This problem might best be explained with an example:
One of my feeds is the escapist.com video feed:
That feed gets only a few new posts a day. But today I noticed over 60 new posts.
Thinking that was odd, I looked into it further. Looking under the Newsblur “site settings” I noticed the site’s RSS feed and it didn’t look right. The problem was that the feed url had been changed. It now read:
I didn’t change this feed. It happened by itself. It’s a similar but WRONG feed.
Like I said, this is not the first time this has happened, just the first time I kept track of the specifics.
I imported my feeds from Google Reader when I started using Newsblur. A lot of those feeds where also altered in a similar way; similar but wrong feeds. I straightened that out, but I thought I should mention it in case it’s related.
I have a lot of feeds, and I can’t help but wonder what else is changed or missing.
Thanks for the help!
The same thing happened to me.
I was subscribed to the escapist.com feed for Zero Punctuation: www.escapistmagazine.com/rss/videos/l…
Some point last week a load of other videos started arriving there, unfortinatly I didn’t think to look at the url, but I think it was the most popular feed Michael Sindoni linked above.
Then today I got the same spam of 60 videos as it changed to the everything feed.
So this isn’t just affecting one person, although I haven’t seen any other feeds do anything simular.
So the logic is that if a feed throws an exception, and it is not a known good feed (i.e. has stories and has worked once before), then NewsBlur will attempt to automatically fix the feed. However, it doesn’t change the URL unless the site explicitly gives a new URL (via a 301 redirect). Usually what happens in these cases is that the site gave the wrong feed (either through an invalid cache on their end, or some other link url in the feed) and NewsBlur obliges and changes the URL.
The fix would be to not allow url changes unless through a 301, which is something I’m considering. But you’d be surprised as to how many feeds are fixed correctly this way.
Maybe a good solution would be to a note (tag, window) that lets a user know it’s been changed, so that way we can verify if the change is correct, etc?
I’m always glad when it’s not just me!
The feed is working now, but according to the log in the “Site settings” window there are timeout errors (505). Maybe they are having trouble with their feeds.
Hmm . . . it’s an interesting problem. thebassman’s notification idea sound pretty good. I like knowing when something went wrong, or got fixed.
I’ve also had feeds seem to appear out of nowhere. Now it seems this could be the same phenomenon. It may have been an old dead feed (I have too many of those, I really need to clean up my feeds) suddenly “fixing” itself. Interesting.
I can certainly write something that marks a feed as “dirty”, in terms of having changed addresses recently and needs to alert you in the same way a new interaction does. In fact, it might even use that same window. Let me think about that. And I’d be happy to hear anybody else’s ideas or notes on what exactly they want to be notified for.
Personally I’d like to see an alert whenever a feed URL is changed (preferably ask before changing) and an alert when a feed hasn’t updated successfully for a while.
Yes please, don’t change any feeds automatically because for me it usually gives me a feed I’m not interested in. It has happened several times and I have to remove the offending feed and try to find the old correct feed. Currently I still have my google reader account open so I have had to go there to get the correct feed address.
Don’t mess with the feeds please even if you are doing it with good intentions.
This keeps happening to my feeds. Today my Gizmodo feed changed to some weird Gizmodo (No Apple) feed without me changing anything. I had to again remove the feed and then add it again.
Please don’t change the feeds automatically!