I'm not crazy about Google Reader, their new aggregator: I tried it today and found it basically unusable. Everything is really slow and the layout is confusing. It's possible that I'm simply used to Bloglines
and that anything else wouldn't feel right. But I suspect that Bloglines is simply a better aggregator. If someone can point out some good features in Google Reader that Bloglines lacks, I might give it a second chance.
The poor quality of Google Reader is a shame, because I was really hoping Google would make feeds and aggregators easier to understand for more people. They're still a little confusing for the average Internet user. Even my sister,
a power user and an active blogger, doesn't use an aggregator, as far as I know. They're just too complicated and the initial time investment is too great. Eventually, someone will come up with a really good one that's easy to use and understand. I'm surprised it hasn't happened already.
One disadvantage of Bloglines is that one cannot use it to reach one's Intranet feeds, those that are hidden behind a corporate firewall. This seems to be an identity problem of the type that Sxip
intends to solve. It's not really the fault of Bloglines.
While I'm on the subject, why do people want to get feeds in their e-mail? If you get your feeds in your e-mail, they're continually pinging you like e-mail. Also, you're stuck with the limitations of your mail client. I still haven't found my Thunderbird replacement yet.
Today I was thinking that some sort of Web mail would be ideal, one that supported tagging. I haven't used Web mail clients with large amounts of e-mail. Although I would try Gmail for that, I prefer using my regular e-mail address. I would like a Web mail interface where I could store and view all of my e-mail accounts. Even better, how about a permalink for each message? Then I could use the private equivalent of del.icio.us
to tag messages.
Come to think of it, that's the ideal. Sxip, or something like it, sorts out all the identity issues so I don't have to worry whether something is public or private. Everything, including e-mail, comes in as a feed. I sort through the incoming feeds with an aggregator and tag the incoming stuff with a tagger.