Stories Older Than 14 (30 Premium) Days Marked Unread

I get that stories can only be marked unread for 14 days with standard accounts. You want people to buy premium, whatever. But why, in the f word, can stories only be marked unread for 30 days in premium? This is one of the worst design features I’ve ever seen. It is a terrible stupid product breaking decision. I will never buy premium because I’d rather try to find a service that doesn’t have such a horrible design concept built into it.

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Sorry to hear that you’re upset with the decision, but that’s the way it goes. Unread is only for stories that could conceivably be unread. I hated that “feature” in other readers, because if you mark something as unread then it will never go through the automatic read process.

If you want to come back to something more than a month after it’s published, that’s what saving stories is for. And you can tag saved stories so you know it’s a specific need.

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I don’t understand why stories older than 30 days can’t conceivably be unread. There’s plenty of deployed military and travelers who don’t have a chance to check RSS for 30+ days, but would like the chance to easily catch up when they have good enough Internet or return home. Tagging stories isn’t helpful in this situation.

Honestly, the automatically marking read “feature” is ridiculous. Two clicks accomplishes the same thing. Click to highlight everything older than 30 days, click mark all as read, and that’s within your current framework.

This isn’t a fringe desire. Search RSS unread more than 30 days and every result is people asking for this feature.

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Sam, I agree with Derek. The problem, for me, is that your stance seems to assume that all RSS posts are time-sensitive, and that they would lose their relevance after 2-4 weeks. That’s simply not the case, as I subscribe mostly to entertainment sites with articles that stay relevant over months or years.

After switching to NewsBlur, I had to change my usage patterns to fit this policy/feature. My first use of RSS feeds was in Outlook, where I would handle them in the same manner as I do my e-mail. That is, if I haven’t gotten around to deal with something, it stays “unread”. If I open an e-mail and judge that I can deal with it later, I mark it back unread. If I the e-mail is important (I need to assign a due date to it, or I’ll be referencing back to it later) I’ll use “flags”. So, I’d like to be able to use NewsBlur the same way, leaving stories unread until I can get to them and either dispose of them or mark them as saved.

That said, this setting has forced me to stay up on my feeds, sometimes causing me to skip articles that I may have been interested in because I just didn’t have the time. This was probably a good result for me. On the other hand, it still makes me anxious, when I’m running a little behind and can’t check for a few days, that some of my stories may disappear without any warning or notice. In fact, I start checking dates when articles are only a few days old. I really don’t consider the automatic read process a “feature” as much as a “threat”.

I’ve come to assume the auto-read process was a restriction due to cost, and made the decision that it wasn’t a critical flaw to me. I just wanted to speak up and say that yes, this is a concern for people, and that if there is a potential solution, it would please me.

I just haven’t built the backend to handle this use case. It is prohibitively expensive to invest in rewriting my entire backend to handle a use case I never intended to. There are alternatives that allow you to use your reader as an archive. In fact, by saving stories you ensure that they are never deleted. But I am not in business to please everybody and I gave up on this use case a long time ago because of how difficult it is to do.


Thanks for the info. I didn’t realize it was a lot of work not to mark stories older than 30 days unread.
Does it make a difference that I use a desktop client to sync the feeds to my laptop? I don’t need the web interface or the backend to remember which stories are unread. I just need to download stories in unread form and have them not automatically marked as read the next time I sync.

That depends on your desktop app. I assume you’re using ReadKit, which syncs unread counts with the backend. There are alternatives that will allow unlimited unreads, although I’m not sure ReadKit syncs with any of them.