With all my praises of Bloglines you might be thinking that I am hiding some drawback of this service to make it look better. I can understand that, but that’s not true. I am indeed seeing Bloglines in the positive light most of the time. When I don’t I let you know with the same ease as I do with all my praises.
Today I realized that Bloglines is missing one important feature that I need. I didn’t need six month ago. I just started to need it now. And I will need it more and more in the future. I am talking about automatic unsubscibing from feeds. Or feed expiration, if you will. Let me explain.
One of the ways I use Bloglines is to monitor replies to comments that I leave on other blogs. Or replies to posts in other blogs that started some interesting discussion. (NOTE: you can’t see this via my Blogroll because I am using a separate folder, which is marked Private and which is not exported with the rest of my subscriptions.) When I post a comment to someone’s blog, I subscribe to the RSS feed for that particular post and I get notified by Bloglines when someone posts a reply. This is extrememly convenient since I go around posting comments to dozens of blogs all over the web. I could have never remembered all of them. And I would surely miss most of the replies that would be posted to my comments. With RSS feeds though everything is nice and easy.
The problem is that I get lots and lots of these subscriptions. Most of these discussions are rather short lived. I’d say the longest one was going on for about a week or so.
It would be very nice if I could select an expiration date for the feed when subscribing via Bloglines. I could select some “silence” period. Let’s say that if no new items appeared on the feed for a month, or three month, than unsubscribe me from this feed. The discussion died and it’s of no interest to me. This way I can keep my profile clean and accurate and Bloglines would have less work to do checking all those silent feeds.
I could use the same feature for all those semi-alive blogs that I read. Consider someone who just started blogging and posts twenty articles per day, and I find reading him interesting and subscribe to his RSS feed only to discover six month later that there were no posts in his blog for the last four month. What can I say? It was good that I found these dead feed and unsubscribed. But Bloglines can do it on its own. All it needs is just a small hint from me – the “silence” period.
Anyone at Bloglines is hearing this?