As part of my continuing effort to make myself, rather than advertisers who covet my eyeballs and purchasing power, the customer, I took out a premium subscription to Newsblur. It's an RSS reader that claims to offer "Visual feed reading with intelligence" and I want it to replace Google Reader. Not that there's anything wrong with GReader, apart from the fact that it is from the Don't Be Evil boys themselves. I just like the idea of paying for service, which then gives me a full-on right to demand more of it. That's why I use Pinboard and Instapaper rather than alternatives.

Observations so far. Import is very smooth indeed. Every last one of my 401 feeds came over from GReader, including many that were either moribund or completely dead, and lots that were no longer of any interest. Were they ever? Alas, in bringing over all those feeds, not all were up to date. It took a while to go through them all, but it was well worth sorting things out. I dumped 70 sources and moved 77 to a folder called Dormant. One of the nice things about any RSS reader is that the cost to me of monitoring a site that updates very infrequently is essentially zero. So if anything dormant springs back to life, I'll know. What would be truly awesome, in another life, would be able to scan all feeds and place anything that hasn't updated in, say, 6 months into the Dormant folder, and by the same token promote any dormant feeds. The Newsblur API makes this look easy, but not to me.

Quite a few feeds seem to be broken, at least as far as Newsblur is concerned; I don't recall GReader ever mentioning it. And slowly, slowly, I'll either fix them or delete them.

The layout is confusing, for now, but only because I have been elsewhere for so long. I'm sure I'll get used to it pretty quickly. The keyboard shortcuts are an improvement on GReader. Of course, sharing to G+ isn't obvious, but then, does it need to be, given that G+ isn't exactly floating my boat either at the moment. And I might have to make more of an effort to get to grips with this training thing, which seems to underly that claim about "intelligence".

So far, then, so happy. And this is only day 2.

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