A few thoughts on mass vs niche media
No French luck for Mecom

Celebrity scandals and the trouble with Bloglines

Now, I was planning to write the post on media's celebrity obsession last week, and gleefully report towards the end that getting minimal exposure to celebrity news is easier than ever in world where you can slice and dice content as you see fit with RSS and newsreaders.

Why bother with the news that annoy you, when you can choose to subscribe only to your favourite feeds or keywords within feeds?

However, life and work intervened, and this week I'm not quite so gleeful. I've been using Bloglines for a long time, but its performance keeps getting worse and worse.

One of the charms of using a newsreader is how it's supposed to show updates the minute a site has been updated. This function has been painfully slow in Bloglines recently, so slow that one Bloglines user wrote:

"I've gotten so desperate for updates that I've been surfing over to the INDIVIDUAL WEB SITES. Help!"

The problem has been exacerbated by several of my feeds, including my standing Technorati searches, only showing up "Internal Server Error" during the last few days, which has made me realise how much I've come to rely on my newsreader.

To loose the massive archive of posts I've built up over time in Bloglines feels almost like the nightmare scenario of suffering a laptop crash only to realise you've forgotten to back up your files.

But, even though the prospect of switching newsreaders seem daunting, got to find a way of saving my Bloglines archive, the service has been so unreliable recently - unread feeds disappearing, slow to update etc - that I realise it would make life much easier if I did.

I've been looking at ZapTXT as it's supposed to guarantee instant updates - I've come to rely more and more on my newsreader also for work and for tracking stories - but would be grateful for any advice...


I have recently had the same Bloglines problem regarding "Internal Server Error" messages on certain feeds. But today it's working again. Another thing is the speed with which the feeds are updated. This seems to fluctuate wildly between feeds - on some new entries are shown almost instantly, others take a long time. Hard to understand why the difference is so great. I have also been looking for alternatives to Bloglines, but haven't found any better service so far. A good thing is that you can pack your feeds in the suitcase and take them with you - import them into another reader - if you decide to abandon ship :-)

Have you tried Google Reader? I used to be an avid Bloglines fan, but at one point I got so fed up with the instability of the service that I tried moving to Google Reader. The first time it was a letdown, but three months and a major update from Google later it was a much nicer experience.

Google Reader has not been near the instability of Bloglines, and it is mostly very quick to update. Highly recommended.

Hmm, thanks for the advice and input. Today Bloglines is 'back to normal' for me too, but there's just been too many scares recently - some irrevocable, like loosing updates and posts.

About updates: the speed doesn't just vary from feed to feed, but sometimes from day to day, in my Bloglines experience.
I definently need something web-based so I can log in from different computers, and I'd be willing to consider a paid for service as I rely more and more on this for work: a good selection of feeds + a reliable newsreader frequently beat the newswires both on speed and scope

You could try Newsgator

I use Newsgator's classic reader, not the beta. I find it handy for categorizing and running a feed to my blog.

The problem with the beta is that it doesn't allow me to view 50 items on a screen. If Newsgator allows this I will be happy.

I noticed that for some sites (now including mine) the update may take 3 hours while others are only minutes behind. I wrote them and am still waiting for a response. :(

Get in touch w/ other services (newsgator, etc.) and ask if there's a way to transfer.

Also, ask bloglines if there's a way to download your RSS list.

I may be doing the same...

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