And then there were three news readers

It all started with Sage. That was when I really grasped the awesome power of rss (and by rss I mean all syndication formats, atom, etc.). It changed my life. I could now keep track of an exponential number of sites and be up-to-date on so many news sources. Life was great. Pretty soon though, I started getting tired of having to mark items as read at home that I’d already read at work, not to mention having to coordinate subscriptions. For the time being, I just dealt with it, until I went on a trip and was completely away from my feeds crack. Then I added Bloglines. Bloglines is web-based, so I can access it anywhere from any machine and it always has my most recent state of unread items and my feeds are in one place. Rejoice! And, I can still have Sage for internal (e.g. corporate network) feeds (or feeds that actually are machine and location specific). Google Reader came along (note: I intended to do this post long ago when reader came out) and was added to the mix of my newsreaders. As of yet, I haven’t really used it much. My main problem with reader is that I subscribe to several feeds where I don’t care about 80% of the updates. Reader basically has one flow of news, an aggregate of all my feeds, whereas Bloglines has several folders that I’ve setup that allow me to have several flows of news which I can gate as I please. I sort of think of Bloglines as my personalized newspaper and of Google Reader as a friend telling me news (in Bloglines I can jump between the sections of interest and with Reader I trust that what my friend wants to tell me most is probably of interest to me as well). The beautiful thing about all of this is OPML and open standards! Switching back and forth between newsreaders is as easy as can be! So, whenever the next leap in news reader evolution occurs, I’m just an export and import away from giving it a whirl. Anyway, such has been my life and times with news readers — hope you enjoyed the tale.

Sage, Bloglines and Reader