RSS readers: why have just one?

Recently my long love affair with Bloglines has been hitting the rocks. I’ve been seeing another RSS reader. Yes, it’s Google Reader.

It started on the bus to work. You see, the mobile version of Bloglines doesn’t do it for me. My ‘morning paper’, now, is to scroll through the headlines from the dozens of blogs I subscribe to – in Google Reader mobile. If it’s something I might want to return to later, I ‘star’ it. If the blog post supports it, I might even bookmark it on

When I get into work one of my browser homepages is Google Reader – I follow up on any starred items.

But one RSS reader is not enough. My second homepage is Bloglines.

Whereas Google Reader simply gives me a lucky dip of recent posts from the two hundred-plus feeds I subscribe to, Bloglines is organised: I only look at my top five blogs in ten categories: UK online journalism blogs, US OJ blogs, technology news, media news, and so on. You could call it my ‘local’ newspaper.

(note: That top-5-in-10 categories tip came from colleague Andrew Dubber, music industry blogger and co-founder of, where, not coincidentally, you can create, share and comment on top five lists. Cute idea.)

As if that isn’t enough, I have a third RSS reader: TailRank. You can import your feeds into TailRank and set it to only display the posts that have 10 or more incoming links. That’s my Sunday newspaper: the quality I’ve missed during the week.

So. Three RSS readers – one general, one local, and one quality. How about you? Which ones do you use – and how do you use them?

10 thoughts on “RSS readers: why have just one?

  1. Chris

    I like the idea of using Tailrank once a week, I think I’ll look into that.

    I’ve been using Bloglines and Google Reader together for a while. Google Reader sits on my homepage and I keep on top of that by regularly starring/marking as read – that’s mainly the stuff that gets fed into There’s a risk of distraction but I figure running CiB justifies it.

    Bloglines has my less essential stuff – RSS feeds of keyword searches, social media/online marketing blogs and so on. I’ll usually clear that out daily but it’s very rare that I’ll save anything from it. Maybe some of that stuff would be better off in Tailrank.

  2. Cyril

    I used to be on Bloglines three years ago then went to Google Reader two years after and never looked back.

    Now I’m thinking of creating a Netvibes universe that I can use alongside Google Reader to prioritize stories.

  3. Karen

    I wouldn’t be reading this blog if not for Google Reader. Actually, that’s not quite true. It was Twitter that first alerted me to it. I then added it to Reader.

  4. alex

    My homepage is Netvibes. On there I’ve got my the blogs and site feeds (including a google blog search) that I’ve come to use most or I absolutely can’t miss (e.g. Andy Revkin’s Dot Earth, DeSmogBlog, RealClimate). I like it because it’s also where I have my to-do lists, so I’ve got my starting point for the day all in one place online.

    Then for the masses I use RSSOWL, which is not webbased. I like it because I can use news bins and folders to move the best feeds into. I’ve got ‘ongoing’ newsbins for climate change, journalism and other research, and all of the feeds (about 300) in folders, hidden away, but which can be aggregated into one folder-feed, so I can check 30-40 blog feeds all in one. It’s great for keeping archives of stuff to return to over the long-term, such as for a conference paper I know I have to write in December.

    I also save them to delicious if I think they’re useful across a network.

  5. Ed Walker

    I’m a bloglines man. It was the first RSS reader I ever used, and I find it really simple and easy to use – plus it’s very organised. Although I might give Tailrank a try – sounds good, and as you said ‘the sunday newspaper’ of the RSS world.

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  7. Pingback: More about that social-media-for-news training next week | Online Journalism Blog

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