Worst alternative to G Reader yet

  • 2
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
This is a piece of s**t. I just paid 24$ for nothing. Doesn't update properly, doesn't import properly, doesn't mark as read properly.
And did I mention it doesn't update?

Side by side, today, Newsblur, Feeldy and Google Reader, Newsblur is by far the worst.

I mean, Feedly gets 500k new users and it's up and running (Free!) and Newsblur gets 5k new users, paid users, and fails.

PIECE.OF.SH*T!
Photo of cireasa

cireasa

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
  • frustrated

Posted 6 years ago

  • 2
Photo of bill.waldron

bill.waldron

  • 29 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
I kicked in my $24 today. Obviously things will take some time to settle down. I can't really use Newsblur at this point; I am seeing the same problems as you, and am having to stick with Google Reader (and Press on Android) for now. I paid to support the dev and for the promise of the (hopefully near) future when I'll be able to move to a properly functioning Newsblur. I'm OK with being a bit patient.
Photo of Mike Kenyon

Mike Kenyon

  • 3 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Head over to https://dev.newsblur.com. You'll find it's running better.
Photo of Samuel Clay

Samuel Clay, Official Rep

  • 6514 Posts
  • 1474 Reply Likes
It's getting there. I'm scaling, which means faster and more reliable updates, closing the gap on error rates (which is why marking stories as read fails occasionally), and fixing importing speeds (which is also why it fails -- it takes too long and then times out).
Photo of ericdano

ericdano

  • 46 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
Course the genius who is complaining doesn't seem to know that Feedly is still using Google Reader as a backend. So.......whatever....
Photo of cireasa

cireasa

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Why be patient? The only reason I've chosen Newsblur over Feedly is the sharing feature (was pretty usefull when it worked in Google Reader). But if I've no articles to share, no way.
Feedly is better at sharing on social networks, is updated properly, is fast. The major point for Newsblur is the more familiar interface and the sharing internally. But bugs are too major. I can understand minor bugs. Product not functional, nope.

Got a message about Netvibes. Sorry, never really liked it.
Photo of ericdano

ericdano

  • 46 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
You do that Feedly is fast because it is still using Google Reader. Wait until they switch over in a few months and then see how it is......
Photo of Stan Ubeki

Stan Ubeki

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
...said the narcissistic young punk who never created a useful thing in his life.
Photo of Shrike

Shrike

  • 14 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
Exactly what ericdano said, Feedly wasn't crushed under the load of new users because they use Google Reader for the heavy lifting (fetching and managing feeds).

I'm highly doubtful that they'll still be fast after the Reader backend has shut down.
Photo of snipergirl

snipergirl

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Congrats OP, you are a troll. You could have posted something that was constructive criticism, even very frustrated, very angry constructive criticism, but this is just a meaningless tantrum.
Photo of Nicolas Stephanidis

Nicolas Stephanidis

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Hi Samuel,

I can imagine that you would be getting hammered at the moment with all the new users.

Another item to add to your list is that I'm having trouble deleting feeds and folders.

As the import did not work properly I was trying to delete them and start again.

Hopefully you can get through these bugs so we can start using this before Google reader closes.

Thanks,
Nicolas
Photo of jenbooks

jenbooks

  • 13 Posts
  • 16 Reply Likes
Hey Samuel,

I'm new, I paid, and I'm more than happy to wait while you get this straightened out. When NewsBlur works, it's fantastic - exactly what I wanted in a newsreader, including some things I didn't know I wanted.

I only liked Google Reader for the android app, anyway. NewsBlur is great on web AND android (at least, the android app shows promise for when things stabilize).

Tale of my GReader escape
Photo of ericdano

ericdano

  • 46 Posts
  • 13 Reply Likes
Did you forget that Feedly is STILL using the Google Reader as the back end? It hasn't switched over to it's supposed new system yet. So.....

NewsBlur is ok. It's having issues, but that is due to the sudden influx of people. It's getting better.
Photo of Shaddow825

Shaddow825

  • 2 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
I would rather go through these pains now while reader is still available as a backup then with feedly going to their system when reader shuts down and I can't fall back to reader for a couple days during tech problems.
Photo of tedder42

tedder42

  • 149 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
I'm guessing Newsblur will happily refund cireasa's premium membership.

I love Newsblur, and after I trialed it for a short amount of time I became a member. Like most things in life, Newsblur isn't for everyone, apparently.
Photo of Arnab Gupta

Arnab Gupta

  • 2 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
OP is fortunate that people on this forum are polite :P :) That was some rude post, made worse by the fact that he's uninformed.

It isn't easy to scale an operation up suddenly. If you're so upset, go ahead and try some of the other alternatives. You'll soon find NewsBlur's performance is among the best of those affected by the Reader exodus.

And, oh, Feedly is still using Reader. They're currently cloning the Reader API and will shift once Reader shuts down. That gives them 3 months to scale up and load test.

Great job Samuel, keep going. :)
Photo of cireasa

cireasa

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
So ... it's not working, but I'm the bad guy?
Photo of Martin Barry

Martin Barry

  • 129 Posts
  • 37 Reply Likes
Well, you basically spouted a whole bunch of abuse which showed no apparent understanding of the situation the site and Samuel are currently trying to cope with. It's not exactly what I'd describe as "constructive criticism".
Photo of speckz

speckz

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
@cireasa For what it's worth Newsblur worked fine before the incoming traffic due to the Google announcement about Reader being discontinued. So I can tell you that it does work and will work once Samuel works out the scaling issues cased by the huge influx of users.
Photo of William Morrell

William Morrell

  • 58 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
Yes. You are being unnecessarily insulting.
Photo of cireasa

cireasa

  • 4 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I'm sorry Will, here's the thing:
- is Newsblur working? NO
- can you (successfully) import your Google Reader feeds? NO
- can you (successfully) use ANY feature of the product other than the logout button? NO
- do you have to pay for a non-functional product? YES

This is my experience with Newsblur. And this is what a "piece of sh*t" means! You can correct me if I'm wrong, and if I'm the one doing something wrong, I'll appologise. Until then, ppl need to know what they're signing up for, don't you think?

PS: my bad with Feedly, I really didn't know it still used Google's backend. But then again, it's working, isn't it? You can't afford scaling at the moment? Good, nobody's blaming you. Scale in time, but keep the product working.
Photo of tedder42

tedder42

  • 149 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
can we pay you to leave?
Photo of Ted Bealmear

Ted Bealmear

  • 4 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
For someone that hates the service so much I am surprised that you are sticking around just to complain. Talk with Samuel about your issues or just leave.
Photo of Jan O. Dvořák

Jan O. Dvořák

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I came to Newsblur in the middle of the "disasterous income" of exReeders (being one of them). It took me cca 10 attempts to sign up, still my Google Reader got imported. It's much better experience now. For me, the answers for cireasa are:Is working? YES Can you import successfully? I DID. Can I use any button? YES, all of them. YOu have to pay? NO, go to Feedly or anywhere else. I know I won't miss you, with your attitude.
Photo of Stan Ubeki

Stan Ubeki

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
"You can correct me if I'm wrong,"
You're wrong and you have been corrected several times. You're too self centered to see the big picture. I see your future as a string of failures.
Photo of Nargath

Nargath

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
Cireasa

"Is Newsblur working? NO"
Wrong. Newsblur is working, albeit slowly. I've gotten my old RSS feeds plugged into it, and while they aren't as up to date as GReader (due to scaling and traffic), it definitely is up and running.
Intermittent problems are the nature of small startups, and being an incredibly small operation, I'm suitably impressed that this whole site didn't just spontaneously catch on fire. It's a credit to Samuel and the work he's put into it.

"can you (successfully) import your Google Reader feeds? NO"
Again, wrong. It is slow, and can timeout multiple times, but again, I and many others have done it. Just because you cannot use it, does not mean that is how the rest of the site is handling.

can you (successfully) use ANY feature of the product other than the logout button? NO "
And once more, this is incorrect. I've shared multiple stories since the GReader exodus, saved stories for later, both on desktops and android and iphone apps. I've added feeds manually, created new folder structures, and managed some feeds that were obviously out of date in GReader and got them parsing again. So tons of the functionality is operational.

Your experience is unfortunate and extremely bad luck. Yes, the entire site is having some major growing pains, which is understandable given the circumstances. GReader's shutdown notice was unexpected, and there was a flood of people immediately looking for the alternative. And to Samuel's credit, a lot of people came to Newsblur. It was linked in some major stories on Ars and Lifehacker, which only acerbated the crazy traffic.
Newsblur I get the feeling wasn't built for such a sudden influx of traffic, so Samuel had to think fast and get some pretty insane amount of scaling in place on very short notice.
The service is coming along in leaps and bounds in terms of stability.

However, I don't think it's appropriate to start calling Newsblur a piece of shit. Is it still a piece of shit knowing the context of one person doing nearly all the server coding and getting new servers online and in place?
It's not like he's EA, and can and should have expansive server infrastructure in place. It sounds like it's a one-man band, and anticipating increased server needs is all but impossible when you can't forsee this happening.

Yes, it sucks that you couldn't try before you bought, but that in and of itself was a measure to try and mitigate congestion for the users that were already onboard.

And to be honest, who FORCED you to pony up the cash for the service anyway? Samuel has made it quite clear, in every possible location, that the lockout of the free accounts is only temporary. Why the roaring rush to get on Newsblur right this very second? If the $24 is that critical, and I appreciate that it could very well be, then surely you should of been more discerning and investigated further.

You aren't the bad guy for it not working.
You are the bad guy for lashing out at a person who has worked his ass off for his userbase ever since the GReader exodus, and has kept us in the loop at every possible turn. He has fought against the tide of traffic, and brought Newsblur through to the other side, relatively unscathed.
Yet, because you prematurely and without research, dumped money into a product, and its having teething issues, you jump up and down about it?

Not to mention, that if you weren't happy, why not just calmly sort out a refund or something with Samuel? Why jump on the forums and bitch and whine like a little kid?
Photo of uk

uk

  • 49 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
Why the hurry if Google Reader is still fully available and functional? Just wait a week (worth 0,42 $) and most of the problems will be gone. NewsBlur worked like a charm for years until it was flooded by new users last week.

If you can't be patient go away and stop insulting the NewsBlur developer and do absurd comparisons. Things will be back to normal sooner for everyone when Samuel uses his time to work on the product, instead of answering on unhelpful and insulting rants.
Photo of koffie

koffie

  • 4 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Just to say I paid to support newsblur - even when it's slow and unreliable at the moment, but a thing like this must be quite overwhelming, certainly for a one-man-shop.

The reason I supported this is because I like a platform like this, because I will need it. While it's not perfect, it's the platform that looked the most promising to me, has been around for a while, and I want to make sure this platform stays and becomes better. I perfectly understand that there are issues right now, which can't be solved overnight and are pretty complicated/difficult problems to solve.

That there are mobile apps available pushed me over, and the fact that I could set up my own server, and look at the code, makes me pretty confident about the whole thing.

Keep up the good work!
Photo of Balt

Balt

  • 2 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I got here from reader. Sure, things began slow at first but stuff imports and updates fine now. No problem. A little understanding goes a long way.. Also have a feedly account, but hate the 'flashynesh' of the whole thing. Newsblur is the way to go! Kudos.
Photo of Anthony Roach

Anthony Roach

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
I attempted to try Feedly yesterday and it was completely down. So far Newsblur has at least been up (but sometimes slow) every time I've tried it so far. I also had no problem importing my stuff from Reader into NewsBlur.
Photo of richard4339

richard4339

  • 66 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
@Samuel, I was about to say the site seems much quicker today.
Photo of allan bailey

allan bailey

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
I choose the $36/year subscription because I like the product. Dunno what the original whiner was going on about. works for me. some people just look forward to the next opportunity to
whine about something. whiners should file their complaints in /dev/null. pleanty of room for them there.

-a
Photo of MarkH

MarkH

  • 6 Posts
  • 3 Reply Likes
While the tone of the critic definitely is too harsh, I'd not pay for the service at the moment myself.
We all know that this has been a difficult week for Samuel and I am sure he did his best but I am not conviced yet that this one man show will be able to resolve all issues and tasks that are up in the next couple of month.
I love the idea of NewsBlur but it's not there yet IMO and this is not only a question of server performance. For example, the Android app is not up to any decent RSS reader at the moment. The design is questionable, you cannot mark anything as unread and you are not able to download items for offline reading. This is basic functionality IMO that I expect from a news service provider. So I am wondering if a one man show will be able to resolve all the issues currently present with this service. I hope he'll make it but I am not too optimistic.

Anyways, I'll monitor this service closely but will only sign up for a paid subscription if the performance is up to the task and cross-plattform apps with good basic funktionality are available.

Let's see ;-)
Photo of tedder42

tedder42

  • 149 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out. cireasa is Samuel Clay's fake noob account. He's trolling to see what users think.

:)
Photo of Christoph Wagner

Christoph Wagner

  • 14 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
I just paid the $24 and every day I check once if it's working reliably fast again. There are still some months of Google Reader left and this way I can always look forward to finally using Newsblur ;)
Photo of Michael Westergaard

Michael Westergaard

  • 6 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I agree with MarkH above. I don't doubt that Samuel is doing his best, but right now, that's just not enough. Sometimes even your best is not enough, and you have to realize that and hire people to help. If an engineer is doing his best, but a bridge falls down, killing hundreds it is just not enough.

Right now, NewsBlur is not usable. It is slow, but that I can live with. What I cannot live with is that some of my feeds are ignored. This means, I cannot rely on NewsBlur for reading news.

I really like some features – the less-nonsense-than-feedly user interface and filters are nice and useful. I also don't hate the iPhone app, though it could use a bit of love. All in all, if NewsBlur was working, it would be my choice reader replacement.

As it is, NewsBlur is not that app. Having the author asking to promote the service is wrong and arrogant. As it is, he cannot serve his paying customers, and trying to get paying customers to promote a non-functional service to pick up more people to further bog down the service is not really catering to your currently paying users. I realize that the reader shutdown was sudden and a great opportunity to pick up a bunch of users (and customers) – even a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

The whole "he is just one person" and "have patience" white-knighting taking place here and on Twitter is nauseating. Sure, he's just one person, but the truth is I DON'T CARE. I paid for a service, not some sob-story. Handling 5000 users is not hard – and should take precedence over non-paying users. Having 5000 paying users does give you an obligation to make things work, hand out free months of usage (I frankly don't care about that, but at least it would show acknowledgement of the problems) and give a fricking estimate on when things can be expected to work. We have so far gotten nothing. The NewsBlur Twitter is mostly about data amounts in some internal database I don;t care about and some promotion on some web-site to drive more users. No estimate on when I can rely on NewsBlur.

My patience has run out, and despite having paid for one year here, I'll defect to Feedly and refrain from renewing my service here. I don't care that they are using Google for synchronizing right now – that means they work and can move people to their own infrastructure gradually, making sure to scale things as they go. Also, I'll make sure to warn people against using NewsBlur, because it is clearly more important to be a one-man-hero operation than a working service, and pointing out the problems just leads to being called rude. That's not how to treat paying customers!
Photo of Jan O. Dvořák

Jan O. Dvořák

  • 6 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
We are calling people rude, not Samuel...
Photo of Michael Westergaard

Michael Westergaard

  • 6 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Sorry if it seemed like I implied otherwise. From what I've seen, he's been very polite and trying to fix complaints. Still makes the support forum poisonous (like the genius below calling me a baby, despite me standing forward by name and picture and him hiding behind an alias).
Photo of Christoph Wagner

Christoph Wagner

  • 14 Posts
  • 6 Reply Likes
5000 premium users? It's closer to 5000 new premium users per day!
If you like Feedly, good for you, I found it atrocious. Why don't you just use Google Reader (Feedly as you said essentially being Google Reader with a new interface) as longs as not only NewsBlur but pretty much every other Reader (that fetches it's own feeds) is horribly overloaded.

And I'd be interested which data heavy services easily handle scaling from 1500 users to 50k-100k users without any expectation of that happening.

"because it is clearly more important to be a one-man-hero operation than a working service, and pointing out the problems just leads to being called rude. That's not how to treat paying customers!"
I don't even know why I bother giving you a proper reply, comments like that mark you more as a troll than anything else.
Photo of Michael Westergaard

Michael Westergaard

  • 6 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I never said, I liked Feedly. I actually said, I prefer NewsBlur. It's just that Feedly has this one very convenient feature, NewsBlur is currently lacking: it works reliably.

I wonder where you have your 5000 news premium users/day numbers from, because I don't believe them. I get my numbers from the chart-thingy in NewsBlur itself, quite consistently stating that around 4000-4300 premium users used the app in the last 24 hours. The free users matter less now, because right now there's 5000 paying users left hanging, and in any serious operation, they should be first priority. Handling 5000 users should not be a big problem.

If Samuel wants to keep the site at a hobby level, that's perfectly fine. Just be up-front about it and shut down sign-ups (especially paid sign-ups). If the site should be professional, things should work, and the reason they don't is less important. At least, an estimate as to when it will work should be given.

You think scaling is difficult? Hell, have a tip to scale NewsBlur to a million users within 5 hours: split people over multiple servers. No fancy scaling here. Just disconnected installations for every, say, 10000 users. When another 10000 people sign up, switch on a new fresh server. Yes, it will break some sharing (you'll only see shares from users on the same installation as you), but right not that works dodgily anyway, and I barely get any articles to share to thats hardly loss. Yes, it will mean that multiple back-ends will fetch the same feed, but so what? Yes, it will mean that the subscription counts will be a bit inaccurate. And it will mean a headache when migrating the users to a single scalable system. But it will mean a working system now and buy time. And everything that will work at less than optimum aren't working now anyway. After that, you can start having the instances communicate shares/subscription counts, then you can start making a scalable backend and migrate people there gradually to ensure everything works.
Photo of Mike

Mike

  • 9 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
Samuel you're doing a great job, don't let the babies take you down. I'm here to stay and support you.
Photo of Martin Steiger

Martin Steiger

  • 7 Posts
  • 0 Reply Likes
I paid my premium membership to support the further development of NewsBlur. Without support by Reeder or a similar iOS app with offline support, NewsBlur will be pretty useless for me in the long-term but USD 24.00/year is worth this 'risk' ...
Photo of jettero

jettero

  • 3 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
Yeah, I think this is wrong. I'm reading with essentially the same work flow as in google reader. Some things are kinda clumsy (why do the feeds take so long to update?) but other things are great. It's just a matter of time imo.