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Bloglines Fail #fail

OK, so today I decided to transfer my Bloglines RSS feed to the new Merchant Circle version of Bloglines.

I still liked the old Bloglines RSS reader but I did back it up in Google Reader. I had (thankfully) rebuilt my Google Reader feeds a few months ago and it went swimmingly. Every feed transferred and it all loaded fine. I am not that comfortable with the G-Reader interface but it’s OK.

I figured that the same would happen again with this migration. What a mess!

I clicked on the button and migrated the feeds. I got a message instantly that the feeds had transferred to the MerchantCircle Bloglines except for a few. That missing few was 517 (YES 517!!) feeds which they e-mailed to me as a list of URLs. That’s more than half of my feeds to handcraft back in. There appears to be no way to go back to the old version (like Twitter has done) but they don’t tell you that when you initiate the transfer. Lastly, the new interface is amazingly confusing and makes me feel stupid. They seem to have randomly chosen a date to start your feeds as opposed to where you left off reading. What a crock. I really want to look at over 150,000 repeat feeds! And the new interface is awful. Even the Bloglines logo takes up about three times the space just to make sure you can’t see as much of your feeds. Is the logo all that important? And it’s a really, really slow. Oh yeah, the icing on the cake is that the interface has crashed my laptop three times so I’ve now removed the bookmark and won’t be back. If you can’t manage a migration, display RSS feeds well, not crash and/or improve the interface, then what were your goals with this acquisition?

Anyway, this is a total failure and I won’t be back. They did the impossible. They got this guy to convert to a Google product.

Stephen

Posted on: December 16, 2010, 1:55 pm Category: Uncategorized

25 Responses

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  1. Michael Sauers said

    I migrated to Google Reader months ago but for fun I figured I try the migration since I’d never deleted my account. It failed on 614 feeds for me. Yep, total #FAIL.

  2. Alex Dupuy said

    About half my feeds also failed to migrate. You probably didn’t notice because you hadn’t set up a Netvibes account previously (I did when I was looking into alternatives to Bloglines) but the new “Bloglines” is just a branding on top of Netvibes. If you already have a Netvibes account with the same e-mail address the migration tool asks for the password so that it can set it up.

    So MerchantCircle paid some developer to write a migration tool (not the original Bloglines developers – they are long gone) and bought the domain name and Bloglines brand, and figured they could pick up a few more people subscribed to their feeds (did you notice the new “MerchantCircle” section in your feeds?).

    But Bloglines itself (the software, our data — alas all those pinned articles) is now dead – there is no option to “go back” because they pulled the plug on the old system – at least we got an extra 45 days (the original turn-off date was November 1).

    Bloglines RIP.

  3. All my “keep new” postings are gone. New bloglines is just a restricted netvibes, see “powered by netvibes” at the bottom of the page. I don’t see the point in this. The suckers at MerchantCircle downright lied to us when they announced that they would “keep” Bloglines.

  4. I’m a very unhappy camper. Darn, now how do I get my favorite blogs back? Anyone got any ideas of a fix or am I just screwed.

  5. Do any of you use Live Bookmarks in Firefox, or have you tried adding bookmarks to your favorites bar in Internet Explorer? You can do the same with Safari, I believe. There is a similar plugin you can get for Chrome too.

    I find that having a list of headlines in my browser is much more handy than having a reader. Signing into a reader account seems too much like e-mail to me, and somewhat defeats the purpose of having dynamic content. Plus, I can arrange them into discreet folders, which helps keep them organized.

    I can see if you subscribe to 517 feeds that a reader might be better. But my browser’s performance at 90 feeds is still fine.

  6. I had a more mixed experience. I knew Bloglines was supposed to go away at the beginning of December, but I hadn’t migrated yet because whenever I went to Bloglines, the old interface was still there. Yesterday, however, it wasn’t. There was a migrate now page. When I clicked the link to NOT migrate yet, it only took me to another page about the new Bloglines, not the old site. So I think yesterday was the drop-dead date for the old site.

    I fortunately didn’t have as bad an experience; however, I don’t have nearly as many subscriptions. When I migrated, it returned a response saying my account was migrated, but listed 5 feeds that didn’t migrate. There was also a note that they had e-mailed me a copy of that list. But next to each unmigrated feed listed was a button to “Add it.” When I clicked the button, each feed was sucessfully added without any problem. I’m wondering why it worked so well for me but not for others.

    I also don’t find the Bloglines logo to be any bigger than what it was before. It doesn’t seem to be taking up more space on my screen.

    I had previously set up my feeds in Google Reader, when I first heard about the coming demise of Bloglines several months ago. I was hoping the new Bloglines would keep more of the features I liked. And, like Hans, I’m disappointed my “keep new” postings are gone. I knew I’d lose my clippings, but I hoped the migration was going to be to something that looked more like the old Bloglines, and would keep the posts marked “keep new.”

    For me, the verdict is still out. I miss being able to sort unread items by oldest first. But I’m finding the widgets view to be useful. I’ll have to play with it some more before I decide to move completely over to Google Reader.

  7. I agree, the Merchant Circle reader is awful. I hope they’re reading this and listen to the complaints and work on improving it. Fortunately, I had migrated my feeds to Google Reader when Bloglines first announced they were shutting down. Unforuntately, I didn’t migrate them again just before Merchant Circle took over. So, I’ve lost some of the blogs I’ve subscribed to in the last month or so. Oh well, I’ll know better next time. I’ll continue to follow Merchant Circle for now to see if they are responsive to the complaints, but if they’re not, I’ll move over to Google Reader – which I really don’t like, but it’s a lot better than what we have now. Too bad, Bloglines was fabulous.

  8. Merchant Circle also dropped a shitload of my blogs too, and there are some that didn’t make the migration OR the email of ‘unable to export’. They are just GONE.

    Not impressed.

  9. MerchantCircle has not yet disabled everything of the old system. The so called RPC-Interface is still available and it allows to a.) export a OPML file with all your subscriptions and b.) salvage your saved / keep new items.

    I write a perl script to do so, but the blog does not let me post the URL to it.

    As i understand that many Bloglines user have no possibility to run this script, i have decided to offer it as a service for a small fee. I don’t want to advertise on this blog, though.

  10. Rhu: http://rpc.bloglines.com/listsubs will give you a OPML export of your “old” subscriptions, so you will find everything missing there.

  11. New try to post the URL to my “keep new” salvage script: http:// pastebin.com / CGJ8XSGj

    Will export both the OPML as well as individual .rss files for each feed containing “keep new” items.

    After that you can BL just show the finger.

  12. I just found an even easier way to salvage your “keep new” items.

    First open this URL: http://rpc.bloglines.com/getitems?s=0&n=1&d=0

    After that replace the n=1 with n=0 and load again. The result will contain all (and only) your keep new posting. Save it and open it with a RSS reader or whatever.

  13. The new Bloglines is a mess! I’ve lost all my keep new items, hundreds os feeds appear as non-read when I read them long ago, the new interface is not practical… It is a disaster. I’m already looking for another rss reader to flee from this hell.

    Life sucks :(

  14. Can’t even reach the new “bloglines” (netvibes) page. Hundreds of feeds reported as failed in email, anyway.

  15. Bloglines disabled the RPC interface so no way to get your saved items through that. But they forgot to disable one url where the “old” bloglines is still available: http://web.bloglines.com/

    So if you want to save anything, better hurry.

  16. kju – thanks that last one worked perfectly. You have saved me much time.

  17. kju – that’s awesome! thanks so much!

  18. Stracey said

    Thanks so much kju. Feels like being let out of blogging jail. I’m so tired of the new Bloglines lagging my laptop so badly it can’t move.

  19. web.bloglines.com still works. It’s amazing. It was broken for hours last night but now is fixed. I’m wondering if the ex-operators still use it as well and it’s still up because of that.

  20. kju: thanks for the tip!

  21. Nearly one week later and web.bloglines.com is still up. Either the old admins have already departed and nobody cares to remove that machine or there is some reason.

  22. Thanks KJU! I HATE the new NetVibes ‘bloglines’ NOT reader. It’s sooooooooo slow and clunky. It is NOT the original BL reader at all! They DIDN’T keep it. anyway, I can’t get a copy of my feeds exported out. When I click on ‘edit’ to go to the ‘export’ area, I automatically get forwarded the the ‘migrate’ area of Netvibes. I do have the original file that I used and I have already dumped that into Google Reader (which I don’t like either). So, I’m not overly worried, but would still like to export the file with the new items. How do I get to my OPML file?

  23. Sage: This is probably because they disabled web.blogline.com just about 15 minutes ago. But i’m still a step ahead of them. You can use http://titan.bloglines.com/ instead and shall be able to export there.

    I’m thinking about creating my own bloglines clone but i would probably have to charge for it because of the costs involved. Anyone interested?

  24. Oh and by the way, the RPC interface for exporting subscriptions and “keep new” items is still there as well. You just have to override the DNS entry for “rpc.bloglines.com” through the hosts file (google for instructions). Set rpc.bloglines.com to 66.235.112.64 and you can export as instructed above.

  25. Sage: Oh i just see that i misunderstood your problem. The link behind “edit” is pointing to http://www.bloglines.com/manage_subs which of course is the awful new bloglines. You can just change the URL to read titan.bloglines.com instead of http://www.bloglines.com.

    But why click on edit at all? The export link is right there on the bottom of your normal feed list. If unsure try this URL: http://titan.bloglines.com/export

    I have to assume that some people from MerchantCircle read this blog because they are slowly turning off everything I mention. Please people can’t you just get that most of users hate your rebranded netvibes BS and want to have the old BL? You have now disabled the “major” URLs, anyone now using the still working host names probably does know what he/she is doing and will be aware that the service will stop eventually. But if you are so proud of yourself, keep disabling. For me this is some kind of game, as long as you don’t disable it for good, i will find a way to defeat your countermeasures.