This is almost week-old news now, but Google recently released their Google Reader software into beta. It is a direct competitor to web-based news aggregators such as Bloglines. As it is still in beta, there are a number of kinks being worked out. You’ll sometimes get error messages when trying to read the news, and their servers are frequently slow or unresponsive. But as time goes by, bugs get fixed, and they have a chance to scale up to their demand, I think lot of the issues will be smoothed out. There are a lot of things you can do with Bloglines that you can’t do in Google Reader, and I have emailed all of my notes on those matters to the Google Labs folks.
In order to make my testing more effective and directed, I’ve imported all of my Bloglines subscriptions into Google Reader. I’ve also removed all of my links to Bloglines so that I’m forced to use Google Reader to get my news. Overall, I’m quite impressed. As usual, they have given the application those little touches that make an application oh-so-Google-y. Boxes that slide open and closed, search-enabled-everything, colorful icons and labels, etc. And so far I haven’t needed to go back to Bloglines for anything. I’m still getting used to Google Reader’s organizational methods. Reading the news from a specific source in Google Reader takes a bit more effort than it does in Bloglines. As I go along I’m sure I’ll learn some tricks to help make things better.
Anyway, I’d definitely recommend giving it a try. If you’re looking for a way to organize all of the news and blogs you read, check out Google Reader today!