Argh… After getting back from a late night shopping trip to IKEA, I tried to hit Bloglines as usual in order to catch up on the blogs that I’m reading, only to find that the site is down for a few hours (undergoing plumbing, as they put it). This made me realize how much I already depend on this site (or at least got used to it), after only having used it for about 1-2 weeks.
I have to say that Bloglines really provides a great service. By using a server-side aggregator rather than a client-side one (such as one of the Mozilla plugins for this purpose), I can read my blogs both at home and at work without getting out of sync. Bloglines allows blogs to be categorized, which is another nice feature.
In theory, it can also be used to manage blogrolls, although I found this feature somewhat lacking. For example, there are a fair amount of blogs that I’m reading, but I don’t necessarily want to list all of these on my blog website. While it is possible to mark a blog as private, which prevents it from being shared through Bloglines own interface (assuming sharing is enabled for your account), it will still get exported to OPML, which means that you need to manually edit the OPML data before importing it into your blog. Also, there does not appear to be a way to dynamically retrieve the OPML data for your blogroll using a URL, so after updating your blog links in Blogroll you need to manually export these to OPML and import them into your blog software.
I’ll probably end up looking at some other services that I haven’t tried yet (such as Blogrolling.com) for this purpose, but I’m pretty sure that I’ll stick with Bloglines for reading blogs, since it really dows an awesome job at this.