Effect of My Yahoo Vs. Bloglines on my blog reading productivity

I have been using My Yahoo for a long time and started using it for keeping track of blogs,  since they introduced RSS aggregation a while ago. As my interest in the blogosphere increased, the number of blogs i track has increased dramatically and I started noticing some problems.

All the while i kept using My Yahoo and  reached a point where the middle column of my My Yahoo page was looking like a long python ! I tried the “pages” concept that My Yahoo has and that did not help as well.

Another problem I started noticing is that, blogs like Boing Boing and Engadget that i follow keep putting out cool stuff through out the day and I ended up clicking to read them if I happened to access the My Yahoo page during breaks.

At the same time, I could not digest the information properly as i was just skimming the post due to lack of time. I tried shutting off the My Yahoo page but since I use the My Yahoo page to keep track of breaking industry news, competitor news, competitor stock quotes etc. I could not do that as effectively.

Also, due to My Yahoo’s design, you only see the top 5 (this number is customizable) posts of the blogs and there is no easy way to know which ones you have already read and which ones you have not.

Enter Bloglines. Like My Yahoo it is completely browser-based with no downloads required.  I first removed all the blog feeds from My Yahoo and added them to my Bloglines subscription. There are a few features that Bloglines has, that have had a significant impact on my productivity –

1. The left hand frame lists all the feeds and shows the number of new posts against each feed since your last session. So you immediately know which feeds have been updated since the last time you looked. Once you click on the feed you want to read, it  shows on the right hand frame, the posts that you have not “seen” since the last session.

2. “Seen” is important in the Bloglines world, because as soon as you click on the feed and the new posts come up on the right hand side,  Bloglines marks all of them as read. This is nifty because you don’t have to click on each post to mark it as read and since the entire post or a major part of the post is in the right hand frame, you can skim it and click on it to read further only if it is of interest to you.  This is important because not every post from every blogger that you are following is worth reading every word of.

The above two features help you process a significant number of  feeds which is impossible to do as efficiently using the My Yahoo design. I have also added search subscriptions and del.icio.us feeds to Bloglines. The search subcriptions feature allows you to monitor the blogosphere for certain keywords of interest to you.

One big change i made in my routine is to open Bloglines only when i know i have the time to read and digest the various interesting posts. Untill someone comes up with a better method of tracking the blogosphere, i am sticking with Bloglines. Perhaps Yahoo will release a widget through its Konfabulator acquisition that will one-up Bloglines.

1. Excellent post on the To-Done Blog titled “productivity tips for avid blog readers”  which served as the inspiration for my post. (Via Ted Leung.)

2.  Interesting interview with Jim Lanzone, Senior VP, Ask Jeeves (which recently acquired Bloglines).


  1. Anonymous said August 8, 2005, 7:17 pm:

    Of course, google also provides RSS aggregation now a days. However, they too have the same problem as yahoo does w.r.t real estate usage.

    I will certainly give Bloglines a try.


  2. Anonymous said August 10, 2005, 10:43 pm:

    Thanks Ganesh. It will be helpful to know your opinion on this subject after you have tried bloglines.