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Monday, 1st October 2007

Bloglines Beta Roll-Out Continues: Open-ID Support, More Personalization, and New Mobile Beta Version

Bloglines Beta Roll-Out Continues: Open-ID Support, More Personalization, and New Mobile Version

A little over a month ago we posted an extended entry about the release of Bloglines Beta 3.0. In it we said the more new and enhanced features would roll out moving forward. Well, today is one of those days.

Here are three new items to inform you about today.

OpenID Support
Bloglines is now OpenID compliant. That means you can now get an OpenID password from Bloglines and use it on other OpenID. This Bloglines page has more info and examples of how OpenID works.

In a nutshell, OpenID allows for a single log-in id across sites that offer the service. OpenID (at the least, it's underlying concepts might even be something the library/info profession might to think about brainstorming about as a tool for the industry. Of course, privacy and security are issues that need to be considered but that's always the case.

We're far from techies here but this could be used on a local (let's say all of the services on a town's website that require a login including the library), statewide (same thing) and maybe in some cases nationally. One card/one login. The card would allow you to login to databases (that were licensed for use by a cardholder depending on their home library) along with accessing other services that were available to them. Publishers could offer trials with reduced effort. It might also help getting a library card (also for checking-out physical objects like books) faster and simpler.

From the OpenID Home Page:

OpenID means the elimination of multiple user names and passwords and a smoother, more secure, online experience. For businesses, this means a lower cost of password or account management, the opportunity for easier and higher numbers of new user registrations and the elimination of missed transactions because of user frustration with lost and forgotten passwords.

For the tech geeks out there, this post has much more about how Bloglines will be working with OpenID. Btw, in the near future, Bloglines will also support consuming OpenIDs and the new OpenID 2.0, which was just released this week. OpenID is being developed by the open source community.

In our view, RSS and mobile seem right for each other and many excellent services and tools from a variety of players exist like WinkSite and XFruits. They are both examples of how you can make access mobile friendly in just seconds. It's the content that will make mobile access to information flourish. If you teach people about RSS and its many uses, they can often view the big picture better (How does this work? Why do I need it? Can it save me time?) in a mobile web situation.

Bloglines Mobile Beta
Today, a Bloglines Mobile beta was released available (Bloglines has has provided a mobile version for several years. The beta mobile release can be now be accessed at: http://m.beta.bloglines.com

What's New?
+ Improved browser support
+ A mobile start page based on you PC/Mac Start Page
+ Pin (formerly known as "Keep as New").
In other words, "Pin the item" for faster accessibility when you want to get to it in the future. Pin is also the term used on AskCity.
+ What the Bloglines team is calling pagination. What we're calling faster load times especially for mobile devices where bandwidth can be an issue.

More in this blog post from the Bloglines Mobile developers.

Personalization and Bloglines
Several new services added to the beta (PC/Mac version) today. In-depth examples here but a few highlights:

+ Look for the personalization options by clicking the "Settings" link in the header near the top of the page.

+ You can now choose between Bloglines Classic or Bloglines Beta mark read behavior. You can either mark individual posts as read or mark the entire folder as read. This is something many people asked for.

+ Since the Bloglines beta offers various views, "Remember View" will do just that by simply selecting the view you prefer for each feed. The current default is to have all feeds stick with one view.

+ CSS Support. If the publisher uses Cascading Style Sheets in their page design Bloglines will show them by default. Again, all of these options under the "Settings" header.

+ Also look for two settings specifically for iPhone users.

+ Finally, Sorting Feeds. You'll notice this is no longer a global preference available from the settings page. Now when you click sort Oldest/Sort News is changes the sorting view for all feeds

That's it for now. We will be sure to post about new additions/features to the beta release as they become available.

Gary is Director of Online Information Resources the parent of Bloglines.


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