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.
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.