Ryan Wood

Product Builder, Rubyist, Entrepreneur of sorts
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28 Oct 2006
Google Reader

I’ve been using Bloglines for a couple of years as my primary blog aggregator. I have looked at a ton of them and, though desktop aggregators offer more features, I really prefer a web-based reader. It’s just easier to maintain what Ive read across multiple machines. Bloglines has simply dominated the web aggregator market.

About a year ago, I saw that Google had an experimental app call “Reader”. Since I’m a huge google fan, I thought, “Finally! A worthy competitor to Bloglines.” After spending a few hours getting all my feed set up (thankfully there was an OPML import) and working with it, I concluded that it was one of the worst web apps I had ever used. It was simply horrible. The UI was inconsistent, it used bad AJAX, standard feature were missing. Disappointed, I went back to Bloglines.

Yesterday, I wondered what ever happened to reader. Since it was part of Google Labs what did they decide to do? The boldest thing they could. They re-wrote the whole thing. It is 1000% better. Clean, understandable UI, using AJAX the right way. Needless to say, I’ve been very impressed so far.

If you already have a Gmail account, there’s not even a signup process. Give it a try.

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