I’m annoyed at the moment with Google Reader and its inability to open secure (authenticated) feeds. Outlook can do it, why can’t you?? In fact, it’s the one remaining reason I’m still using Outlook to read my feeds. It’s something very few RSS readers do, but it seems like such a great idea I don’t know why more people aren’t embracing it.
Feeds are great. I’ve got several friends who blog all over the place, from personal blogs housed on personal servers to people who use more ‘traditional’ blog sites like vox and blogger to more social networking blogs like myspace, and facebook. Not to mention the whole gaggle of news & geek blogs I pay attention to. Without my RSS reader, I wouldn’t honestly keep up with those information sources because I’m lazy and I want that information delivered to me directly without me having to work for it. But I digress.
One of the greatest features of vox & blogger are the ability to hide your entire blog (and individual posts in the case of vox) from the rest of the world. I do a fair bit of personal blogging, and will eventually start securing individual posts so I can be more honest with just my friends and not worry about my boss or future employer finding my thoughts via the web. That’s the reason my friends have secure blogs in the first place.
The problem is, then, that you can’t use RSS to subscribe to them unless both your reader and the blogsite support authentication. Vox does, bless them, and so far they’re the only blogging site I’ve come across that lets you both secure individual posts to limited audiences and has an authenticated RSS feed. Brilliant.
Microsoft Outlook, surprisingly, is one of the few readers I’ve encountered that supports authenticated feeds. Google Reader doesn’t. And I don’t know anyone who uses the feed reading directly in their browser, although IE8 is going to have some wicked-cool improvements along those lines.
But Google Reader wins on so many other fronts. It’s web based so I can read anywhere, including from my phone. It has a passable mobile interface (including iPhone support). It summarizes feeds in a “home” dashboard view so I can see updates at a glance. It is ‘always on’ in that I don’t have to wait for it to update when I turn on my computer like I have to do with software based reader clients.
Am I the only person who cares about this? From my web searching, methinks I might be.