Google Reader vs. Bloglines

This is a tad late as I was offline most of last week.

Google has launched a newsreader called Google Reader. While it's only in beta for Google LABS, it's a pretty polished web application. Lots of fancy AJAX goodness for you Web 2.0 people. Recent headlines are all on the left hand side of the page sorted chronologically with a content window on the right. I imported my huge list of feeds from Bloglines and, while it took forever and a day to do it, Reader didn't barf. One surprise after the import was that all the groups of feeds I had were converted to tags attached to the individual articles. Pretty nice if you ask me, espcially as it allows for multiple tags attached to be attached to the feeds (unlike bloglines).

Compared to Bloglines and on the downside, Reader is pretty rudimentary. I'm not sure if Reader is a proof of concept application but it strikes me as a step backward as far as newsreaders are concerned. For one thing, it's hard, as in too much pointing and clicking, to view new articles from just one source. And it's really slow, even compared to my beloved Bloglines. Marking a group of items as read is painful as well. But the one thing I absolutely love are the keyboard shortcuts. If Bloglines would improve their interface (something they haven't done in the two years I've been using it) to something closer like this, I'd probably start paying them to use it.

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