Ask not what Bloglines can do to you

Bloglines has been berry, berry good to me. You probably already know many of the good things it does, but unless you’re subscribed to several hundred feeds on the wrong end of a dialup line, you can’t imagine how nice it was to suddenly not have to pull down an entire feed just to get one new entry (or none, if someone still doesn’t get conditional GET).

Still, I knew all along that it was a business, even though it was free enough. Any time I needed a reminder, all I had to do was dip into the horror that’s Yahoo! Groups, purchased from eGroups, formed from eGroups and Bloglines founder Mark Fletcher’s ONElist. Every time I have to view an interstitial ad while trying to clean up spam on a Yahoo! Groups list I administer, I know that’s the end result of something Mark started as a wonderful free service.

While I’m glad to hear that

We will take our time determining the optimal business model for the service. We will continue to put the user experience first. As part of a bigger company there will be more options for Bloglines – from indirect monetization (through increased usage of our other brands) to direct if there is a model that makes sense for everyone.

this time I’m not going to wait and see. In fact, I didn’t wait and see, I read about it in Feed on Feeds.

FoF’s rough as a cob, it keeps triggering what I think is a Firefox frames bug and setting the feedlist frame’s source to about:blank, the autodiscovery is far too simpleminded, taking the first application/rss+xml it finds, ignoring Atom and not offering a preview when there are multiple feeds to be found, there’s some extra escaping going on in titles, so I read mnot’s Web log and some seriously twisted post titles from AKMA, the HTML (lack of) security is frightening, not being able to read or even subscribe to a feed when it’s in a temporary not-well-formed state is a pain, and you know what? None of that matters, for three simple reasons: freedoms 1 through 3. I can fix the things that bother me, where I could never fix Bloglines; I can tell you how to fix them, or fix them for you; I can give Steve my fixes to put in a future version, or if worst comes to worst and we disagree about what it should do too completely, I can come up with a new name and head off in another direction.

Bloglines did many nice things for me, and I sincerely wish Mark all the best with Ask Jeeves, but it’s time for me to see what I can do for Feed on Feeds, rather than wait for the monetization hammer to come down on Bloglines.


Comment by Phil Ringnalda #
2005-02-07 23:40:34