Stephen’s Statements A little bit of everything from Stephen Duncan Jr, a Software Developer in Portland, Oregon

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Unmaintained Web Applications

This week I’m having to finally end my use of two web applications from major vendors. Bloglines had several of my feeds not update properly from June 3 through June 17th. I still haven’t received any follow-up e-mail regarding the issue. Besides, for a feed-reading application, you’d think Bloglines could manage to communicate to its users through, I don’t know, some kind of syndicated XML feed? On the 16th I was fed up with the lack of a fix, and the lack of a response, so I switched over to Google Reader. Sure, on the 17th Bloglines finally fixed the issue, but it was way too late by then. Getting my 309 feeds into Google Reader went fairly smoothly; a few folders weren’t created so I had make the folders and place the feeds back into them. I’ll miss Bloglines true “keep unread” or “pinning” feature, as well as the ability to group posts by the feed when reading a folder. But I’ll get used to Google Reader’s way of doing things if it means a reliable service that doesn’t feel abandoned, despite its ownership by Plus I’ll also get a better feed sharing mechanism, and finally have a Feed Search that works (despite Bloglines being owned by a search company, there’s was never helpful).

The same basic experience repeated itself this week, this time from Yahoo. While the majority of people use for online bookmarking, I’d jumped on Yahoo’s other service: My Web, mostly because it saved the page contents for you to search through in addition to the page title and tagging. However, a month or so ago, the RSS feed for my public bookmarks started showing junk. That was fixed within a week, but it started happening again this week. Now I can’t even log in to the site. I filled out some tech support form I found on Yahoo (not that easy to find), but I’ve gotten no response. I’ve been able to access the bookmarks through another view (Yahoo’s “My Bookmarks”), exported them, and am now importing them to Hopefully Yahoo will maintain that a little better.

I guess in once sense this is same feeling everyone who bet on one of several competing technologies and lost feels. There were real benefits that led me to pick the apps I did, but the world didn’t agree, and now I’ve paid the price for sticking with losers too long. Luckily some level of data portability has made that price a lot lower than it could have been.

Update: There are two new feeds you might want to track due to this change:

You can also get these changes automatically using my all-in-one Yahoo Pipes feed.