Jennifer Macaulay mentioned today (at least I think it was today — though by the time you see it, it could be three days from now) that she’s noticed her feed isn’t updating very frequently in Bloglines:
This is highly frustrating. But ultimately, I know I wrote a post, so I didn’t worry about it too much. The thought did cross my mind that it probably happens with other blogs as well, but I didn’t have any confirmation. Today, however, there were some references to posts on Library Stuff- and I knew I hadn’t seen them. Currently when I’m logged into Bloglines, it lists Library Stuff as being last updated on October 25 – which is not the case. There have been many posts since the 25th. My own feed is listed as last updated on October 28. This is a problem!!!!
I’ve been noticing this too. I wrote a bunch of posts from Dartmouth on Friday and only the first one showed up on Friday. I wrote additional posts on Saturday and Sunday and still only that one Dartmouth post was showing in Bloglines. Finally, on Monday, the feed updated and there were eight new posts from my blog. On Sunday morning, I wrote to Bloglines to ask them about the problem, but I haven’t heard back from them. Ok, I didn’t expect them to get back to me on Sunday, but it’s now Tuesday and I haven’t heard a peep from them.
I know a very large number of librarians who read feeds use Bloglines and I’ve been a loyal user for years. Have any other people noticed this happening with their blog or someone else’s? How can we have a distributed conversation when pieces of that conversation are not getting through? It seems like some blogs are updating normally and others are taking days for the content to show up in Bloglines. What gives??
Update: A suggestion was made in the comments that I add http://www.bloglines.com/ping to the list of sites that WordPress automatically pings when I publish a new post. Well, I did that and published a new post tonight. Several hours later, the post still hasn’t shown up on Bloglines. Sigh…
I wonder if it might have something to do with TrackBack pings. Bloglines will add a post to the index almost instantly if you’ve added Bloglines’ to your automatic ping list. The URL for Bloglines is http://www.bloglines.com/ping and can be entered, in Movable Type 3.2 at least, in Main Menu -> Your Blog -> New Entry Default Settings under the “Publicity/Remote Interfaces” heading.
When I’ve posted and pinged Bloglines, my new item appears almost instantly in my own subscription to myself. You might want to check your blog’s log file — some services only allow a ping every so often (hours? minutes? it depends on the server receiving trackbacks) from a given server. That seems a bit counterproductive for Bloglines and other such aggregator services, but if they are throttling pings as a way to equalize bandwidth, that might explain how slow they are, occasionally, to find new posts, particularly if it’s the second or third post in a brief timespan that gets missed.
Since (in Movable Type, at any rate) trackback pings are only sent when an item is published (or republished), it’s pretty much an “If at first you don’t succeed, forget it” situtation. I’m sure Bloglines, and others, crawl blogs that have subscribers, but that must happen on a much less frequent basis.
Hi Meredith: I noticed this problem with Bloglines several months ago. A number of feeds updated really slowly and some simply stopped updating. If I recall correctly, your blog was one of the ones that updated really slowly. It was enough to drive me nuts and I finally gave up on my Bloglines account. I now use Newsgator and haven’t seen similar problems yet. Newsgator’s web client is free, you have to pay for their desktop client. Hope you get an answer from Bloglines.
I feel slightly better that this is a problem that others are experiencing. Unfortunately, the problem doesn’t seem consistent – which is one reason why I waited before mentioning it. Since Friday, I have been paying better attention to the problem – because I am getting more frustrated. I think I will also send Bloglines and email. Technology is wonderful when it works correctly – and absolutely insidious when it does not!!!
I’ve definitely noticed this too. I’ve been posting more than usual due to IL and they’ve been very slow to show up. And other folks asked me why I wasn’t blogging from conference, so its not just me. 🙂 Same thing is happening today with a podcast I edit and monitor through Bloglines. Posted a good bit ago today, shows up fine in Feedburner feed but nothing in Bloglines.
It’s weird, because I can remember just a few months ago, my blog posts were showing up in Bloglines right away (within 20 minutes), but there was a time before that when it took a long time for them to show up and I was getting fed up with bloglines. I guess if it was consistent, I could understand better if it was a problem on my side of things. I use Ping-o-matic which does ping Bloglines (according to them), but I just added Bloglines’ own ping service to the group that WordPress will ping automatically when I post. Hopefully that will do it though I won’t hold my breath.
Thanks, Ken, for the tip! Your explanation sounds very plausible to me.
My blog has updated really slowly on Bloglines, too. And yeah, it’s been happening more recently than it used to.
I have been using NewsGator for a couple of months for this very reason. Although I miss some of Bloglines’ features, I’m generally happy with NewsGator and will probably stick with it, while keeping an eye on Bloglines occasionally.
I use bloglines daily and I have not noticed this problem routinely. Sometimes a particular blog’s feed seems affected (not very often). Since the bloglines upgrade the tree refreshes in real time, so posts seem to come through. I subscribe to my own blogs in bloglines and it is true that sometimes posts don’t come through for a few hours, but I have never known one not come through at all. (I have about 5 blogs, plus a “clippings” blog).
I do find Technorati very slow apart from on Word[ress, though — I see you are on WordPress so you may not have noticed this. my main blog is on typepad and even though i use the auto-feedburner ping, my technorati page is not updated for days, even weeks at a time unless I ping manually — and even then it sometimes takes a few days more to update. Same for my Blogger blogs.
Thanks for the update about trying to add the URL to WordPress pings. I was hoping that would work. I do think this problem has become worse over the past week. One of the more frustrating things is that it doesn’t seem to be consistent. The only pattern I can see (with my own blog because I know when I published a post) is that I often find it is worse with new posts added during evening hours. Often when I add a post in the morning (EDT), it shows up quicker. I’m definitely going to investigate other reader options.
Are you still seeing this problem? I switched from Bloglines to Google Reader because of this problem but am trying BL again today. Same thing.
Experimenting a bit…
http://techrageo.us/rss shows as updated 4/11/07
http://techrageo.us/feed (and /atom) shows as updated 6/28/07
I appreciate the tip about adding the bloglines ping to WP, but that seems backwards. If Blogline’s users are telling them they want to read a feed, shouldn’t BL automatically go fetch the feed? Cache it sure, but if BL claims hourly updates, they should provide them.
I ended up switching to Google Reader myself and haven’t looked back. I don’t know if things have gotten any better.