The Bloglines problem: My current solution

If you remember way back (OK, four days back…it seems longer than that, maybe because my “two-a-week” posts hit a clump of activity) to this post, I was having a little trouble with Bloglines, tried Google Reader as a replacement, and decided to stick with Bloglines.

I thought a brief update might be appropriate…(as to the “sometimes it just spins” problem, that doesn’t seem to be happening very often)

How big is the other problem?

There seem to be 43 (of 505) blogs where Bloglines continues to show the problem flag (!) — 39 in my big Libraries group and 4 in my small Miscellany group. That’s 8.5%, which is certainly significant–and it includes a few blogs I really do need to track. (The latest addition to the troubled crowd: Open Access News, which I definitely need to track.)

What do they have in common? That’s hard to say. It appears that most or all of the ALA blogs have problems. Otherwise, I don’t see any particular pattern.

Bloglines says it attempts to correct the problems on its own. It doesn’t seem to be working very well. Incidentally, unsubscribing from the blog and resubscribing via the orange icon doesn’t help.

Current workaround

What I’ve done for the moment is to wipe out the big set of Google Reader subscriptions, go through Bloglines, and add a Google Reader subscription for each red exclamation point I see in Bloglines.

That seems to work pretty well–after, that is, I “hid” all the “friends” whose items I was “sharing,” like it or not. (At least one “friend” was sharing some “librarian” items that I really and truly do not want to see in my browser window…I’m not much of a librarian-porn person, thank you kindly. “Thanks for sharing” does not apply in this case–and, frankly, I think the on-by-default “if you’re a contact, you’re a friend”/post sharing thingie is a mistake on Google’s part. Maybe I’m just not social enough or sufficiently inclined to let it all hang out.)

I’ll see whether Bloglines fixes the problems, whether it gets worse, and how Google Reader does on handling the feeds. Or whether I should follow Corp’s advice…

Update later the same day: I have a suspicion as to why a bunch of ALA blogs are showing up as problematic. Trying to reach them directly, Firefox is timing out about every other time… and when it doesn’t time out, the blog. comes. up. slowly… as though that 8086-based server in the back room was overheating.

I mean, I’ve been a loyal ALA member for more than three decades, and I’m even semi-active again in LITA… and I’m sure the new ALA website is better than the old one… but is this stuff really so difficult?

Update 10/19: Bloglines has clearly done some maintenance work–of 43 feeds that weren’t working, 41 are now fixed (and clearly working). I think one of the remaining two is a real problem, a feed that’s gone sour: It doesn’t work in either reader.

8 Responses to “The Bloglines problem: My current solution”

  1. adam says:

    Did you try the firefox plugin? I don’t know the name, but it uses google reader subscriptions and dumps them into a firefox based client.

    Maybe this would solve the formatting issues you have with google.

  2. walt says:

    adam: That’s a multistep process, and I don’t believe I’m at the point yet of going to a more complex situation.

  3. John says:

    I have noticed the problem with Bloglines too, my blog being one of the affected feeds. I contacted Bloglines about the problem, pointing them to your previous post too. No reply.

    I found some older support posts at WordPress, indicating a problem with WordPress and Bloglines, but I don’t think this is the same problem here. Some people who I know are using WordPress (e.g., Off the Mark, you too I think) are not having problems.

    The only other thing I can think of is that Bloglines has their new beta reader. Why this would cause a problem with some feeds and not others is anyone’s guess, but maybe something is going on in the background.

  4. Jon Gomran says:

    Sadly, although I like bloglines, lately I’ve just switched over to Google Reader. I’ve been having problems repeatedly crop up with bloglines, whether it’s a blog in particular, getting weird warning messages, or just having it act weird. I’m actually not that huge of a fan of some of the elements in both the “bloglines beta” and google reader. (Something about having to scroll over something to note it as “read” just bothers me.)

    I don’t have the patience for two readers.

    (Ideally I’d have something more like a desktop client, but the record of what I’ve already read is kept track in some way I can access it from multiple machines).

  5. libwitch says:

    I wonder if it is simply a matter of what feed you subscribe to using Bloglines? I am subscribing to OA News via Bloglines with no problems. But when I notice that problem indicator, I often find switching the feed fixes the problem.

  6. walt says:

    Possibly–but with OAN, I’d been subscribed for a LONG time, and it suddenly started showing errors. Such is life.

  7. John says:

    How are your feeds today? I received an acknowledgment from Bloglines about my inquiry into this problem, though no resolution was offered. Today, my own feed is working for the first time in some time, and other feeds that were broken are working. Perhaps Bloglines made an adjustment?

  8. walt says:

    Of the 43 problematic feeds, only two still show as problems (and one of those is, I believe, legitimately fouled up.)

    So yes, Bloglines fixed (almost) all of the problems. It deserves a followup post, which I’ll do.