I’m sorry to hear about the demise of Bloglines. At one time it was a great newsreader, especially for those of us doing research. It had features like saved searches and diverting email newsletters that made my research “chores” a lot easier. Unfortunately, it was neglected by its owners and began a decline which led to this week’s announcement that it would be shuttered on October 1st.
That leaves us with Google Reader for serious online news readers. Oh, sure, there are other online platforms like Netvibes and MyYahoo that include news reading as part of their customized home page. I have my MyYahoo page set up to give me local news, weather, sports and financial updates quickly when I first open my browser, but these platforms aren’t much use when you’re trying to keep up with dozens of bloggers, news sites and other feeds. We researchers need an efficient way to process a lot of information quickly and now our online choices are very slim.
Today, I find I’m spending more time in iPad apps than on Google Reader. I use the Reeder app which syncs with Google Reader and offers easy sharing with other platforms. It’s also a much more pleasant reading experience than Google Reader yet still offers the processing features I need.
The Twitter app is also stunning. It’s amazing to see how far 140 characters can take you. Not only is it beautiful, it’s efficient too. The app supports mentions, messages, lists, hashtags and searching and also offers several options for re-tweeting and forwarding the tweet to other services.
After seeing what this app and the amazing Flipboard app can do with Twitter, I’m beginning to wonder why I even bother with RSS feeds. Twitter has enough trouble trying to keep up with all the traffic load it currently carries so I don’t think it will become THE information distribution hub anytime soon. If these apps are any example, I’d say that while I’ll still mourn the loss of Bloglines – it served me well for a long time, I can look forward to more new and exciting options to take its place.