A little while ago a reader tipped me to BazQux Reader, and I have to thank Guillaume for really making my day. This browser-only news reader does something that I have not seen before; it offers the option of fetching the comment feeds for any RSS feeds you follow and integrates the comments with the respective posts.
I'm sure that most readers now that it is possible to subscribe to an RSS feed for the comments on a particular post, and that most blog platforms (WordPress, Blogspot, etc) have certain standard ways to offer the comment feeds. BazQux makes use of that standardization to find and display the comments.
I'm still trying out Bazqux, but as you can see from the screen shot below it is clearly heavily influenced by Google Reader. This service offer multiple reading modes, including the compact mode that news junkies secretly desire, as well as a mosaic style layout which could be very useful for photoblogs.
Bazqux also currently has other subtle features including the option of hiding feeds that don't have new content, several variations of how compact the list view can be, universal viewing modes (make all feeds shows as list, mosaic, etc), and an option for when and how to mark a post as read.
Comments, now that's where things get interesting. They're optional, and the comments on a post won't be retrieved until you request them. That's an excellent compromise.
This service even supports a number of keyboard shortcuts, including one that will send a full blog post to Readability so it can be saved for later. It doesn't have any mobile apps, but it does currently offer support for remote login from other mobile feed reader apps (Google Reader API required). You can even set a unique password and login ID, a feature that I deeply appreciate (my gmail login is 24 keystrokes long), but using Bazqux with those other apps will require those other developers choosing to add support for Bazqux.
All in all I am impressed with what I see.I even imported my 2,000 plus feeds from Google Reader and Bazqux continued to function quite well. If this service already had mobile apps (and offered the translation feature I need) I would have already signed up.
As it stands this is definitely a contender. I have even added it to my list of potential replacements.
Bazqux has been under development since late 2011, and it launched in the middle of 2012. It appears to be a one man operation, and is the work of a Moscow-based developer named Vladimir Shabanov.
Bazqux is only directly available in the web browser, and it's a freemium service. You can only use it for a month before being required to pay. The paid service costs $9, $19, 0r $29 a year, and the higher rates are entirely voluntary.