Good looking, intuitive, customizable and light-weight, BlogBridge is as close as we’ve seen to the complete newsreader package. As the number of RSS feeds continues to escalate, there is a greater need for some way to maintain control over the reams of relevant articles without becoming consumed by the management process. BlogBridge aims to keeps you informed about the state of your subscriptions while sticking to a basic, straightforward system.
On the first run, you are given the option to register and pick from a predefined list of blog “guides” or groups. The next step is to enter custom terms that are of particular interest to the user, so that the program can highlight these terms, giving them more prominence. This is a welcome alternative to what seems to be the accepted approach, which consists of bundling of all kinds of feeds of which the majority are of no interest to the user at all.
One of our favourite features was the easy-to-use rating system where users can give feeds a score from one to five stars. The ratings can then be used as a filter to show only the top feeds, making it easy to scan through the most relevant news quickly. What’s more, there are multiple options for customizing the interface, which is by far the best that we’ve seen to date. Other great features come in the form of tags for feeds and a synchronization system for using the reader on multiple computers without the need to sort through the same information more than once.
Extra merit goes with the fact that BlogBridge is an Open Source project, and although it seems secure and stable there are a few minor usability issues that could be improved upon. The program relies on an external browser to display blog sites, letting it concentrate on being a great feed reader. Annoyingly, however it doesn’t detect the default browser. With the browser selected, it then opened everything twice whether it was an article or the programs FAQ page. Even taking these hiccups into consideration, BlogBridge remains a quality package, so if you are searching for an RSS reader, your search has just come to an end.
- Added templates engine with an editor to the “Post To Blog” feature
- Added Sentiments Analysis feature (Publishing level)
- Improved reliability of feeds parsing
- Fixed minor navigation issues
- Fixed odd behavior of the Cleanup Wizard when a guide is selected
- Added “Discover other blogs” command to feeds and articles
- Improved image caching performance
- Updated OPML export dialog with an extended export option
- Replaced colors in drop-downs with nicer pastel versions
- Fixed the layout of the reports dialog when showing long feed / guide names
- Improved rendering of aligned images and images inside links
- Repopulating own del.icio.us tags on “Get Others Tags”