11/23/2006

Bloglines Freedbacking

(If you don't use the feed reader Bloglines, this post will be a snoozer. Consider yourself warned.)

I've got a little freedbacking for Bloglines. OK, well, actually, a lot ... this is software I use every day, so any of these little improvements would go a long way with me. In order of importance:

1) Show the sub name. When I click "j" to go to the next item, and I'm viewing a folder where I have several feeds, it's often difficult or impossible to tell what feed I'm looking at (which makes all the difference in the world, in terms of my rapid understanding of the content). I find myself clicking the mouse on the whitespace of the page and pressing the "up" arrow a few times to see it, which is extremely inefficient. I'd like it either to a) stop where you can see the folder title when you press "j", or b) float a little div with the sub name somewhere on the right side of the screen where it won't interrupt me.

2) Filters. Build Feedrinse-style filters in so I can reduce the number of posts I get. Feedrinse works great for that, but a) after a certain number of feeds, they make you pay, and b) it seems like logical functionality to have right in Bloglines. Plus, I'd love to still be able to see the real number of subscribers on my feed, even though I'm reading a filtered version.

3) Improve email subscriptions. I use email subscriptions a lot (I have over 200 of them), but I'd really love some more management tools for them. Searching, sorting, dead feed warnings (i.e. "You've never gotten anything for this email feed"). And I know it's unlikely, but I'd really especially appreciate it if you guys gave open RSS feeds to me for the email subscriptions (even if that requires me to pay, which would make sense). My lock-in to Bloglines should be because you guys have the best service, not because you host all of my email subscriptions. (Now, of course, the best way to do it is use mail forwarding at your mail host to redirect to bloglines, instead of giving out bloglines addresses to the lists you subscribe to directly ... but I didn't figure that out until I already had over a hundred of them. Whoops.)

4) View all items from last view. Sometimes I accidentally click a feed / folder link while I'm in the middle of reading a long list of items. I want a way to go back and see exactly what I was looking at before; the droplist option that lets you show all items from this session doesn't cut it, because it might show many more (if I've had the session open all day). I just want to see the exact items I was viewing before.

5) Pause. I want the ability to "pause" a subscription without removing it - it would stop showing up in my active feeds, but would show up instead in some kind of parking lot page. I could set myself a "reminder date", at which point Bloglines would ask if I want to a) dump it, b) reactivate it, or c) keep it paused.

6) Feed search. I'd love the ability to search the Names & descriptions of all my feeds. I have over 400 feeds, in several folders, and when I can't find the one I'm looking for by name, it takes forever. This search could be an advanced option, not shown in the regular view so as not to clutter things.

7) Stats. I'd like a page that shows statistics about your feed (number of items over time, etc.) - especially for the email feeds, some of those get hard to handle. Statistics showing how many you read over time, broken out by folder and / or feed, etc, would also be nice.

8) I'd really like to have nested folders.

9) Tab integration. I'd love to have better integration with Firefox tabs. Maybe a default that lets you open new folders / feeds in a separate tab rather than the reading pane of the same tab.

10) Non-BL popularity. It'd be super cool if bloglines had a way to show the general popularity (based on a 3rd party system) of a feed, not just the number of subs on bloglines. (Like: "351 Bloglines Subscribers (4,500 total)").

Oh, is that all?

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