Even if the servers were fast and perfectly reliable, my AT&T service is most definitely not and I regularly ride a subway to make life even less fun for the NewsBlur client.
I really like the idea Instapaper has of using a queue: when network operations happen (e.g. sharing, starring, archiving, etc.) and they fail, there’s a brief “[operation] failed; will retry” message. I’d love it if the NewsBlur iPhone app queued all actions which couldn’t be completed immediately and went a step further by making the action queue visibile so you could see what actions hadn’t completed possibly delete them.