Adios BlogLines

2010-10-28

in Geek stuff, Internet matters, Rants

For years now, I have been using BlogLines to keep track of hundreds of RSS feeds: posts on tech and climate blogs, comments on my own sites, updates on the sites of friends who update very rarely, etc.

Unfortunately, BlogLines is being shut down on Monday. This is one of the few times when a genuinely valuable internet service has faded away. There are plenty I have outgrown (Hotmail comes to mind) or that were never very useful (Google Wave). Napster was a tragic loss, and now this.

So, thanks a bunch BlogLines. I will be shipping all my subscriptions over to the clunkier interface of Google Reader.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Milan October 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

One useful thing about Google Reader is that it actually saves all the content from blogs you are tracking. Even if posts or entire sites get deleted, you retain access to all the content they put up while you were tracking them.

Byron Smith November 1, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I use Shrook, which also saves content (text, not pictures) but onto your hard drive, rather than a Google account. I’ve been using it for years now and have thousands of posts saved, which are fully searchable. Only drawback I’ve found is that for some reason, it takes quite a long time to quit.

. November 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm

We have some exciting news to share about the Bloglines service!

As you may have heard, Ask.com (http://ask.com/) has entered into an agreement with MerchantCircle (http://www.merchantcircle.com/) who has agreed to keep Bloglines up and running. Stay tuned over the coming months as MerchantCircle works to improve the Bloglines service by creating a richer and more local user experience.

In the near term, your news feeds and access to the service (with your same password) are still available. You can read more detail about MerchantCircle and its plans for the service at the MerchantCircle blog (http://www.merchantcircle.com/blog/) and the Ask.com blog (http://blog.ask.com/)

For now, here’s what we want you to know:

. Timing: Ask.com will maintain the current Bloglines service as is until December 1, 2010. After December 1, 2010, the service will transition wholly to MerchantCircle. During the month of December, you will be able to easily port your feeds over to the MerchantCircle-powered service. It’s an easy process, and we.ll provide you with complete instructions well in advance.

. Logging-In: You will keep your same password as before.

. Current Bloglines features: Your Bloglines subscriptions will seamlessly transition to the MerchantCircle service, however, the Clippings Tab will no longer be available and you will not be able to transport saved articles to the new service. We’re very sorry for any inconvenience this will cause; the infrastructure requirements and costs are simply too great to justify maintaining this type of archiving feature.

We hope you’re as excited as we are that Bloglines will live on. Please send any questions to bloglines@merchantcircle.com — we are listening! However, we ask for your patience with response times during this transition. In the meantime, please check back at http://www.bloglines.com for updates and, coming soon, a new FAQ page.

Sincerely,
The Bloglines / Ask.com Team

. November 30, 2010 at 7:13 pm

Dear Bloglines Users,

You probably already know that MerchantCircle has entered into an agreement with Ask.com to keep Bloglines running…

What you may not know is who we are. Well, here’s the mini elevator pitch: MerchantCircle is the largest online network of local business owners, combining social networking features with free marketing tools to connect local business owners with their communities. MerchantCircle’s 1.4 million business owners and hundreds of thousands of consumers engage in our Community Forums, posting blogs about their areas of expertise, and asking and answering questions in MerchantCircle Answers.

We’ve been around since 2005, and with over 20 million business listings on our network- you can trust that we’re not going anywhere- and neither is your Bloglines service. In fact, we’re pretty excited to introduce this fantastic service to our current user base of merchants.

Our game plan is to bring you the best technology, with an easy transition, and avert the potential frustrations that can come with change. This does mean making some tough decisions, but our goal remains: Keep Bloglines alive and create the best experience possible for the largest number of users.

Beginning around December 1st, when you log in to your Bloglines account (using your same id and password), you’ll be transitioned to the NEW Bloglines experience. We’ll be providing complete details on the almost-automatic migration process in which you’ll just port your feeds over to the MerchantCircle-powered service.

And no, it won’t be IDENTICAL to the old Bloglines experience. We are going to provide better, more stable reader technology, with a wider range of user features, but some minimally used features in need of expensive updates didn’t make the cut. Instead, we’ve included some helpful new resources that you didn’t have before; and we’ll continue to incorporate as many features as possible. Our own CEO has been an avid Bloglines user since 2005! He too wants the best, most familiar Blogline experience possible.

A perfectly smooth transition is ideal. But we do know it’s a safe bet to expect a few bumps in the road. Should that happen, we apologize in advance and assure you that we’ll be addressing any issues with a sense of urgency. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to reach out on Twitter. (@Bloglines)

Keep an eye out for future communication as we get closer to the big changeover day. We look forward to serving you!

Your MerchantCircle/Bloglines Team

. October 20, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Moments ago, Google announced that Reader, as soon as next week, will become part of Google+. It will be impossible to use Google Reader as a standalone product, and many of its social features (friending, following, sharing) are being buried in favor of Google+ equivalents. Fortunately, Reader has always had the ability to export your RSS subscriptions and feed groups in the widely-accepted OPML format, and over the next few days this will be expanded to include your shared items, friends, likes, and starred items as well. Of course this isn’t to say that Reader+ won’t be just as good as its non-incremented predecessor, but you might simply dislike the idea of combining your RSS feeds with your social network.

Milan October 20, 2011 at 10:17 pm

Why do big technology companies insist on making me an RSS nomad?

I was happy with BlogLines, but then they pulled the plug. I was reasonably happy with Google Reader, but I definitely don’t want to join Google+.

Milan March 13, 2013 at 9:42 pm

Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013.

Google Reader will be retired on July 1, 2013.

. March 13, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Google announced that it’s killing off Google Reader effective July 1, 2013. Reader was Google’s web-based program that let people subscribe to news feeds from their favorite sites. That’s a shame, because Reader was pretty great.

While RSS has maybe seen its heyday come and go, Google Reader was notable not only for its features, but for the active community it fostered for which Reader wasn’t just another tool. Sure it was revolutionary in terms of function, but moreover it was beloved.

Reader grew out of Blogger. In the summer of 2004, Jason Shellen — who had come to Google with the Blogger acquisition — was working on Google’s Atom specification. He asked a Blogger engineer Chris Wetherell if it would be possible to build an in-browser XML-parser to make sense of all these feeds. This little tool became Google Reader. Shellen liked the product, but couldn’t get the go-ahead from Google to launch it under its social program, so he took it to Marissa Mayer, who was running Google’s consumer web services. Mayer gave Reader the green-light–provided the team would strip out its social features.

. March 14, 2013 at 9:41 pm
. March 18, 2013 at 1:21 pm

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