Who still uses Bloglines?

Way back in December 2005, I wrote, Bloglines admits: “We suck” This followed a long period in which I had publicly noted the many problems this online news reader was experiencing (and mostly denying). At the time, I wrote:

Isn’t it strange that no one from Bloglines has noticed this post and reacted to it? You’d think a company at the center of the blogosphere would be tuned in to reports of problems like this. Unless the priorities from the new corporate masters were taking them away from this core business. You know what I mean?

That was roughly when I gave up on Bloglines for good and switched to FeedDemon, which is powered by NewsGator’s sync engine.

Fast-forward a few years to last week, when Dare Obasanjo asked: Is Bloglines on Life Support?

Bloglines stopped polling my feed over a week ago probably due to a temporary error in my feed. I’ve been trying to find a way to get them to re-enable my feed given that for the 1,670 subscribed to my feed on their service my blog hasn’t been updated since October 3rd. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to be a way to contact the product team.

I sent a mail via the contact form but didn’t get a response and their support forum is overrun with spam which leads me to believe it has been abandoned. Any ideas on how I can get Bloglines to start polling my feed again?

Indeed, if you follow the link to the Bloglines support forum you will find page after page of solicitations for cheap prescription drugs, but no actual support people in sight.

Then, over the weekend, I read Michael Arrington’s post, Destruction Of Bloglines Now Complete; Founder Prepares To Switch To Google Reader:

Users who hadn’t already left Bloglinesfor Google Reader and other functional RSS readers are doing so now, largely because Bloglines has stopped working and the company has done absolutely nothing to communicate to users what is going on or when it might be fixed.

The more things change…

I just checked my feed on Bloglines, and sure enough, it stopped updating last March. If you’re one of the 599 people who are listed as subscribers to this site via Bloglines, you’ve been cheated. And if that’s your only lifeline to me, you will, ironically, never read this post.

So is anyone out there still using Bloglines? If so, why haven’t you switched to Newsgator or Google Reader?

Update: And now that I think about it, I wonder whether there’s another, more sinister explanation for Bloglines’ problems. Dare Obasanjo and I both have our RSS feeds hosted at FeedBurner. You can see my feed’s stats here.)

Now for the interesting part: FeedBurner was purchased by Google in June 2007.

Google Reader competes, directly, with Bloglines. I don’t really think that FeedBurner would do anything to make its feeds break when they encounter Bloglines, but a clueless company like Bloglines probably hasn’t done a heck of a lot of reaching out to FeedBurner to iron out glitches, and given the competitive nature of the relationship, it’s unlikely that Google is going to reach out to Bloglines with advice.

Side note: Back in June 2005, Bloglines was the most popular RSS-based source of readership for this site. Today its share is 7%. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

18 thoughts on “Who still uses Bloglines?

  1. Should I be hanging my head in shame that I still use Bloglines? 😉 I still use it daily and it picks up your feed just fine. Believe me, I have tried to go to Google Reader and I am using it a bit more, but for whatever reason, I have always preferred the way Bloglines works.

  2. I’ve never been happy with Google Reader and like the speediness of Bloglines. I am not currently using their ‘Beta’ ajax interface so that could very well change in the future. I haven’t given Newsgator much of a try since it went free so I can’t honestly say. I’ll give it a shot.

    Features I like about Bloglines –
    * ‘blogging’ an article to my Link Blog so I can make a quick comment on it and share it with my friends without deluging them of unwanted emails.
    * the one location for all my feeds which keeps track of what I’ve read or not – I like the FeedDemon client but eventually left it for Bloglines a few years back.

    Things I don’t like –
    * a couple of days last week there were no updates for several hours. I know all my favorite bloggers didn’t just stop writing at once.
    * a few blogs display broken image links in Bloglines. I’ve askd one of the bloggers in the past about it and they couldn’t figure out why that was the case. It truly seems to be on Bloglines’ side.

    I’m on of the 599!

  3. I gave up on Bloglines about two years ago, when it became apparent to me that there was no development or improvement happening to the site, while Google was really innovating with its Reader. I hated the first version of GReader, then it took a while to get used to v2, but once I got the hang of the keyboard shortcuts, I was sold.

    Since then, GReader has been rock solid, and the integration it gives me with the rest of the Google ecosystem makes life a lot easier.

  4. OK. I take it back. I actually got a “dump” of posts from your site, back to Sept 30. So it wasn’t working, but just from your site. Other sites seem to be working OK. I’ll keep checking and see whether Bloglines is getting less reliable.

  5. I never used Bloglines, but I’m a big fan of NewsGator. That is to say, their Web frontend is adequate, but FeedDemon is the main reason why I use it. I prefer a lightweight standalone application to a Web app when it comes to feeds, so I have FeedDemon installed on both my home PC and work PC. The synchronization is swift and flawless. I’ve been told I could use Google Reader with ReadAIR, but there’s no reason for me to make the switch–it took me long enough to decide on FeedDemon at the time.

  6. Your site has been coming through Bloglines just fine for me. However, this weekend, I noticed several feeds that caught up from October 6 or so. So yes, they haven’t been updating properly.

    Everything I read through a feed is for personal enjoyment only. I don’t need timeliness, so my standards are different than yours. That said, I make sure I have a recent opml backup at all times, in case I need to make a forced switch (ie Bloglines suddenly goes away).

  7. I’m still a user. And I’m not ashamed. Yes, they’ve certainly had their issues keep some feeds up to date, Slashdot, National Hurricane Center (which now only shows the hurricane statuses, but not the forecasts, of which both are in the feed, so what the hell’s happened there, I haven’t a clue), and a few others.

    Everybody is bitching about Bloglines just as it seems that they are cleaing things up. Saturday night I started seeing some sites I hadn’t seen in a couple of weeks. I got even more Sunday. So SOMETHINGS happening.

    Customer service is basically nonexistent. I send off a problem, get the robotic response (a day later…) and then nothing. I guess I could go into the forums and post problems, but the last time I did that, I never heard anything officially about what was wrong and any timeline on when things would get working again.

    I’ve tried Google Reader. I don’t like it And I haven’t seen the options available to make it work like I want it to work. I’ve got my own system set up, and I can go through and read what I need to read, bypass the stuff I don’t care about at the moment. I can’t see moving to Google Reader or Newsgator unless I have to.

  8. Funny, I just switched to Google Reader 2 days ago because Bloglines wasn’t updating at least half my feeds. I didn’t like Google Reader when I tried it a year or 2 ago, but it’s much better now.

  9. Switched from Bloglines to FeedDemon about a year ago. I love it. Its ability to sync with the online (and free) NewsGator is awesome. The only thing I miss from Bloglines is the email subscriptions… hint hint.

  10. I too am still using bloglines, but I have noticed that it more and more often does not update feeds. For your feed, I found I had to update the feed URL and resubscribe. It has been working since then. It still does not like your media center feed, though your ZDNet feed has worked forever.

    I did try out Google Reader when it first was out, and I just didn’t like the way it worked. Now, I’m going back to it more and more now that it has been updated and I’m liking it more. Perhaps I might switch over.

  11. I am also a Bloglines user… the main reason I stay is the mobile interface for Blackberry. Google reader’s mobile interface is… clumsy at best. I don’t want to have to click a link to read each post, and for the life of me I can’t figure out if there’s any way to get a more mobile.bloglines-like version where you can click on the feed and see all new articles from that feed….

  12. Another bloglines user who hasn’t had any trouble with your feed.

    I used FeedDemon a long time ago but wanted something accessible from work and home, maybe it’s time to revisit. Hopefully the app doesn’t use too much memory. As for google reader, I stay away from them as much as I can.

  13. Google should not have Not Have Monopoly Control Over RSS Readers.

    I’m an feed junky and last year when I could not find a reader other than googles that had the features I wanted, I decided to build one that matched and bettered the google reader feature set

    At adelph.us we love to read rss feeds and we thought it would be a great idea to integrate a full featured rss/atom feed reader into the adelph.us social communication platform. We looked at some of the available feed readers and while many of them are very good, most lacked some key features that we believe are needed to help members easily add, read, and recycle feeds. At adelph.us we believe that there should be more than one choice for internet users when it comes to key applications like feed readers. We think that a feed reader should be tightly integrated into a unified social communication platform that allows members to use all of the features with one log or openid.

    We believe in the Open Source development community, and because of this in the near future we will be releasing the adelph.us reader under an Open Source license. This means that the adelph.us reader will continue to evolve to meet the needs of users and developers.The adelph.us reader has all of the features that you would expect in a top of the line feed reader. When we started the development process we wanted to make sure that we matched feature for feature with the best feed readers. Once we had the key features list we began to add new features that would make the adelph.us feed reader an easy to use aggregator that gives members the ability to read, share, and republish feeds.

    Some adelph.us Reader Features

    Feed Reader tightly integrated into adelph.us social communication platform
    Easy to use and intuitive user interface
    Add feeds from an existing OPML file
    Add rss/atom feeds as well as feeds from existing social services
    Share feed items with a note ( Public, Private, Friend (s), Group(s) )
    Email feed items with a note
    Tag feed item
    Re Publish feed item to blog
    Re Publish entire feed to blog
    Tabbed feed viewing
    Feed viewing options (Bottom, Right, Hide)
    Integrated feed search
    Feed Categorization using tags
    Latest feeds section (Shows feeds from the last 1 hour, 2 hours, 5 hours)

  14. Count me as another Bloglines fan. I’ve had no issues with your feeds, Ed, although I did notice a couple of other sites over the weekend that appeared to have not been picked up.

    After reading this yesterday, I did decide to try Newsgator since you had recommended it some time ago. My experience was that the Feeds were slow to load and there was a slow response to actions (i.e., marking all posts read or marking one post unread, etc.)

    I am another one who does not care for Google Reader.

  15. After being dissapointed by the recent update to iGoogle, I switched to Netvibes today. So far, I am very impressed! A lot of features, great speed, and very configurable!

    The main downside so far is that I can’t use the Gmail widget. I don’t trust any company with the password to my email (Gmail) account. (I’d prefer it if I could keep it from Google as wel, but… 🙂

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