From Bloglines to NewsGator and back again

When did Bloglines get so good? A few months ago I switched from [Bloglines](http://www.bloglines.com) to [Newsgator](http://www.newsgator.com) because Bloglines was unbearably slow in fetching large, popular feeds. Newsgator is okay, but there are few things about the Newsgator UI that frustrate me:

* The only way to mark a feed read is to click the “Mark all read” link at the top or bottom of the feed. No option to automatically mark as read when you click out of the feed.
* Adding a feed is a multi-step hassle. You can use a bookmarklet to add a site’s feed, but then to get it into a folder is 4 more clicks around the interface. Awkward. Annoying.
* Links reuse the same window. You have to remember to right-click “open in a new window/tab” or command-click (on the Mac) to keep your navigating window available while you explore a link. If you forget, you have to come back to Newsgator and the link you read is still “unread” until you click the “mark as read” link. Awkward. Annoying. This may not be a terrible way to read and navigate, but I prefer something different.

The developers of Newsgator appear to be responsive and time will tell where things will land. They seem to be putting most of their energy into their Outlook application (which I tried and didn’t like) and their article rating system which I found a bit useless. Both Bloglines and Newsgator are striving to become syndication “platforms” allowing aggregator developers to hook in so their stand-alone software can sync to their servers. Plus, their platforms allow for public feeds aka blogrolls and clippings which are so popular with the kiddies these days. Bloglines has their [“Bloglines Web Services”](http://bloglines.com/about/pr_09282004) while Newsgator is doing [something similar.](http://newsgator.com/news/archive.aspx?post=47) A few months later, after spending time bouncing back between both, it appears that Bloglines is the one building the most momentum. There’s a PDA version…when did that happen? It works very nicely. Despite the fact that I can’t stand the color and font choices on Bloglines and I wish I could figure out how to change them, it’s an overall better reading experience. It will be nice when FeedDemon and NetNewsWire syncing works. FeedDemon does work now with Bloglines, but it downloads all feeds and I would rather it sync so unread items in FeedDemon remain unread at bloglines.com.

Now that Bloglines is faster and more reliable than it was before which was my chief complaint, I can’t see a good reason to switch back to Newsgator anytime soon.

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