Optimistically, I decided to give Google Reader a try for a week, seeing if I could actually give up Bloglines for it. I knew there would probably be some small feature missing that would make me cringe when I realized Bloglines had it but Google Reader didn’t, but … I wasn’t expecting this to be it …
Google? How do I “search my feeds” in Google Reader?! I mean, I’m not kidding: when you think Google, the first thing that pops into my head is “search engine.” I completely took for granted that, you know, I’d be able to search within my subscribed feeds. I’m not talking a general Google Blog Search, but a search across all my feed subscriptions and only from my feed subscriptions.
Before you shake your head and say, “Oh, yet another stupid feature that will never get used,” let me tell you that I find myself using this feature plenty. I’m subscribed to lots of feeds in Bloglines (300+) and I read a lot of entries all throughout the day. I often skim the high volume feeds just to get through all of the new entries. People often ask me all sorts of questions which will trigger a memory of “I vaguely recall a blog entry about that” which then prompts me to search my Bloglines subscriptions so I can either read more about the subject and/or pass along a link to the asker.
Yes, the folks at Bloglines had the sense to provide a “search my feeds” functionality in their Bloglines search. Even better, they use a sane URL format (no stupid dicking around with an embedded AJAX widget) to access it, which lends itself very nicely for creating a “quick search” Firefox bookmark, which I immediately set up:
So, all I have to do is hit Ctrl-T to open a new tab in Firefox, then type “bs <term>” in the Address bar, and I get a search results page for that term, limited to my subscribed feeds.
I could probably get used to not having the convenience of the quick search bookmark, if Google Reader only let me search within my subscribed feeds, somehow.
Am I missing something? Is there a way to do this and I’m just missing it, or is it buried somewhere? I can’t believe that the Google folks totally missed this feature, but I haven’t found it yet.
Update: Google Reader (finally) gets search-within-subscriptions (Sep 6, 2007)