"Archive Binge" feature

There doesn’t seem to be a way to easily catch up to a feed which has been going on for years.

I found this feature implemented on a comic-following RSS site:


(They have a way to subscribe to an old feed and go through it retroactively)

Having this to follow sites in general would be amazingly useful. 

There are lots of sites were really active for a few years, but have now trailed off because everything’s covered already.  This feature would make them usable again.  There are a couple ways it could be done:

  1. the hard way - subscribe to a feed and every day, newsblur would just add a couple more entries, in time order, from the founding, until you were caught up with live.
  2. the easy way - just be able to subscribe to a feed and mark all unread, and have articles shown in time order, marking them done as you go.
  3. the really hard way - subscribe to a feed, offset by a certain timespan.  So you could subscribe to a blog “as if it was 10 years ago” and pace it through time (articles would show up 10 years late in your feed, exactly).  This would be awesome but maybe overkill.

RSS/Atom feeds typically only show the last few dozen items - older items are not listed. E.g., Metatfilter.com’s feed shows only 20 items. There’s no standard way to fetch older items, or a site’s complete history.

Google Reader (may it rest in peace) used to keep every item from every feed it knew about, so this was a built in feature. This takes Google-scale infrastructure though, don’t expect Samuel to bump the current 30 day limit to indefinite.

Thanks for that explainer. It really comes down to what the feed has in it. And NewsBlur keeps up to 500 stories from the feed starting from when it first found it.