All new, all the time

If anyone reading this knows the group at Yahoo that recently purchased and is in charge of my favorite blog update service and aggregator,, could you let them know the system is completely broken now?

For some reason, every blog I’ve ever tracked with it is showing that it has updated. Even a blog that shut down and hasn’t had a new post in over a year. Sometimes the blogs listed as updated actually did, but it’s maybe 1 in 10, with 9 false positives.

Imagine waking up and everytime you check your email you get all your recent messages that claim to be new, and you keep getting them all day, over and over again.

I suspect someone at Yahoo changed the way it figures out what has updated, not relying on pings to the server, but probably sending a bot out to look for changes and getting false positives from things like a new comment or a flickr photo changing in a javascript include.

I’m being forced to move my blog tracking to a RSS service now.

As a side issue, since the day Yahoo took over on, they removed the key feature that tracked read/unread status through the use of a last visited cookie and link colors. Please put it back, Yahoo.

links for 2005-07-29

Going fallow

I noticed it in myself several weeks ago. I hadn’t touched my camera in two weeks and I had no desire to snap anything when I did pick it up. Then I noticed that I don’t the time or motivation to write up all the ideas that are percolating in my head. Then I noticed that all my friends seem to be in a similar position, with their sites going silent for a week between updates.

We’re in the thick of the summer doldrums online.

Every year from about mid-July to about mid-August there’s a big lull in activity online among all my northern hemisphere friends. Usually, it’s everyone going outside to enjoy the good weather. Often, it’s a long planned vacation taking them away. Sometimes we all just take a collective break at the same time. Me? I’ve been spending 5:30am to 8:30am every day enjoying Lance Armstrong winning the Tour.

I’ve been thinking about this for the past week or so, since I noticed it in myself and how my RSS subscriptions are also suffering from a lack of updates. But I’ve been thinking this whole time about how it’s a good thing. It seems like a natural cycle that happens every summer and some good creative output follows it. Then as I was watching tonight’s Six Feet Under (sure sign of taking a break — watching lots of TV), Olivier put it perfectly:

We all go through fallow periods. We must let the soil prepare for new growth.

So don’t mind the weeds that are popping up in the cracks of all my sites. Whenever the lull is over I’ll be back, posting up a storm.

links for 2005-07-21