So, the other day, I got a question from Snoskred about switching Google Reader feeds from one account to another. However, thanks to her PageRank being lowered, she’s done with them and wanted to move over to a different feed reader, namely Bloglines. As is the case, I go and find out how to do it, and then come back with how to do it, and I’m sharing it with all y’all. 😉
Step 1: Export your Google Reader Subscriptions
The first thing that you have to do in order to change your reader over is to get a list of the current subscriptions you have now. In Google Reader, it is fairly simple to do that. Starting from the page you see when you log in, click on Settings.
Once in the Settings screen, you then click on Import/Export, and then on Export your subscriptions as an OPML file. Really, there is no need to worry about what an OPML file is, other than a file that lists your subscriptions in a format that is readable by most sites.
When you click on the Export link, a new window or tab will open, and you should be asked to safe the file. Put it in a folder that you will remember, such as your desktop or your Inbox folder, if you’re following an organized desktop plan 🙂
Step 2: Importing to Bloglines
Admittedly, it’s not the easiest thing to do when you go to import your old subscriptions for the first time, but now that I found it, I can say that it is quite easy to do. Here’s how. I’m going to assume that you’ve already signed up for Bloglines and have been to the Feeds screen at least once.
When you’re in the Feeds page, to start the import process, click on the Edit link in the left panel
Here, simply click on the Import Subscriptions link.
Now, the right panel will change to allow you to upload your recently-exported subscription list. Click Browse to bring up a window that lets you search for the file. You should start out in the same folder you just used, however, if you don’t, you should remember where you saved it.
When you’ve got the file selected, click Import, and Bloglines will automatically go through the list, and import your feeds and maintain the folders you have put them in. When it’s finished, you will see a list of all the feeds that were imported, which looks something like this –
That’s it. You can now go back to the feeds screen and see the following sight:
If you’re interested (or haven’t put your mouse over the image 😉 ), there are 16,113 unread items there. That’s a quirk of Bloglines – when you import feeds to there, it picks up the first 200 items for every feed that are available to them. Almost none of these items are from anytime in the recent past – for example, I found posts from ProBlogger from over a year ago, and from other blogs from almost two years ago.
Luckily, when you’re reading through, you don’t have to load every item, rather you can simply click on each folder and mark it read, and if you are good at going quickly through a list of things, it should take no more than a few seconds.
Hints and Tips for Bloglines
The first thing that you will notice about Bloglines is that it does mark everything read when you click on the feed or folder. If you want to save something for later, there is a small checkbox in the bottom right of every entry called “Keep New:” – if you click that, it will keep that entry for you for the next time you load that feed or folder.
Another important thing to note about Bloglines is that they have a limit (in the current version) of 200 items per feed; that means that if you have a feed that updates quite regularly, then it won’t pick up more than the first 200 items since you last looked at the feed.
A glimpse into the future
Note in the last paragraph, I mentioned “current version.” There is a current Beta out for Bloglines, and here is a sneak preview of it (note that this is with my main Bloglines account so it doesn’t have the imported blogs in there, yet). There are a lot of really sweet ideas that you may want to explore, such as being able to put your most favorite blogs on the front page of the site and be able to move them around.
To check the beta out, go here and sign in with your username for Bloglines.
Over to you
Is there anything you’d like me to have a how-to put together for? All it takes is asking; just go ahead and send me a note via my contact page, and I’ll be happy to do it. 🙂
Also, if you’re a user of both readers, or are partial to one or the other (or like something else, such as NetVibes or Thunderbird), have a say in the comments. 🙂