for several years, I switched to Google Reader about a month ago and I've never looked back. It's far more intuitive, reliable, modern, and on and on. Take the leap - you won't regret it.

on April 4, 2007 12:04 PM
# Bryce Thornton said:

I too left Bloglines for Google Reader a couple months ago. So far I'm happy I made the switch. It took a bit of getting used to the subtle navigation differences, but I've grown to like many aspects of the interface better than Bloglines. I say go for it.

on April 4, 2007 12:09 PM
# Chris G. said:

I gave up on Bloglines when Google Reader went to version 2. There is just no comparison.

on April 4, 2007 12:10 PM
# Moo said:

I made the jump to Google Reader about 3 months ago. Not only was Bloglines itself getting slow, but their feed crawler was unreliable on top of that so I would constantly miss items or get updates days after they were posted, if at all. This was an ongoing issue for the better part of last year that I got fed up with.

It's a good thing Reader had that big redesign last year because otherwise I would probably have given up altogether. The alternatives just don't do it good enough IMO.

on April 4, 2007 12:12 PM
# Chris Shiflett said:

I've never been able to find an aggregator that I like, but I recently created my own planet, and so far it has been a perfect fit:

It also gives other people the chance to follow your reading list, and based on statistics so far, that's interesting to a lot of people.

on April 4, 2007 12:37 PM
# Cameron Watters said:

There are other web-based feed readers besides Google Reader?


Anyway, switched to Google Reader as soon as rev 2 came out. Couldn't be happier. NNW on the Mac is great, but I needed to switch (as I increasingly do for everything, now) to a web-based reader as my primary reader.

on April 4, 2007 12:46 PM
# Brad said:

[Full disclosure: i am founder of]

If you are looking for new readers, i am currently working on a web-based one which is very comparable to g-reader and bloglines at . We are going to have a new version very soon (finishing up testing and docs now).

on April 4, 2007 12:51 PM
# Joe said:

I gave up on Bloglines. Once Google Reader pulled its head out of the sand, I switched. I like the Google Reader interface because navigation is easier, the interface is cleaner, the fonts are easy to read, all items don't get marked as read once I move to another feed, etc. I can go on and on. I also like that I can HTTPS Google Reader.

on April 4, 2007 01:16 PM
# Bruce Boughton said:

I'm worried for the Ask guys. They can't keep up with Google (or Yahoo) on search, and they can't keep up on feed readers. No wonder no one's joining the Information Revolution ;) (

I too jumped to Google when v2 came out and I have never regretted it. The main problem I had with Bloglines was that it marked posts as read as soon as they were loaded into the interface. If you had to stop reading before you got to the bottom, you had to manually mark each unread post as keep new. That's the dumbest thing ever. Google Reader gets this right and then has a sexier, more usable frame-less UI to boot.

Make the jump Jeremy---you won't regret it.

on April 4, 2007 01:26 PM
# jamie martin said:

yep, google reader all the way, or rojo is very very nice as well

on April 4, 2007 01:33 PM
# joe laz said:

Switch to Google Reader... you won't regret it. I gave up on Bloglines a few months back and don't miss is in the least.

on April 4, 2007 01:39 PM
# Tom C said:

I agree with pretty much everyone that has commented thus far. Switch to Google Reader because it just plain works.

on April 4, 2007 02:24 PM
# Lee Majella said:

I've not had the problems with Bloglines listed here. Can't remember the last time i logged in and was greeted with the 'plumber' screen.

May try Google Reader just for kicks, but for now Bloglines and i are still going steady.

on April 4, 2007 02:46 PM
# Dave said:

Jeremy, did you cross-post this to craigslist? It might make best-of over there.

on April 4, 2007 02:53 PM
# said:

looks like I beat you at something hehe

on April 4, 2007 02:58 PM
# Ryan Kennedy said:

I made the jump from Bloglines to Google Reader a while back. I had a long history of screaming at Bloglines and couldn't take it anymore. I refuse to use desktop software for this since I have too many machines I use throughout the day, much like I won't use desktop email either.

on April 4, 2007 03:10 PM
# Gregor J. Rothfuss said:

Forget switching to a desktop reader, that is a step back.

on April 4, 2007 03:52 PM
# Martin said:

I use as a RSS Reader.

Anyone else?

on April 4, 2007 03:58 PM
# Sam said:

Friend of mine has a web reader with a bunch of features that I like:

on April 4, 2007 04:51 PM
# Tim McGhee said:

I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader a long time ago.

Recently I've begun to switch again.

Google Reader makes managing more than 100 feeds a miserable experience. Reading them all is fine. It's the *management* of many feeds (> 100) that is horrendous (very slow) in Reader. Bloglines still has them easily beat on that front.

With the announcement/leak that Yahoo! Mail was going unlimited on space, and with the advent of Yahoo! Pipes, I've moved a lot of my feeds over to a Y! Pipes-Alerts-Mail combination.

It's working really nice so far. It reminds me of when I had everything in one big massive Feedblitz email, only now in necessary and helpful moderation.

It's too bad that Yahoo! hasn't come out with a non-Flash (as in, not slow!), mark-as-read kind of reader to compete with Bloglines and Google Reader!!

As I've been reading my feeds in one email again in Y! Mail, I'm realizing maybe I should give Google Reader's "Expanded View" another try. Unlikely to help much, though. And that still says nothing of its feed management problems.

Yahoo! Alerts' daily option with "new items" would be nice if it would actually stick to just ... new items! I can even deal with the truncated content, but duplicates are a different matter entirely.

10,895 days

on April 4, 2007 05:07 PM
# Sérgio Carvalho said:

I jumped from bloglines to rojo about half a year ago, when bloglines was suffering major updade lags and service failures. Rojo has one downside: a tendency to hang Firefox's single-threaded javascript engine for 2s on the first page load. After that, it's a pleasant looking, functional and fast reader.

on April 4, 2007 06:03 PM
# Michelle said:

Eh, I'm not horribly impressed with Google Reader honestly, at least not as much as others seem to be. When I click on a feed which has 1 updated item, it shows me EVERYTHING from a certain period of time (which I have no control over). I'd like to just see the new items. I too haven't had any issues with Bloglines so will most likely be sticking to that for the immediate future.

on April 4, 2007 06:12 PM
# Ann E. Mouse said:

Can you do technocrapi next?

on April 4, 2007 06:48 PM
# Bloglines said:

Dearest Jeremy,

What can we say, you caught us at an awkward moment. It was only a second, but we understand that it hurts.

We’re well aware of the love you’ve shown to us in the past. You’ve sung our praises as far back as 2004:

And last year, when you cheated on us with Google Reader, we waited patiently until you came running back:

We’re not indestructible, Jeremy. Subscribe with us and we provide. Flame us and we burn. And nine times out of ten, if you wait a few seconds and refresh, we come right back.

That’s what happened this time as well. One of our servers was down for a bit. Seconds later, it was back up and running:

But we know it wasn’t the duration that prompted your letter. In a relationship mistakes are made, but isn’t it the relationship that matters most?

We know you wouldn’t go to Google if you could help it. What’s really bothering you, Jeremy? Is it how we look? We’ve been doing everything we can to work on our appearance and become a better Bloglines for you. Even today’s brief glitch came because we’re in the middle of improvements we’ve been making to our back-end. You used to like our back-end, Jeremy. What’s changed?

We’re working on ourselves, just like you like us to. Wait until you see the “new” us. You’ll have to beat the other bloggers off with a stick. And even if you leave us, we’ll take you back. We’d never turn our back on a friend just because of a momentary lapse.

Yours Always,

PS Forget the plumber. He means nothing to us.

on April 4, 2007 07:12 PM
# Mihai Parparita said:

Michelle, if you choose the "new items" option (as opposed to "all items") at top, underneath the feed title, you will only see new items.

Mihai Parparita
Google Reader Engineer

on April 4, 2007 08:25 PM
# Matt Cutts said:

Everyone is going to have different preferences in their feed readers. I stayed with Bloglines for a long time. One of the big factors in switching to Google Reader for me was that if someone changed a punctuation mark in a blog post, Bloglines would show it as new again, and Reader wouldn't. That setting made me about 30% faster because I was reading 30% fewer redundant posts. Did I miss when someone did a big update to a post? Yup. But it was still a net win for me.

One thing I recommend is for folks to try several different feed readers every so often. Try Netvibes, Bloglines, or Google Reader. Different readers will resonate with different folks, and that's not a bad thing.

on April 4, 2007 09:01 PM
# Michelle said:

Ah thanks Mihai, that's much better. I was looking in preferences. :)

on April 4, 2007 09:19 PM
# PanMan said:

I did make the switch from Bloglines, to google, a couple of months back. Mainly because of 2 issues: I love the stats for Google reader (and wish they expand them. Why no overall stats, but only last month?). But the main thing is that with the Google reader, I can read 10 posts of a 100 post thread, and read the next 10 the next day. With bloglines, either all or none are marked read.

on April 5, 2007 06:11 AM
# Dennis Goedegebuure said:

Nicely put Jeremy.
I'm looking for a new reader as well.

Loved the style you have put it.


on April 5, 2007 10:55 AM
# Todd Huss said:

I made the switch from Bloglines to a few months back and have really been enjoying it!

on April 6, 2007 09:53 AM
# KJH said:

I too made the switch from Bloglines a few months ago. It was great while it lasted. Then I discoverd Netvibes ( - perfect for the hundreds of feeds I have, the jumpy way I like to read posts out of chronological order, and full of AJAX-y goodness. ;-)

on April 6, 2007 06:17 PM
# Richard Crowley said:

Its all about Newshutch. Bonus points for you in that, if you use Newshutch, you're not using a Google product. Not that it matters. Seriously, though, Newshutch stole me away from Bloglines over a year ago.

on April 7, 2007 07:31 AM
# JoeW said:

Interesting that Bloglines responded here, but have not been so forthcoming on their support forum regarding an ongoing problem with feeds being marked as read when they haven't been (,1912)

Their basic functionality has been broken for a couple of weeks now, and I for one am, regretfully, abandoning them.

on April 12, 2007 10:10 AM
# HT said:

This post really makes me laugh. It sounds so poetic to me, yet you are writing about technology. This is great!

You should try this one out:, if you haven't found your home. It can syndicate multimedia content (like Youtube) that's not available in RSS. The coolest thing is that you don't need to register to use it :)

on August 9, 2007 02:42 PM
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