Since Google Reader was released in October 2005 it has been steadily eating up the RSS reader market share and now pretty much dominates the field. Why is it so popular? It’s simply the best RSS reader out there. It’s fast, intuitive and user friendly. It just jumped into the fray and started blowing the competition away.
One of the big players at the time was Bloglines. Bloglines became very popular, very fast because it was one of the first RSS readers to tap into the fact that rss is perfect for following a crapload of blogs. But Bloglines is, for all intents and purposes, dead.
Even the founder of Bloglines, Mark Fletcher, is fed up with the service and threatening to switch over to Google Reader. Fletcher is also one of the luckiest men on the web. While everyone was running around claiming Bloglines was the best thing since sliced bread, Fletcher sold the service to Ask.com (known as Ask Jeeves back then) in February of 2005 for an undisclosed amount, although rumor at the time was between $12 and $14 million. In October 2005 Google Reader was launched. I’m not sure how much Bloglines is worth now, but it sure as hell isn’t worth $14 million.
“Everyone has been licking their chops, waiting to get their hands on (Bloglines),” said Jim Lanzone, Ask Jeeves’ senior vice president of search properties.
Ask Jeeves is counting on Bloglines to become a significant drawing card. The company has been trying to lure traffic from the Internet’s search engine leaders, Google and Yahoo, as well as two of the Web’s other biggest drawing cards, Microsoft Corp.’s MSN.com and Time Warner Inc.’s AOL.com.
Good call Jim!
Anyway, I digress. Google Reader has a new look with an even cleaner UI and easier to read fonts. And if you’re still using Bloglines, or anything else for that matter, go into your settings, export your subscriptions, sign up for a Google account and import them into Reader. You’ve got nothing to lose. If you don’t like it after a week or so, go back to whatever reader you’re used to.