WHEN I STARTED carrying a mobile phone with a wifi antenna inside, I learned how to fill frozen minutes with productive tasks. So I could whip out the phone and toggle into my newsfeeds or read the headers from my e-mail. Many times, these tasks happened without paying O2-Ireland, my mobile phone operator. In 2006, my preferred readers varied, depending on the phone I was using. My SonyEricsson phones can run FreeNews and I like knowing that I could carry cached newsfeeds into connectivity black spots. So when I went flying, my newsfeeds came with me in my pocket. My Nokia 9500 ran Bloglines as its reader until I fell into the Google Reader swamp like the hordes before me. Today, I fired up the third version of Mobile Bloglines (that's the logo at left) and viewing the results made me feel like a time traveler. It had diligently archived my unread items from 2006, holding them for my review. What a treat. But there was more to see.
I had thought Bloglines was up to something special after noticing their crawler and deep crawling from Ask.com inside my 6000-page blog. It takes time to gather all those pages when you hoover one every hour but Bloglines has finished its task and now I've discovered that even though I've reduced my blogging five-fold, there's still a lot of blathering at InsideView.ie for people to read. There are also some facets of Bloglines that make it my preferred mobile news reader.
The Bloglines crawler caches content. That means if you're reading an item in Bloglines and you want to go up a level, the Bloglines server gives you that content without heading back to the main site. In effect, most times you see what was on the site when a post was published and you don't get content refreshed or published on the current day. In my usage, Bloglines displays items faster than Google Reader. Bloglines shows up on my Nokia handsets with larger text fonts than Google Reader. Bloglines shows more about the context of a newsfeed than the tightly scraped content that comes with Google Reader.
Unlike Google Reader, you cannot tag content in Bloglines. But you can pin it and you can set up some redirects where interesting content lands in a work pile for further analysis.
I can read Bloglines simultaneously from my desktop and my mobile phone. Bloglines keeps the browser settings separate which is handy when flicking between different categories (like flicking through different parts of a newspaper in my experience).
All things considered, Bloglines is simpler for me to read when out and about while using a Nokia E61 and a Nokia 9500. Like Google Reader, it's free and with a little planning, time spent inside Bloglines will enhance your knowledge management skills.