Late Bloglines notifications: You’re not alone

A while back, someone sent me email (or maybe commented?) that they hadn’t seen a post from this blog in Bloglines until three or four (or was it six?) days after it was posted. They were gracious enough to say that this was troublesome, that they wanted to know about my posts. (Well, they’re infrequent, which may help.)

I suppose the title of the post tells the story. I just now–that is, at about 10:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 27–found the C&I 7:2 announcement post in Bloglines. That’s four days, and it’s not atypical. I’m never surprised when my egofeed of comments from W.a.r. shows the comment before I ever get the egofeed of the post itself…although comments also show up only sporadically.

And yet I’m clearly getting prompt notification for some? most? other blogs, including others on LISHost, along with Bloglines’ occasional trick of providing the 25 most recent posts whenever there’s a new one.

I’m not ready to give up on Bloglines. I tried the recommended Firefox-extension alternative and really didn’t like it. I like the way Bloglines works–enough to tolerate, for now, the extent to which it’s flakey.

I would suggest load leveling as a cause, or maybe that it picks up blogs more or less frequently depending on whether they have lots of subscribers. But I’m solidly within the B list among libloggers–over 300 Bloglines subs in all (split between feeds), and an absurd 1,200+ sessions per day (more recently). So unless it’s an inverse relationship (widely-subscribed blogs get polled less often?), that doesn’t make sense.

If this post seems hectic, well, it’s in that just-before-grocery-shopping interval, and Blake just managed to solve a problem that had me shut out of all three domains (followed by a related problem that kept me out of writing/administering here), and hey, it’s Saturday.

Things will get better. They usually do. Ah well, I managed to break a post-Midwinter writer’s block yesterday (writing a brief chapter for the probable-book I’m working on), so that’s good news.

Quick update Monday, January 29: I received this post in Bloglines this morning (marked as a 6 a.m. Monday update). At 10 a.m., I received a Comments feed–with comments ranging back as far as January 24. That’s fairly typical; I seem to get one Comments feed a week, more or less.

7 Responses to “Late Bloglines notifications: You’re not alone”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Walt, I first noticed this problem in Bloglines in October. I initially noticed that my new blog posts were not showing up in a timely manner. After a while, I started going through most blogs that I subscribed to manually. In all honesty, it seems to be completely random – and at this point, has happened to every blog to which I subscribe at some point in time regardless of popularity. Recently, it has been taking 3-5 days for your posts to show up. I have been using other aggregators of late (but I still keep checking in Bloglines too). I guess the reason that I find it so frustrating is that I can’t figure out why it is happening or any pattern for it.

  2. Diane says:

    I have to admit your post made me curious so I went through my bloglines account list and took a quick look at the “updated” information on several blogs. Color me surprised to notice there were several who had posted over the weekend and the feed did not make it to my list. I like Bloglines and am hesitant to move away too quickly (though it wouldn’t kill me to try another reader…).

  3. Mark says:

    It was me, or me and…. This one just showed up on Monday at 6 AM-ish Central. I say that confidently because I was up at 3:30 unfortunately.

    Jennifer, it has been on and off for a couple months now. And it was worse–or so it seemed–a couple months back. And I can generally live with it for most feeds, but I consider this one of the most valuable feeds I subscribe to.

    Walt, I think your theory about # of subscribers is flawed. I often get my posts in Bloglines before I can even get from posting to logging into Bloglines. Or at most, usually within about 5 minutes, and you have far more subs in Bloglines than I do (407 vs 59 if my math is right).

    I find it sort of ironic to see this now, as I was just heading off to write a post and ask for suggestions for another web-based aggregator. I doubt I’ll switch either, though, as I have over 4700 items marked Keep New and I don’t think it is possible to stop a feed AND keep the things already marked in Bloglines. That would’ve been the 2nd part of my question.

    And, yes, I know I need to weed that stuff out. I have been trying, but it takes time. Not something I have a lot of.

  4. walt says:

    Mark, Actually, I thought I was saying that the # of subscribers *seemed* like a good theory, but couldn’t be right, for exactly the reasons you cite: I have enough subscribers that I should be getting reasonably rapid polling.

    Oddly enough, I got the post above at 5:50 a.m. this morning, according to Bloglines’ time stamp–roughly an hour after you did, and two days after the post. That’s better than 4 or 6 days.

    I just checked Urchin [statistics] for the past week. Of the four feeds (at least one of which is just comments), the number of subscribers and number of Bloglines hits over the week was:

    1. 192 subscribers, 15 hits. [Seems like a low frequency.]
    2. 191 subscribers, 41 hits. [Six a day: That sounds plausible.]
    3. 4 subscribers, 42 hits [Probably the comments feed]
    4. 33 subscribers, 76 hits [11/day, way more than enough]

    “Feedfetcher-Google” had 433 hits for the week. Feedster had 54 (I don’t have a Feedster account setup). One bot was in the low thousands… (Oh, and sessions, which presumably doesn’t include bots, averaged about 1350/day for the week.)

    I don’t know what to make of all this. I added a note on the Bloglines feedback forum, but I don’t have any sense that anyone from Bloglines is monitoring or responding to those “feedback” forums–so far, it looks like a place for disgruntled users to vent to one another.

    I know, I know: The price is right. And I could always switch (I keep KeepNews down to a dozen or fewer, because I keep stuff I want to use later in paper form…I know, that’s terribly luddite, but…)

  5. Angel says:

    Seems indeed you are not the only one. I have noticed it as well, not to mention the fact that once in a while I get some blog suddenly showing with 20 or more posts in a shot, only to see they are all old posts I saw already. So it either fails to update, or it repeats old stuff. I like Bloglines features, and I have a lot of stuff saved in clippings, but I am seriously considering a switch if I find something good. It may be free, but it does not mean the annoyance factor is worth it, and I am starting to get annoyed. Best, and keep on blogging.

  6. Mark says:

    Sorry about the misinterpretation, Walt. That’s what happens when I’m up at 3:30, I guess.

  7. walt says:

    Mark, no apology required. The post itself was sloppily written early in the morning — well, not THAT early, but — and easy enough to misinterpret.

    Another datum: The revised post showed up in Bloglines within an hour after posting.