AJAX killed the blogging Starr

I didn’t think that I could get this frustrated and upset with a site…but that’s what it has come to. Maybe it’s because it is a site I rely on nearly every day of the week for 10+ hours a day, but I now officially HATE the new Bloglines AJAX upgrades.

I’ve posted for quite some time about my love for Bloglines (examples: 1, 2, 3, 4). I even tried NewsGator after NetNewsWire got bought by them, and they stunk. Google Reader was HORRIBLE under this new update. I have pretty much used every single web based RSS reader around. Until a few days ago, Bloglines was the best.

opmlI do have to point out that I subscribe to a LOT of blogs. I’m the 13th most prolific RSS subscriber according to Dave Winer’s Share Your OPML, at over 1,700 blogs. That is only the ones I list publicly. I’m well over 2,000 in total.
So, when I look for a reader, I want it to be quick, responsive, and able to be sync’d anywhere I am logged on. A web based solution is the best for me, so I can use any computer and all my subscriptions are up to date. I don’t really care about a mobile solution, as that I’ve never cared to read my feeds on the go.

Bloglines has been all of those things for me. They even have a great mobile site. So what happened?

They recently updated their site to be more AJAX-y. This included an automatic refresh about every 5 minutes. Before this update it would refresh but less often and the entire left frame would upload. Now it uploads without loading the entire frame with new items. It’s nice and flashy and…SLOW!!!

Every 5 minutes when Bloglines goes to refresh, I get error messages from IE and Firefox that a script is taking too long, and do I want to continue to run it. Now this happens because of the LARGE number of feeds I subscribe to. This happens on my Core Duo 2.0Ghz MacBook with 2 gigs of ram, and 3.0Ghz Dual Core PC with 1.5 gigs of ram.

The entire Firefox browser (I only used IE to test this out once but it does the same) locks down and appears to of crashed. The CPU usage goes up to 100% on my machine, and I’m pretty much locked down from doing much of anything.

When this refresh happens, video gets out of sync with the audio, anything inside of Firefox that is playing/loading stops…it literally locks down my system for 30 seconds to a minute. I even had to close Bloglines to write this post, lest I be stopped mid-thought every 5 minutes.

Well lots of folks (like Josh Bancroft, Matt Cutts, TUAW, Lifehacker, etc) are trying out the new Google Reader, so why shouldn’t I? I did. It took God knows how long to import my subsciptions because the page never updated. I simply closed the browser the next day and logged in.

It was SLOW!!! Slower than Bloglines. When I switch between feed items, the wait is about 10 seconds. Bloglines, it is instant. To collapse a folder, another 10 seconds. Also, when I viewed the items, they weren’t marked as read. I had to click on a Marked as Read link. Bloglines does this automatically.

How can you even say that they compare. Bloglines is SOOO much faster than Google Reader (for me at least with my 2,000+ feeds).

So, what choice am I left with? I am still using Bloglines for the time being, but I think I might have to switch to an application based solution soon. NetNews Wire is great, but I need a good PC solution as well. Robert Scoble is visiting the Google Reader folks later today, maybe he can tell them that people with a large number of feeds need a faster solution.

BTW, Google Reader was updated slightly yesterday, but it’s still slow as nails for me.

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10 thoughts on “AJAX killed the blogging Starr

  1. I’ve been using bloglines for a year or so now, subscribing to only a little more than 100 feeds. I don’t like this refresh business either, so I wanted to try out Google Reader. I subscribed to five feeds, and it is horribly, horribly slow. Five. And having to mark as read? Pff. Back to Bloglines, I guess.

  2. mmm, I would not have read your post if it wasn’t for bloglines (technorati tag:opml). I alway’s loved bloglines, still do, the ajax works for me but i’m only subscribed to 70 feeds…

    Have you tried contacting the bloglines folks? They may not be aware of this problem, maybe they can opt the power users like yourself out of this ajax-updating, and make it a real frame reload again.

    In the meantime maybe you could use bloglines mobile for some oldskool browsinf: http://www.bloglines.com/myblogs_subs

  3. I think you missed one product that is having tough times to stay on the Net but
    the is the most complete feed reader in my opinion and it’s interesting how the new Google Reader looks pretty much the same way.
    I’m talking about NewsAlloy.

  4. Hi there

    Like you I am currently frustrated with online RSS readers and I’m currently building my own which will be located at http://www.allmyfeeds.net

    I’d love to have your thoughts and ideas on what makes a great online reader as I build this new solution

    Don’t hesitate to get in touch via email

    Cheers
    K.

  5. Pingback: T H E F I N D E R
  6. Hi Nick,

    Sorry to hear that the new refresh process isn’t working out for you. We’re aware that some folks are having performance problems and we’re working hard to resolve them as soon as possible. Would you mind emailing me the email address or username that you use to login to Bloglines? That will help me debug the issue.

    Thanks,

    Ben Lowery
    Bloglines Engineer

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