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I tried to switch from Bloglines to Rojo for my main RSS reading. Someone I respect but can’t remember the name of mentioned they had been lured away from Bloglines by Rojo so I thought I’d give it a shot. In the interest of improving Rojo, here we go:

  • I had already made an account a long time ago, couldn’t remember my password. The password retrieval didn’t work. I sent them an email and got a response back pretty quickly, verifying the password retrieval was broken. They got me a new password in a few hours though, not too bad.
  • Right off the bat I want to like Rojo. It’s very slick and seems to have a lot going on for it. I fantasize about all the awesome ways it’s going to help me read and manage all my feeds with its web 2.0 goodness.
  • I import all my feeds. Very easy. I don’t like the page layout though — I’m a brutal RSS skimmer and the headlines are too faint for me to skim very well. I whip up a Greasemonkey script to embiggen and embolden the entry titles and am happier with it.
  • I really like the “Add mojo” idea (it’s very similar Digg-ing something, but inside the RSS reader). Not many people use it though and also I don’t know what adding mojo to an article actually does for me.
  • I feel confused by the entries that are rolling in. I realize it’s set to sort stories by “RELEVANCE”. What the hell does that mean? I’m an info-nerd, I just want everything in chronological order. I switch it to stories sorted by date.
  • Stories sorted by date is still weird compared to Bloglines. I really want the stories sorted by date and also by the category I’ve put them in. If there are five new Boing Boing posts I’d like them grouped together rather than mixed in with all the classified ad feeds I subscribe to. As I cruise through my news I feel sort of lost, unaware of the context of what I’m reading. Is this written by someone I know? Etc, etc.
  • To make matters worse, a lot of the feeds I imported are labelled as “Untitled feed”.
  • I don’t like having to go through pages of items. Bloglines lets me scroll through everything that’s new.
  • Marking as read is weird and clunky. The Mark All Feeds Read should be over near the feeds. I turned on
    “Automatically mark a feed as read after viewing that feed” but that doesn’t work for reading new items? Also when I’m paging through the new items I have to remember to hit “Mark Page Read” before I hit “next page”. Bleah.
  • The new item counts on the left seem to always be out of sync with reality.
  • Some feeds (like Negatendo’s Livejournal for instance) just show html craziness.
  • Site could be more responsive, it was a little slow earlier today when I was trying it out.

It’s a bit prettier than Bloglines (though more cluttered) and certainly more web 2.0-ish. If more people used it, I might be sucked in more by the Mojo feature. An RSS reader and Digg functionality go together nicely (for me at least). But the confusing feed order probably means I’m headed back to Bloglines for the time being.

Posted on - June 2, 2006 [at] 9:06 pm by Brad
Tagged in - ,

7 Comments on this post

Scott Reynen on Rojo review
June 2, 2006 at 10:19 pm

You might want to check out reddit feeds. I haven’t used it much yet, but it has the same RSS reader and Digg combination (which is apparently used to suggest new reading), and it doesn’t seem to be broken.

Brad on Rojo review
June 2, 2006 at 10:41 pm

Interesting, thanks for the tip. I had seen reddit links around here and there but never checked it out. Importing my OPML now…

Brad on Rojo review
June 3, 2006 at 8:40 am

reddit’s kind of weird too. No categories, no mark as read function. What the.

Marco Raaphorst on Rojo review
June 3, 2006 at 3:41 pm

I must say I really like Google Reader.

Brad on Rojo review
June 4, 2006 at 12:35 pm

I haven’t tried Google Reader since it launched and I didn’t care for it much. I may give it another try though.

Cheez on Rojo review
June 5, 2006 at 12:37 pm

My favorite way to view feeds is still using the Firefox bookmark toolbar with live bookmarks. May be old school but it’s always right there while I’m browsing, quick, and limits excessive time wasting (only so many feeds will fit in the toolbar). I also use the personalized Google homepage with extra feeds in there, but I read from there less often.

Jason on Rojo review
June 5, 2006 at 1:06 pm

I like to use teh Sage plugin for firefox. Adds a nice sidebar for reading all my feeds. Decided to try Rojo though…. why are some feeds coming in in REVERSE chronological order?

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