Always in search for a better way to handle my gigantic reading list of RSS feeds, here’s what I recently found which interested me (and probably you too!). Enter BlogBridge, a brand new RSS newsreaders which I think is quite unique. This hybrid app/service feels in-between Bloglines and a full blown RSS newsreader application.
Blogbridge differs from other RSS newsreaders in that it’s a Java app which runs on any platform (Mac, Windows, Linux) straight from a simple web download. Furthermore, after signing up for an account, your feed reading habits are synchronized with your other computers running Blogbridge as well. While this is something Bloglines already handles, BlogBridge is more responsive and offers more views which is essential when dealing with heavy amounts of information. In the web 2.0 space, I’d call this a hybrid between an application and a web service (meaning web 1.5?)
Little nuances include:
1. Neat little frequency chart visually shows how many posts were made for each weekday.
2. The Guides feature is passe, but the blogstarz feature related to it makes sense, since it “recommends” blogs feed which weigh into your preferences (you rate guides with up to 5 stars).
3. Multiple views let’s you adjust how much information you wish to display at one time. Note that under the most summarized view (by title only), clicking on the arrow on the left reveals an excerpt of the post, while clicking on the title bring you to the web page itself in your web browser.
As you can also see, there’s a circle which I marked as “Argh!” That my friends is bad interface design to me, since I have a lot of channels and denying me of a scroll bar but instead a one-by-one guide scroller is way too painful for me. Seriously, I wonder how many feeds an average internet user subscribes to. I’ve hundreds which makes Google Reader and a lot of other services behave inadequately for me.
Major complaint to RSS newsreader developers:
BlogBridge is a fantastically well written Java app, but like most other RSS newsreaders, BlogBridge also doesn’t allow you to quickly glance an entire group/channel/guide full of categorized feeds on one click? On the Mac, NetNewsWire and NewsFire do this right off the bat. On the PC, the only one I found (and am currently using) is GreatNews RSS Reader, which has this feature. Why isn’t this a standard feature?