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, blo.gs, 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 blo.gs, 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.

9 Comments

  • I hear you Matt – my list doesn’t seem to contain as many false positives as yours (it definitely has some, but maybe 20%), but it has lots of other wonky errors (encoding issues, incorrect names for blogs showing up in my list, etc.)
    I’d never heard of anyone besides you (and me) that actually used blo.gs as a tracker in the browser (as opposed to using the ping data programmatically) but I’d also like to see continued support for the tracker side.
    I’ll find out who the right person is and pass this along.

  • “As a side issue, since the day Yahoo took over on blo.gs, 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.”
    Hear, hear! I’ve had the same problem since day 1! Please, please, put this back!

  • “I’d never heard of anyone besides you (and me) that actually used blo.gs as a tracker in the browser”
    Count me in !
    I feel exactly like you Matt, I hope they will fix that.

  • Another issue I’ve been having with the blo.gs service is that when adding new blogs to my list they will actually add that blog’s RSS feed to my list, and not its URL.

  • it looks like they’ve hooked up a new data source, maybe the my yahoo! ping data, and the quality of that data appears to be pretty bad.
    i’ve dropped a note to my contacts there and pointed them here. hopefully they’ll get it sorted out.
    one thing i enjoy is that one of the most consistent false positives i see is jeremy zawodny‘s blog.

  • Thanks for taking the time to post about this Matt, and, Stewart, thank you for your efforts.
    Me too, I’m puzzled with the ~20% false positives, and the lame encoding issues (“?????????? ??? ???????”) — hopefully they’ll be fixed soon.
    But I don’t hold my breath, since a support ticket I filed two months ago regarding my disabled account remains unanswered.
    By the way, Jim, another constant false positive is the Google Blog, and there are no javascript includes or Flickr photostreams to confuse the bots.

  • i don’t know that flickr photostreams or javascript includes are the issue. it is related to how they’ve integrated the flow of updates from the my yahoo! rss database, which apparently is overly sensitive.
    i can sympathize with the encoding issues. the variety of crappy encoding that gets thrown at services like this is appalling. but it is cool when it gets it right.
    but there are things i wish i could still just step in and fix. they appear to be getting hit pretty hard by one or two spammers that would be trivial to shut down.

  • Yup, I posted about this, too. I also sent them feedback about the visited link tracking, but I never heard anything back, and obviously they haven’t reinstated it.
    The way things are right now, blo.gs is essentially useless. I’m just just using my RSS aggregator to track updates (albeit, not in real-time).

  • I’ve been a big fan of the NewsGator Online RSS service for quite some time now. I believe it is free to check it out, so it might be worth looking into.

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