When I first starting using RSS feeds a couple of years ago, I used Google Reader and had a widget on my iGoogle page which I used to read my feeds. As my collection of feeds grew and I switched to Pageflakes as a homepage, I decided to move my feeds into Bloglines. I’d heard a lot of positive things about Bloglines and I certainly wasn’t disappointed – the interface worked well and I just found that I gelled with it. I even wrote a blog post about how great it was last year.

I have been using Bloglines Beta and particularly liked the 3 pane view. The interface was easy to follow and the customisation suited me well. I spread the word about how great Bloglines was and encouraged other people to give it a go. Typically, I then found that things started to go downhill. Items weren’t being updated properly, some items I couldn’t mark read, others were being marked read before I read them, and I couldn’t find some of my saved items. Then more recently Bloglines changed the colour scheme and it became difficult to tell whether or not there were new items, I like to be able to see at a glace whether or not there are any new items. The Bloglines iPhone interface also frustrated me – the feeds were there but it had very limited functionality such as being unable to save things to read later. It’s not just me that experienced problems with Bloglines, others have been complaining about it too on Twitter and their blogs.

Around this time, I also found out about Google Reader Trends which can help you see which feeds you read and which you don’t. I have reached a point where I have too many feeds to keep up with so this was the final push which led to me switching back to Google Reader.

OPML makes it so easy to change, it was just a simple case of exporting from Bloglines and importing into Google Reader. I am so far very happy with Google Reader, I love being able to easily star items or share them with others. The iPhone interface is also far more feature rich than the Bloglines version – I am able to have a quick glance, and star items of interest to read later:

I haven’t used Google Trends to its full potential yet but it is very interesting, a quick check now tells me that I do most of my reading late at night (this is usually on my iPod in bed when I can’t sleep!) and I read most posts on a Sunday. Below is a screenshot of the sort of information you get (as you can see from the top graph my reading habits have been sporadic for the last month and I haven’t read any for a few days, RSS reading has been pushed to the bottom of my list of priorities at the moment):

Google Reader Trends

I’m certainly going to try to organise my RSS feeds again and see if I can cull a few of those I don’t read anymore or which have stopped posting.

So, at the moment I’m sticking with Google Reader, although I’m going to keep an eye on developments with Bloglines and may well switch back if things improve – that’s the beauty of RSS and OPML!

How about you? Which feed reader do you use and why? I’m always up for trying new readers, particularly web ones so that I can access them from work or home.

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m coming towards the end of the taught part of my librarianship course. I am going away (to Orlando!) a week today and my aim was to complete the Diploma before we go. I’m pleased to say I have achieved my aim (although I haven’t received confirmation that my assignment has been received yet which is a little worrying, hopefully it will have arrived today). I’m still waiting for results for three of my assignments but as long as I pass them I will have completed the Diploma.

I still have my dissertation to do to complete the Masters but I’m thinking of taking a study break to start thinking about what I’d really like to research. I imagine it will be something to do with new technologies in academic libraries, but I’d quite like to spend some time settling into my new job (which I start when I get back from holiday :)) before starting my dissertation and then hopefully I can do something which will be of value to my work.

During this time I’d also like to learn more about Photoshop (I’ve always wanted to learn Photoshop and still not got round to it so have borrowed Photoshop CS3: Classroom in a Book from the library which I’m hoping to work through when I get back from holiday. I’d like to do more work on the web too and am hoping to do a bit more playing around with Dreamweaver and maybe have a look at Drupal and Joomla as well as using WordPress as a content management system. There’s loads of work-related projects which I’d like to do and I’m hoping I’ll be able to get involved in more when I start the new job so I think there’ll be enough to keep me busy!

I just hope I am able to find something to write my dissertation on that I’m really passionate about, is related to my work in some way, has value to the profession, and that someone is willing to supervise! I’m off to Internet Librarian International 2008 tomorrow so maybe I’ll get some inspiration there, I’m particularly looking forward to the sessions on the 23 Things scheme on Track B, I’d love to do a project based on 23 Things at work.

I’ve already passed this on to some who I know are using Facebook within their libraries but I thought I’d mention it here as well.

Jane Secker of the LASSIE project is talking to some non-librarians at the end of this month about how libraries are currently using Facebook (if at all).

Please complete her short survey if you have time to help with the research.

Well, the time has finally come – on Monday I had an interview for a professional librarian post and I was successful!

I’m also coming very close to completion of my Diploma (I’m going away at the end of this month and my aim is to complete my final assignment before I go) so hopefully soon I’ll be able to say with pride that I am a qualified librarian.

I’m so excited about starting a professional post, I can’t wait to be able to work more closely with academic schools to help support the students and further develop our services. I’m moving campuses but staying within the same organisation so I’ll still be able to continue work on my technology related projects. It’s a campus I hadn’t even been to before but it had a great atmosphere and I’m really looking forward to working there.

I also have some other exciting news – I’ve written a guest blog post for UK Web Focus about Library 2.0 Initiatives and Barriers which has been published on the blog today; please feel free to comment as I’ll be keeping an eye on the comments on there too. I have also contributed to a conference paper titled Library 2.0: Balancing the Risks and Benefits to Maximise the Dividends which will be presented by Brian Kelly at the Bridging Worlds 2008 conference later this month.

Everything is beginning to fall into place, I’m really enjoying the work that I’m doing and I’m glad that I’ll be able to further progress in my new post. I’m also really enjoying the blogging and am hoping to do more conference work too. It’s an exciting time to be a librarian and I’m really glad I decided to choose this career path.