In Search of the Perfect News Reader

In my last Intelligent Blogging post, “Where Did That Blog Go?”  I began investigating the RSS Reader board tool, its use and why you and I, as writers, need to be found on someone’s other than our mother’s.

But between my last post and this,  I’ve discovered that my current iGoogle Reader  tool is outdated and looks like it’s on a slippery slide out the back door of discarded technology, as Google once again morph’s into its newer version  Google+ in an attempt to make themselves more appealing and user-friendly (Ouch! I hate it when I get comfy with something just about the time the techno boys and girls start changing it out for something better.).

Yet I am discovering that not all change is bad.

Take this switch up from the old iGoogle Reader to the newer Google+ for example.  I may not be crazy about the way the dashboard looks (too many features on Home Page that gives it a cluttered feeling), but I have to say that they’ve made subscribing to RSS feeds, creating subject folders and moving subscriptions back and forth between folders 100% better and easier than iGoogle Reader does.

 For starters, if I want to add a new RSS feed to my Reader board in iGoogle, I have to leave my Reader, find their Widget page and create a new Widget for each feed I want to follow.  And if I forget to create an initial file folder prior to adding the feed, I have to go through the very tedious process of creating the file, going back to each subscription, opening>copying the URL  and re-adding it to my new folder all over again.

In the great big world of drag and drop, why they’ve created such a drawn out process I couldn’t tell you. For those of us who have allowed ourselves the maximum amount of one cup of coffee per new learning curve, it is highly unlikely I will get around to cleaning up the Reader Page any time soon.

So you can imagine my utter delight to have discovered that the Google+ Reader (you can access via your iGoogle tool bars More tab) is everything I could hope for. With this new and improved version I can add new feeds by simply copying thier URL, clicking on the file I want to put it in, open the Subscribe tab, paste  and it’s done. A new feed in my sidebar.

And  if I subscribe to a feed before I’ve created a file, no problem. I mosey on over  go to the  ‘Feed Settings‘ tab, choose ‘New Folder‘, name it whatever I want, then skip on down to  the left sidebar and drag my new subscription into my new folder.  If I want to rename either my feed or Folder>Tag, I can do that to0 by simply  going to the upper right hand quadrant of my Reader Page, click the Gear drop down Widget, go to Reader Settings then click on Subscriptions or the Rename cannister to the right.

With just a few clicks, a couple of drag and drops, and presto change-o, I’ve subscribed to my favorite feeds, created folders to put them in and had a change of mind all within the time it takes to drink that second cup of joe.

 Matter of fact, it’s so perfect I may have a donut to celebrate.

Now before I leave off, I did promise that I’d let you know how my comparison RSS feed choice Blogline, measured against iGoogle and (now of course Google+).

Not good.  I like that it offers me several options as to how I can view my Reader Tabs (or Widgets), and unlike iGoogle and Google+, the Home page is clean and neat. Also the Blogline Reader board  offers a fabulous assortment of SM Widgets that puts sites like Twitter, FB, Digg, Delicious etcetera at your fingertips (another one stop shopping experience).

But that’s where cool ended.  After copying the RSS feed URL, I then had to import it onto a separate board and look at it before I could  add it to my folder (instead of importing the subscription directly to the sidebar) .

And if I accidentally put it in the wrong folder, well I never did figure out how to delete or move it, so there are still subscriptions filed under wrong folders.

The cool Widgets I mentioned earlier? I was only ever able to get one (Twitter) to open up on the Home Page  but it said the connection was corrupt. The rest remain a mystery.

All in all,  Blogline Reader was a disappointing experience.

 At the end of the afternoon, both iGoogle and Google+ still had my vote for Most User Friendly RSS Reader’s.  Sure I’d like to have SM Widgets available on my Home Page, and yes it would be nice to have an uncluttered look. But if I have to choose between neat and ease of use, I’m going with ease of use every time.

Like everyone else working to hone their skills and talents as a writer, I have more to do in a day than I have hours to do it in, and if I have to waste my time finding something or struggle to add it to my box of blogging tools, then it’s time to let that bad boy go and move on.

 From the laptop of an uncensored dreamer


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