CAN PIGS FLY?
I've had a love/hate relationship with Bloglines as my main blog reader for a long time now. In recent months, I've posted on my occasional frustrations with the service and wishlist for what blog readers (news aggregators) can eventually be (see "Outlook for Blogs").
Nevertheless, the service has some unique features that I'm hard-pressed to find in most other alternatives. Chief among them are:
- The service is server-based. This is key for me as I need to easily access my 750 plus blog subscriptions (I know, I know, I'm a masochist when it comes to blogs) on multiple PCs/Macs/PDAs, across multiple locations.
- They've provided excellent multi-platform support for several operating systems and platforms.
- They've done a good job providing software support for popular browsers like Firefox.
- They offer good user-convenience features like notifiers and subscription buttons.
These four reasons have been important enough for me to tolerate a number of Bloglines negatives.
The reason for this post today is that Bloglines seems to have addressed my number one frustration with the service in recent months.
That is the agonizingly long "hour-glass" icon that pops up whenever one subscribes to a new blog. To add insult to injury, while it's displaying this icon, the process prevents the user from switching to another application on the PC, a fundamental capability of modern operating systems like Microsoft XP Pro and Mac OX Tiger.
It got so bad that I'd taken to keeping my laptop next to my PC, so that I could continue to work while Bloglines finished it's subscription process. On occasion it could take a minute or more.
Well today, I noticed that subscribing to a blog takes no more than a couple of seconds...and...drum-roll...NO HOUR-GLASS!!
Looks like they fixed this problem.
Now, all of this is anecdotal. I've not noticed any acknowledgment of this issue on Bloglines support sections, nor in other forums and blogs out there. But I know it's not an issue exclusive to me, given that I've encountered it on every PC I've used Bloglines on.
Also, there seems to be no mention of this "fix" on Bloglines or on Bloglines CEO Mark Fletcher's blog, WingedPig. In fact, I'm hard-pressed to find a section on service updates and improvements. The home page is so badly organized that it takes quite a bit of searching for things like that. For example, try to find how to get a notifier button or a subscription button. It'll take a while.
Anyway, I'm glad my issue seems to have been fixed. We'll see if I'm dreaming. If the hour-glass comes back tomorrow morning, I'll let you know first thing.
I'd love to hear from other users of Bloglines. I'm hoping the service continues to improve, especially post its acquisition by AskJeeves.