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Author Topic: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review  (Read 1745 times)

IainB

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BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« on: April 19, 2018, 01:31 PM »
Originally posted:2018-04-20
Last updated2018-06-16

Basic Info
App Name  20_128x128_3E3C308F.png   BazQux Reader service
DescriptionA service - an online $PAID RSS feed-reader or "feed-aggregator".
Thumbs-Up Rating :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:  :Thmbsup:
App URLhttps://bazqux.com
App Version ReviewedThis is an online, browser-based service, and the version is always "latest".
Test System Specs
  • Win7-64
  • Win8/8.1-64 and Pro
  • Win10-64 and Pro
- variously using:
  • old (now defunct) Firefox browser,
  • latest Slimjet (Chrome-based) browser <-- superb with display control NoSquint Plus extension,
  • IE11 browser,
  • MS Edge browser.
  • Brave browser.
Supported OSesAny web browser.
Support MethodsHelp: is via https://bazqux.com/
Trial Version Available?30-day free trial.
Pricing SchemeThis is a commercial service with a 30-day free trial period and then $19 or $29 (pay-what-you-want) annual subscription fee.

Intro and Overview:
BazQux Reader is a very fast online Web-based feed-aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds.
It shows comments to posts, able to retrieve full article text, have several view modes, search, can subscribe to Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Google+ pages and has sharing and bookmarking to popular services.

It is commercial service with a 30 days free trial and then $19 or $29 pay-what-you-want annual fee.
Copied from: BazQux Reader Alternatives and Similar Websites and Apps - AlternativeTo.net - <https://alternativeto.net/software/bazqux-reader/>
Someone was asking me how I arrived at using BazQux reader, and I thought it might be helpful/useful to post this review, as it could potentially save people a lot of time (if they were not already happily using a feed-reader).

Background to my use of BaxQux:
  • The former exemplar: Google Reader - Mini-Review

  • DC Forum: Go to the Search page for DC Forum: http://www.donationcoder.com/forum/index.php?action=search.
    Do a search there for: Google Reader BazQux
    The rearch results will will display lots of references, many from people who - like me - looking for an alternative to Google Reader (an RSS feed-reader/aggregator). That is, something that was at least as good as, or better. This followed Google's announcement that their excellent Google Reader was to be killed off.

  • References to BazQux: I always mention BazQux when noting interesting items I may have read, because many people won't know what it is, nor what they could be missing (how excellent it is as a research and information-gathering tool). I rarely browse web-pages per se now without first reading them in BazQux, and usually I don't need to browse them after reading them in BazQux - including comments on blogs and in user groups (and it's all Ad-free as well!). I think that last bit (Ad-free) might be why Google killed off their RSS Reader.

  • BazQux? For starters, see Re: Google Reader gone

There are also some useful discussions in the DC Forum that refer to Google Reader, and these two seem most relevant:

Why use a feed-reader?
  • If you don't want to have to spend time wading through the often confusing mass or clutter on a website in order to read the few bits of something that could be of interest, then the best you could do would probably be to subscribe to a thread/posts on the website, or to comments in a forum (e.g., including the DC Forum) without having to post something and requesting email notification of responses - as you normally would have to do. (This only applies to websites where you are already a member.)

  • To do this, you have to initially subscribe for yourself (providing an email address), rather than expect the website to do it for you. For example, I have been doing this for several forums and blog sites for years, including the DC Forum. The subscriptions come to one's email box.

  • However, many people do not seem to realise that they could avoid cluttering up their mailboxes and achieve the same ends (getting focused and selective reading of the items they want) by subscribing to the RSS feed for the forum/website, and getting all the posts/comments delivered via a feed-reader – as I do.

  • I currently use BazQux Reader, but there are others probably just as good, though none I have come across so far that meet my peculiar requirements

The reasons that I settled on BazQux Reader (in Slimjet) were mainly:
  • (a) Performance: BazQux emulates and surpasses the excellent Google Reader service that I used and that Google killed off (Curse you, Google!   >:(  ), and
  • (b) Ergonomics: I have a couple of peculiar eyesight problems and need to wear spectacles. To enhance/adjust the perceptual/visual and reading experience in  Slimjet, there is a Chrome browser extension that provides a simple and superb display control NoSquint Plus

Screenshot of the Google Reader UI.
Reading the comments from DC Forum.
This was via the old/defunct Firefox, using GR's "Compressed" setting and add-ons that control/filter the layout and colour of the GR display screen. (This results in some of the on-screen artefacts appearing as black or opaque objects, but that doesn't particularly interfere with the efficient reading process.)
One of the subject lines (about Cody) has been opened, displaying the contents of the comment.

20_850x448_6432806E.png


Screenshot of the BazQux Reader UI.
This is a similar view via Slimjet, using BazQux's "List View" setting (there are 5 view settings), and control over the layout and filtering is part of BazQux functionality. The colour of the display screen is controlled via the excellent NoSquint Plus Chrome extension. (This results in some of the on-screen artefacts appearing as black or opaque objects, but that doesn't particularly interfere with the efficient reading process.)
One of the subject lines has been opened, displaying a short snippet of the contents of the post.

20_850x461_055CFB02.png


Description:
To get started, you can set up a 30-day trial account for BazQux.
Try it out for 30 days, and, if you like it, then pay what you decide to pay (see $above).
To sign on, you could use a Gmail account to sign on with, or alternative methods (e.g., valid IDs for social networking sites).
Then you can start to add/import to BazQux the websites or RSS feeds that you want it to deliver to you (these are your subscriptions). (I imported all of my old Google Reader feeds, and have added many more since.) If a website does not seem to have an RSS feed, then BazQux will make a decent attempt to feed the site from its URL, if it can. I have found that most sites can provide a feed this way, with few exceptions, and for the exceptions, you can often obtain a pseudo-RSS feed by searching the net for same (usually for free).

The comments on some websites, or the discussions on some forums could make for very cluttered BazQux pages, but, because it has very good good filtering tools, the user can declutter the bulk of the website subscriptions in BazQux, affording a near-ideal presentation according to one's preferences.

However, a few discussion forums do not seem to feed through in conformance with the same labelling standards that one finds in many/most other forums, thus making them currently difficult to access or filter in any useful fashion.
For these sites, I am still playing about with browser extensions that might be able to send the user information about changes to webpages that have been marked for monitoring.

Though it is a major timesaver for the time-conscious reader, from a website Admin's perspective, the probably bad thing about feed-readers could be that the user can read a lot of what they want on a website without actually going to the website itself – unless of course they want to read more about a certain post or comment thread, or make/post a comment. Thus, the website probably doesn’t get all the users' “flypaper clicks” to support advertising revenue - as they otherwise probably could if the user was obliged/forced to always have to wade through the confusing mass on the website.

It can usually be a tremendously useful timesaver – of your valuable time. Your reading material is served up to you on a plate in the Reader, grouped in whatever order you have chosen, for you to pick and choose by scanning headers/labels and then clicking on those items that you want to read more of.
We only have so much spare time or cognitive surplus, and I’d rather not waste any of either on wading through such clutter and trying to identify and then scan/read anything/everything that I might have found useful on a website. I rarely actually visit a website unless there is something I want to do whilst I am there – e.g., to read more of an article or related posts, to seek help or points of view for some debate or resolution of an issue, or to make a point, or to communicate something that might be of help/use to others (as in this post).

In the BazQux Reader GUI screenshot above, one of the subject lines has been opened, displaying a snippet of the contents of the post. More - sometimes the whole page - can be read in the viewer (press a small "Expand" button on the top right), or by going to the website itself. The DC forum is one of several websites that does not allow collection of more than "snippets". However, one can generally get enough from the headline items and the snippets in the BazQux interface so as to determine whether one might actually need to go and read that post on that page (most times, I don't), or whether it is informative or superficial - e.g., "click-bait" - which could be a potentially major time-saving factor.


Who the BazQux Reader is designed for:
Anyone who might wish to automate their reading input as far as possible, and minimise waste of time or cognitive surplus on material which is peripheral to their main needs.


The Good:
An excellent feed-aggregator/reader. Does what it is designed to do, and very simply and effectively.
The layout of the UI (User Interface) is petty near perfect for me, and is stable (not subject to periodic changes).
I only discovered/realised on 2018-06-16 that, as well as acting as a feed-reader for web pages, BazQux can act as a feed-reader for YouTube channels. Thus, if one wants to keep abreast of (say) what is happening on a particular YouTube channel, then, rather than subscribing to it - which effectively means accepting the disadvantages of offering oneself up for reduced privacy and being targeted and inundated with spammy emails about additions to the channel - the changes at the channel will appear as new items in a feed in BazQux. This realisation has pleased me mightily, as I usually refuse to subscribe to channels, purely because of the above disadvantages.    :Thmbsup:


The needs improvement section:
Nothing to add here.


Why I think you should use this product:
We are being inundated with information, but how much of it is really useful/informative/educational is debatable. The majority of it seems to be driven by commercial advertising and/or political propaganda (e.g., "fake news", "click Subscribe or Like to my YouTube video"). If you would like to optimise the use of your time/cognitive surplus, then automating your reading input via BazQux as far as possible would help you to focus on material which is more central to your core needs and avoid the clutter of subject material that might be peripheral to those needs.


How it compares to similar products:
There are various online and offline feed-readers, but your effective use of BazQux would tend to depend on your peculiar preferences and needs.
Some feed-readers and news-readers are browser-based online tools - e.g., as is BazQux - whereas others are client-based. I find that by using:
  • BazQux,
  • .mhtml page saves of webpages and
  • the Chrome extension OneTab,
- most of my news-reading and information-gathering needs can be met.


Conclusions:
BazQux is a very good online browser-based feed-reader.
You don't need to install anything on your PC (except for the browser and the NoSquint Plus extension, if wanted/needed).
The NoSquint Plus extension can probably help to overcome a majority of any eyesight or perceptual ergonomic constraints and thus make the Reader much more effective than might be possible otherwise.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2018, 05:33 AM by IainB »

Tuxman

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Re: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2018, 02:02 PM »
When the Google Reader - the only Google product that was ever worth my attention - was shut down, I tried a lot. BazQux was among that lot. But I somehow had settled to NewsBlur, don't ask me why.

Maybe, when it shuts down one day...

Koffdrop

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Re: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2018, 08:08 AM »
Hello.

When Google Reader shut its doors I was bereft. Before long I stumbled onto Inoreader and have never looked back.
It's fully functional and free. It has a premium version that offers additional functions. It can save a specific page URL to your stash of items (useful as a bookmarking tool in that respect). It also has a mobile app and browser extension options.

sphere

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Re: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 04:43 PM »
Thank you for the mini review

IainB

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Re: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 05:36 AM »
2018-06-16 - Edit to the OP:
The Good:
An excellent feed-aggregator/reader. Does what it is designed to do, and very simply and effectively.
The layout of the UI (User Interface) is petty near perfect for me, and is stable (not subject to periodic changes).
I only discovered/realised on 2018-06-16 that, as well as acting as a feed-reader for web pages, BazQux can act as a feed-reader for YouTube channels. Thus, if one wants to keep abreast of (say) what is happening on a particular YouTube channel, then, rather than subscribing to it - which effectively means accepting the disadvantages of offering oneself up for reduced privacy and being targeted and inundated with spammy emails about additions to the channel - the changes at the channel will appear as new items in a feed in BazQux. This realisation has pleased me mightily, as I usually refuse to subscribe to channels, purely because of the above disadvantages.    :Thmbsup:

allen

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Re: BazQux Reader - Mini-Review
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2018, 04:47 PM »
BazQux can act as a feed-reader for YouTube channels

Oh this is cool! I use Newsblur and after you mentioned Bazqux doing this I checked and Newsblur has this functionality. With both Twitter and YouTube, I find the signal to noise ratio to be bad. I miss most of it, especially what I want to see. Following a handful of important ones in my feed reader fixes that. Both Newsblur and Bazqux solve for this.

It has been years since I last tried Bazqux, I'm checking it out again today. My initial impression is that it's definitely faster, and the filter options are really cool. It's a bit abrasive and I find the topography a lot less pleasant, especially for long-form reading. I'm considering subscribing. If I did, would it replace newsblur, or would I use both to consume different types of information? Time will tell!

You've been using it a while -- any pro tips? I'm still feeling my way around the different viewing options.