I've been using Blogbridge for awhile, but I didn't truly appreciate it until I tried to switch to another RSS reader. After I left, I realized I was spending much more time reading my feeds than I was when I was using Blogbridge. After switching back to it, it's like coming home. I'm blasting through my feeds quickly, and "checking in" isn't an onerous process anymore.
So, what makes Blogbridge better? How am I more efficient using Blogbridge than the other reader apps? Let me count the ways:
- "Starz". I can mark feeds as having a 0-5 star rating, and then I can build "Smart Feeds" that list items from all feeds (or a subset of feeds) that are within a range of Starz ratings.
- Smart Feeds - most other reader apps have these now, but these really shine when combined with Starz. I'm so totally addicted to this method of filtering content - I've had iTunes doing the same thing for a couple of years now.
- "River of News" - David Winer appears to think he's invented something called a River of News. It's just a view of a feed (or set of feeds, or a set of items from various feeds) that displays every item together as if in a single flow of info. A river, if you will. Clever. (btw, Drupal 4.7's "Organic Groups" module has an option called 'River of News" for group content display... I'm just saying...) But, Blogbridge goes one step further, because you can easily toggle the amount of info presented in a River. There are three views - just the titles, titles + short excerpt, titles + entire content (that's where I live). It makes it VERY easy to scroll through 200 items quickly, scanning the River as it passes through my screen.
- Integrated with del.icio.us. Most of the time, the only reason I open a post in my browser is to then add it to del.icio.us so I can find it later (or from another machine). Blogbridge lets me do that right from the River view. Now, the only posts I have to open in my browser are photos from Flickr that I want to mark as Faves.
- Reading lists. I can subscribe to an OPML file containing a set of feeds, and Blogbridge will ingest it and subscribe me to the feeds. It will also monitor the OPML file, and add new feeds as they are added, and ask me if I want to delete feeds that are removed from the file. A future version of Blogbridge will also let me publish sets of feeds as guides, making it really easy to share sets of resources.
So, in less time than it used to take me to "check in" on my RSS feeds, I've read my email, read all of my RSS feeds (exept for the Flickr feeds - that can wait), and written this blog post. Now, there's still a few minutes to get ready for a morning of meetings...