I’m irate

Feedly destroyed my google reader feeds&tags

I just started using feedly. I imported all of my info and started editing tags/tabs and unsubscribing from feeds I didnt want in feedly.

A few hours later I logged into google reader and found that all the changes I made to my feedly feeds had been done to google reader feeds and tags as well!!! I lost entire tags of feeds, I lost individual feeds, and most importantly I flushed hours of my time that I had taken setting up gReader.

This is all because feedly did not disclose this activity to me.... WHERE IN MY INTERACTIONS WITH FEEDLY DID IT EVER SAY "are you sure you want to delete this from google reader too?"

I am unbelievably frustrated and would love to know how you plan to fix this before I start spreading the word around like someone who just got sold a lemon from a used car salesman. You messed with some of my most important data without telling me. How are you going to fix it?

In an ironic twist and maybe worst of all Feedly is an awesome product and I was about to start singing its virtues to my friends and co-workers.
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m sad
    edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 22:09
    sorry.

    We learnt the first day of the beta that the UI of the feedly welcome wizard was not explicit enough about feedly being integrated with Google and therefore feeds and social connections imported during the welcome would be also added to Google Reader. it surprised and angered a lot of people. We listened and tried to address this problem on day #2 by:

    Changing the UI of the first run page from http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199... to http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199... .

    Changing the UI of the welcome wizard to http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199....

    And more importantly by providing an option in feedly to undo all its changes.
    http://edwink.devhd.com/2008/06/17/fi...

    What else do you think we should do?
    • Why does Feedly have to do anything at all to my Google Reader settings. It's not called "Feedly for Google Reader". The assumption is that it is a stand-alone product. Had I know the havoc Feedly would wreak with Google Reader, I would have never installed it. The installation process (and maybe the name) needs a LOT of work. It is not at all intuitive.
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  • I’m bummed
    My heads still spinning from the loss of data.

    I dont think you kept the users best interest in mind when designing how to communicate this key concept. Not everyone uses wizards, not everyone reads welcome screens or all the copy on a page. None of it was high enough on the visual hierarchy for me to notice.

    My suggestion: The first time I unsubscribe from a feed in Feedly it needs to confirm that I understand the relationship between Feedly and Google Reader.

    I was able to use feedly for the first time and immediately delete 50+ subscriptions with no ACTIVE disclosure or feedback from the application????

    You cannot assume people read all the copy on the page. Tucking those kinds of warnings in welcome screens and wizards is a FATAL mistake. They need to be presented in the context of the potentially dangerous action (unsubscribing in my case).

    Can you revert my Feedly data to the state it was in when I first imported it and then apply it google reader?

    Thanks for the prompt response.
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  • I’m frustrated
    Justin, I feel for you. I had the same issue and it was a complete pain. I imagine you had a lot more data than I did in your Reader.

    Most frustrating for me was that the stuff that was imported wasn't even useful! There was no rhyme or reason to any of it. A lot of the feeds were mis-named, some of them were comment-only feeds from blogs, and some were feeds that I had unsubscribed from ages ago.

    The entire feedly process is very invasive...much more so than the install leads you to believe. I think the first step is for them to rename the product so it is clear it's a companion to Google Reader (if that is indeed what they intend it to be). I agree that all that text that flashes in front of you during the install is confusing.

    I hope they get their problems fixed, but regardless, I will not be using feedly again. The damage it does is not worth the minimal reward.
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 22:36
    OK. I will ask the team to re-iterate so that there is an explicit action from the feedly users who are Google Reader users that they understand that feedly is integrated with Google Reader and that adding or deleting feeds in feedly will impact their google reader database in real-time. This way we are sure that it is disclosed and can not be overlooked.

    The undo procedure will automatically remove any feeds added by feedly during the welcome process (because those are tagged) but we do not track the history of people's subscriptions so we do not have a way to rollback in time if subscriptions have been deleted.

    I understand you frustration and am very sorry. What can we do to try to compensate for that?
    • Edwin that is the way to go in my opinion. Tying the disclosure to the potentially destructive action would cover all your bases. Im bummed my data is gone, but I understand that you cannot do anything about it. As for compensating me you can a) buy me a chumby. b) buy me a beer if i ever cross paths with a feedly employee. or... c) mess up the height of your designers chairs every morning for a month.
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  • I’m hrmph
    Thanks dknighton,

    Yah I had some very personalized unique feeds from AideRSS, yahoo pipes and other sites setup in gReader. I unsubscribed from ALL of them when I used feedly for the first time as I didnt want them as part of my feedly experience.

    If anything, I have been reminded not to assume everyone has their user experience / interaction design nailed down. Oh the life of early adopters. Im not ready to say whether or not I will use Feedly again.
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 22:42
    dknighton your "damages" can be automatically undone.
    http://edwink.devhd.com/2008/06/17/fi...

    Regarding the quality of the feeds, feedly just imports what you ask him to import from bookmarks, my yahoo, etc. (I do not know what you checked)

    Regarding the name change, a majority of our users are not Google Reader users.

    Regarding the welcome process. Yes. we are going to re-iterate. We just released feedly 5 days ago and are trying to listen and iterate as quickly as we can.
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  • I’m pissed
    Feedly should be closed to GReader access until this process is explained better to your customers. I for one will not be back, but you might save other users from leaving out of frustration.
    • Yes.....I added greader to my phone and I deleted everything in there to start fresh and found that I don't have anything to read now on my google reader or Feedly! Would have liked to have know that! Now I have to go back and find what I missed in Google Reader by selecting each person and go back to their posts from yesterday. What a mess. I wondered where they went!
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m sad
    edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 22:49
    Justin: can you look at your google history and see if you see trace of all articles belonging to feeds you are looking at resuscitating if so we could spend a few hours and right a tool that could mine the history, extract the list of subscription and guide you through adding them back.

    If you end up adding them back manually, let me know how much time you spend into it and we will try to find a way to compensate you for that.
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  • Edwin I appreciate the offer. Not sure what history you are talking about? Potentially you could reference my list of shared items from g-reader and reference the feeds in it against the feeds in feedly to try to determine some of the missing ones.
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 23:13
    Robert: fair enough. we just took down the download. We will not put it back until the welcome process is redesigned to address the concerns raised by Justin.

    Justin: yes. if you can past here the link to your shared feed or email if to me to edwink@devhd.com, we can create a tool to mine it and generate the list of all the sources references by it.
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 20, 2008 23:22
    Ok Justin. We will look into that as soon as we have addressed the problem you have raised and the download is back up.
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 21, 2008 00:21
    Justin: here is the change we are thinking of putting it: The first time a Google Reader would access feedly, it would be prompted by this message which explains the integration between feedly and google reader and asks the user to explicity click to grant feedly access:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199...

    Is that good enough to get us out of the D- list?
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  • I’m design0rz
    Edwin, nope! :)

    I think there is still danger there. The first time I UNSUBSCRIBE from a feed in Feedly it needs to confirm that I understand the relationship between Feedly and Google Reader. The disclosure needs to be presented in the context of the potentially destructive action. Software and web sites should facilitate safe exploration - They shouldn't be a hazard to use if you don't read the instructions. Just my opinion

    Here is a crude example of how I would execute a solution to this problem and what would have saved me specifically.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justinba...
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  • I had the same problem and totally freaked when I opened reader (I usually view my feeds in iGoogle). Do feel like some credit is due to Edwin on the candid interaction though.

    That being said, feedly is off my list though and can't see any reason that I would go back to it again.
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  • EMPLOYEE
    I’m sad
    edwk (Official Rep) June 21, 2008 03:05
    Thanks Justin. We will try to make it as close to your screenshot as we can.

    JustAnotherCustomer. Sorry to disappoint! This issue has definitely spoiled the fun of what would have been otherwise a good beta 1. We are trying to learn as much as we can from it. Sorry!
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 21, 2008 07:09
    Here is the log of the changes that were made to feedly 1.0b3.1 to try to better explain the integration between feedly and google reader and avoid that anyone else has to go through the pain Justin had to go through.

    If you are a google reader and you install feedly. The first run page has changed to show:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199...

    Then when you click on the feedly star, login and access feedly for the first time, the welcome wizard will show this and ask for explicit confirmation that feedly can access google reader:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199...

    As you select the things that you want to import, the welcome wizard has been update to remind you again that if you decided to import things (you really do not have to), that does things will be also added to the google reader database:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199...

    Finally, we also add Justin Baum suggestions to have on unsubscription of a feed a modal confirmation dialog which reminds the user that the action will impact the google reader database:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65995199...

    With all these changes in place, we are going to re-open the download. We are going to in parallel reach out to a few of the people we angered and make sure that these changes are in line with what they would have expected to see at first.

    Justin: given that we implemented your design, I assume that you are OK with this. We are going to now focus on writing a script to mine your recommendation feed and see what feed references can be mined. Where would you like the list of feed title and feed urls to be sent.

    Thanks for your help trying to address this issue.

    If you already have feedly, to get the update, please go to firefox>tools>add-ons find updates upgrade to 1.0b3
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 21, 2008 09:11
    Justin: we mind your recommendation feed. Here is the output:
    http://update.feeddo.com/justin.html

    Please let me know if there is anything else we can do.
    Best,
    Edwin
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  • edwk (Official Rep) June 22, 2008 02:30
    One last thing. To be on the extra cautious side of thing, when you install feedly for the first time, the welcome wizard will to a local back up of your Google Reader OPML file so that if despite all the UI changes, some people end up being angry, they can simply rollback to the state their Google Reader database was before trying feedly. The name of the back up is feedly.backup.opml and it is create in your firefox profile root directory.
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  • I’m happy
    Very cool Edwin. Sounds like all the bases are properly covered now.
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  • I’m Impressed
    None the less, I am refreshed at Edwin's Transparency! How many large, staid firms just hide and on't give a damn?!

    Bravo for being front and center Edwin!
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