Posts Tagged ‘bloglines’

R.I.P. BlogLines

Friday, October 1st, 2010

I admit, I am a bit old-school.  I have a Twitter account, but I don’t get the fascination of people reporting on their latest bowel movements or how they try to sum up the new iPhone in 140 characters or less.  I still prefer Outlook over Gmail’s wonky tagging approach (where are my folders!?), and while I once described a new technology thusly: “I have seen the future, and it is Google Wave” (it’s now dead), I still like my old-school, tried-and-true methods of consuming content.

For over a half-decade, I’ve used Bloglines.com as my home page and primary RSS reader, and as of November 1, it is no more.  Quoting from Ask.com (the owners of BlogLines):

A little perspective: when we originally acquired Bloglines in 2005, RSS was in its infancy. The concept of “push” versus “search” around information consumption had become very real, and we were bullish about the opportunity Bloglines presented for our users. 
 
Flash forward to 2010. The Internet has undergone a major evolution. The real-time information RSS was so astute at delivering (primarily, blog feeds) is now gained through conversations, and consuming this information has become a social experience. As Steve Gillmor pointed out in TechCrunch last year , being locked in an RSS reader makes less and less sense to people as Twitter and Facebook dominate real-time information flow. Today RSS is the enabling technology – the infrastructure, the delivery system. RSS is a means to an end, not a consumer experience in and of itself. As a result, RSS aggregator usage has slowed significantly, and Bloglines isn’t the only service to feel the impact.. The writing is on the wall.


Good points, indeed, and certainly not ones I haven’t made myself in the past.  But as a consultant from the Plumtree world, then the AquaLogic User Interface (ALUI) world, and now the WebCenter Interaction (WCI) world, I’m faced with a lot of questions like “should I migrate to WebCenter Spaces?”.  My answer has universally been something along the lines of:

WebCenter Spaces is still a reasonably new technology, there are still quite a few rough edges, and it’s not for everyone (like .NET shops).  And since as of this writing there’s no official migration path yet from WebCenter Interaction, I suggest either playing ‘wait and see’, or starting over with an evaluation of ALL products (Sharepoint, Confluence, Alfresco, you name it!) from scratch, based on your business needs NOW, not what they were 5 years ago when you bought Plumtree.  It’s going to hurt going from WCI to WebCenter Spaces, so why not accept that pain and consider alternatives that have emerged since then?  (Oracle: Don’t get me wrong – you may still have the best solution for legacy Plumtree customers, I’m just suggesting you need to still work for them!)

Which brings me back to my original point about BlogLines:  sure, it was old-school, and RSS Reader technology has progressed rapidly in the past 5 years, but what about those of us that actually prefer the “original” way of consuming RSS content (one feed at a time)?  I’ve tried Google Reader, but frankly I prefer this (individual feeds with full :

… over this:

So my questions to you, friends, are:

  1. How do you embrace new technology?  Out with the old, in with the new at any cost (see: What would email look like if it were invented today?)?  Or do you prefer incremental changes that expand on an existing platform to maintain the old way of doing things (see: Google Wave is Dead)?
  2. Do you have any suggestions for a great RSS reader that can consolidate content as well as Bloglines?  While I knocked Google Reader above, it really does a great job of handling feeds and making them searchable, but it almost feels like “too much” (given many of my feeds in the screen shots above generate hundreds of articles/day, and aggregate feed reader is the least of my requirements; I prefer reading my daily Dilbert cartoon separately from today’s CNN’s news articles).