Bloglines, the popular online RSS aggregation service, will close forever on October 1, 2010. The news was announced on the Ask.com blog and you may have heard about it during the SitePoint podcast.
It’s a sad loss. I’ve been a Bloglines user for many years and use it daily. Although there are many RSS aggregrators available on the desktop, cloud-based readers always made more sense to me: you can add subscriptions and read news from any PC or mobile device.
Bloglines was one of the first web-based aggregrators and its success spawned many competitors. Few of them exist today with the exception of Google Reader; a far slicker and feature-packed system. Bloglines attempted to implement similar functionality, but it remained in beta for many years and was never successful.
Google Reader and the Bloglines beta may have provided a more modern experience but I preferred the frame-based simplicity of the original system. It was easy to use, fast, unobtrusive and didn’t hog bandwidth. It was a little unstable now and again, but I generally spent more time reading articles than managing feeds. Perhaps that’s the main reason for its demise?
If you’re a Bloglines user, you have a few days to copy your subscriptions to another service. You can download an OPML (Outline Processor Markup Language) file by clicking “Export Subscriptions” at the bottom of the Feeds frame.
Most good feed aggregrators have an OPML import option. For example, to import your feeds into Google Reader, select Reader settings from the Settings menu at the top-right of the screen. Click the Import/Export tab and upload your OPML file.
Goodbye Bloglines. Thank you for many years (mostly) dependable service.