• Moving from Google Reader (back) to Bloglines: How-to

    by  • March 14, 2013 • Internet • 30 Comments

    GRtoBLUnless another service (that works the way I need it to work) suddenly appears in front of me, with the death of Google Reader, it looks like I’m moving back to Bloglines which I left for Google Reader back in 2009. Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    Anyway, for those looking to Bloglines to replace Google Reader, here are some basic instructions for moving your feeds from one to the other.

    1. Log into your Google account and head on over to Google Takeout.
    2. Click the “Choose services” button at the top of the page.
    3. Click the “Reader” button.
    4. Wait for the gray box to turn read and say 100%.
    5. Click “CREATE ARCHIVE” at the bottom of the page.
    6. Wait on the next screen for the process to finish. It should only take a minute or two.
    7. Click “Download” and save the .zip file.
    8. The important file in this case is “subscriptions.xml”. Extract that form the .zip file.
    9. Log in to Bloglines and go to your Dashboard.
    10. Switch to the reader view. (Upper-left)
    11. Click “+ Add content”
    12. Find “OPML: Import” and click “Import”
    13. Browse & select your “subscriptions.xml” file
    14. Click the “Import” button.

    I successfully did this earlier this morning and it worked for me. In my case I already had feeds still left in my account from when I moved to Google Reader so there has been some de-duping to do. Bloglines kept all of my folders but any imported feeds that weren’t in a folder in Google Reader are now in an “uncategorized” folder in Bloglines.


    Michael Sauers is currently the Technology Innovation Librarian for the Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska and has been training librarians in technology for more than 15 years. He has also been a public library trustee, a bookstore manager for a library friends group, a reference librarian, serials cataloger, technology consultant, and bookseller. He earned his MLS in 1995 from the University at Albany’s School of Information Science and Policy. Michael’s twelfth book, Google Search Secrets (w/ Christa Burns) was published October 2013 and has two more books on the way. He has also written dozens of articles for various journals and magazines. In his spare time he blogs at travelinlibrarian.info, runs Web sites for authors and historical societies, takes many, many photos, and reads more than 100 books a year.


    30 Responses to Moving from Google Reader (back) to Bloglines: How-to

    1. Michael
      March 14, 2013 at 9:53 am

      I’ve made minor changes to this post regarding feed duplication that upon further investigation looked to be incorrect.

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    3. Susan
      March 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you! I always preferred Bloglines to Reader anyway.

    4. March 14, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Thank you, the instructions were perfect!

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    6. March 14, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      i don’t think Bloglines is good enough. hopefully there will be another option that is better. the outcry is sort of heartening….

    7. March 14, 2013 at 4:38 pm

      Hmm, what in particular makes you say that? I’ve got a few minor complaints that I might blog about tomorrow but I’d like to know what you think. Also, I hear the Digg folks are looking to create a Reader replacement so maybe that’ll be the answer.

    8. March 14, 2013 at 4:57 pm

      a. i don’t know what this MerchantCircle thing is that is managing the interface

      b. dislike panel formatting as a general rule because of poor readability

      i really want a reader solution that is very basic — it doesn’t need to look fancy, i need it to manage my feeds (which might have a lot of graphics and can be pretty in their own bucket). i don’t know, it’s all about functionality and ease of use.

      and i would like it to be cross platform, so if i am logged onto a google chrome browser in multiple places it would update — as well as work on a phone.

      it’s a bigger issue, obviously, with a lot of wishlist functionality on my part.

      some tech influencers i am friends with are recommending weebly.com. but also there is a lot of info on lifehacker. i think a good solution will come from this as a shakeout, though hopefully before Reader is shut down. that’s the rub, it might not be fast enough.

      thanks a lot google. oy.

      former Nebraskan

    9. March 14, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      oops feedly, not weebly. oy gott too much info today to process.

      also here’s a good link: http://gizmodo.com/5990540/8-google-reader-alternatives-that-will-ease-your-rss-pain

    10. March 14, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      MerchantCircle is the company that ownes Bloglines so I think they just automatically add their feed. I just deleted it.

      As for the interface, yeah, I don’t like the “widget” version either. But have you seen that you can switch to a “reader” version (upper-left) that’s much similar to what you’re familiar with from Reader?

    11. March 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      yeah, i know about the other version. we explored readers in my Web 2.0 class that Elyssa Kroski taught in LIS grad school, so i remember the “reader” view from then. but i also thought it was a lot clunkier than it should’ve been, and opted for the Google Reader interface instead.

      the whole MerchantCircle thing was a little big brothery. i don’t know. i’ll be closely watching this Reader issue. and will hope for the best.

      it’s sort of like websites with massive, continuously updated content — i don’t understand how they don’t have RSS feeds. i don’t think anyone engaged in information online has the time to actually visit more than a handful of websites willfully each day and do their jobs and stay connected to friends and family. it’s just very arrogant, supposing the website is important enough to have your full attention.

      i am obviously just grumbling here but content is overwhelming. Reader was a great tool to manage information….

    12. robin
      March 20, 2013 at 4:17 am

      oh i thought bloglines was shut down years ago! :O didn’t know it’s still working!

    13. March 20, 2013 at 6:54 am

      Well, it’s now owned by the same folks (and pretty much as the same interface) as NetVibes. So, yes it is Bloglines but it’s not the same Bloglines we all remember.

    14. shirley
      March 20, 2013 at 8:58 am

      I use bloglines but this week the layout changed on me. I used to have all my feeds listed on the left of screen and now my screen is occupied by only the current blog I have selected. I am in reader mode. Any ideas how to change it back?
      many thanks

    15. March 20, 2013 at 9:01 am

      I’d be happy try and help but I’m having trouble visualizing your problem. Can you post a screenshot somewhere so I can see the problem?

    16. March 21, 2013 at 2:53 pm

      I imported my Google Reader file into Bloglines. It worked, except that I, too, have a large “uncategorized” tab. For the life of me, I can’t figure out how to, one by one or all at once, categorize them. They’re no different from my

    17. March 21, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      Try Drag & Drop. (Assuming I understand your issue correctly.)

    18. mathinpython
      March 29, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      Thank you very much. I succeeded to migrate but I don’t like bloglines. I’s so complicated to manage, in comparison to Google Reader!!!!!!

    19. Sam
      May 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm

      I recently created a bloglines account for my feeds, after exploring a number of alternatives, and I think it’s great. Once you get rid of the merchant circle stuff it offers a simple, uncluttered interface which is perfect for me.

    20. Alex
      May 16, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      Hmm, ok, I don’t really get the negativity here.

      Mostly it seems to be focused on the ‘not liking panel layouts’. Once pointed out you can change to a more ‘reader’ like reader layout (which looks pretty much like Google reader as far as I can tell) the nsurely this removes that issue. I really don’t get the comment that, yes, you were aware of this but still don’t like panels… umm, don’t use them? Choice is good when it is this simple to implement. Some people like panels, live and let live I say, if you don’t like them that’s fine, just use the layout you do like, and let others use the ones they do (I prefer the reader layout too, but switching back to panels is sometimes useful).

      As for being overcomplicated to manage, in reader layout it’s pretty much the same as google reader, you add a subscription the same way, you add a feed at the top using the giant add content button, and drag it to the folder you want it in. Anything else is just fluff. I’ll admit though it took me a couple of minutes to work out where the delete option was… that’s a good few minutes of my life I’ll never get back now :(

      Peace and love etc.

    21. Kate
      May 29, 2013 at 5:51 pm

      Thanks! This was very helpful. I knew there would be a quicker way than adding each blog manually…

    22. libby
      June 16, 2013 at 11:15 am

      I am having the same problem as a couple of the previous commenters — in Reader it listed all the feeds down the side and highlighted the feeds with unread material that you could scan through and decide what you wanted to read. Bloglines is showing everything in a giant, chronological list. Is there a way to have it show you the individual feeds in the “your feeds” column?

    23. June 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Unfortunately, I’ve pretty much settled on Feedly so I’m not really able to help further with Bloglines at this time.

    24. Libby
      June 16, 2013 at 3:18 pm

      Ha. Me too, thanks anyway.

    25. Anthony
      July 25, 2013 at 4:28 pm

      Guys, how do you export your subscriptions from Bloglines for backup purposes? I can’t find a way to export an OPML file, only to import one… Any tips?

    26. July 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Got me. Even the bloglines help page says its supposed to be there. I’d try contacting the Bloglines folks.

    27. Anthony
      July 25, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      I did, and they referred me back to their FAQ w/o providing any details…

    28. July 25, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      Ugh. Wish I could help. Though, did you ask them how to export or specifically point out that their FAQ doesn’t match reality?

    29. Anthony
      July 25, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      I asked them specifically about exporting and said I can’t find the Export link on the Add content page as outlined in their FAQ, and provided them with a link to their own FAQ. Their response was:

      MerchantCircle Customer Support replied:

      The MerchantCircle Support Team does not actively provide support for Bloglines. If you are experiencing an issue with Bloglines, please refer to our FAQ for assistance.


      If you are experiencing a problem with the display of feeds, please try clearing your browser cache in order to remedy this common issue.

      Thank you for reaching out to us and we hope that you have a wonderful day!

      Looks like a robot answers support emails. I’m certainly having a wonderful day after reading this.

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