After trying many online feed readers and after a rough start, I settled on Bloglines as my primary feed reader. I want an online reader, because I want things read here to show as read there.
In general, I think Bloglines does a lot right. It’s faster than the other online readers I have tried, including some that you have to- gasp- pay for.
But it could be so much better.
Why, for example, are there some feeds that just will not work in Bloglines? I read Dwight Silverman every day, but not via Bloglines. It simply will not pull his feed (and I have the new RSS feed address).
And why aren’t there more options when you subscribe to a feed? I organize my reading list by the name of the blogger, as opposed to the blog name. So I have to sign up and then go back in and edit the name. Not the end of the world, but there’s no reason this can’t be handled on the front end.
Finally, has anyone ever had a problem resolved by emailing Bloglines? For some frustrating reason Bloglines shows my main page as “index.html,” which is both unnecessary (you don’t need to page address; just use http://www.newsome.org/) and wrong (it’s index.shtml). This means that people who try to click over to the main page from within bloglines get an error message (fortunately, the post pages have the correct URLs so clicking to a post page works properly). I’ve emailed tech support three times about this and no one has replied, other than via a canned response that they received my email and will look into it. Blah, blah, blah.
Dwight has a very timely article today on email tech support. Someone at Bloglines needs to read it. Put it on the bulletin board. Memorize it.
Here’s the thing.
No one has a secret formula where feed reading is concerned. So all of the feed readers do the same thing, as far as the big stuff goes. The war for market share will be won on the battleground of the little things.
And Bloglines isn’t doing the little things right.
I’m not ready to switch yet, but I’m starting to think about it. And that’s not the way to keep customers.