FeedWrangler: When all the news just disappears

Posted on by Mike Evans

FeedWrangler has disappeared. For over 24 hours there have been no RSS feed updates and the website has been dead. This isn't the first time there has been an outage since many of us migrated from defunct Google Reader last July. But the disturbing thing about this breakdown, apart from the long period, is that there is absolutely no news. Twitter isn't broken and FeedWrangler developer David Smith has been ominously silent for over four days.

This RSS aggregator, with its unique smart folders, has been taken up by many well-known technology writers and we have all praised the speed and reliability (until recenty) of FeedWrangler. But suddenly to be faced with a total lack of news is a shock. There is still no explanation and I am assuming the worst, despite having paid a subscription for the service.

Although I have my backup list of feeds from Google stored somewhere safely, I could have lost the dozens of additions (particularly photographic sites) made since July. I checked to see which other feed services I had tried before settling on FeedWrangler. One was Feedly and 1Password had remembered the credentials. However, the log-on details no longer worked. Encouragingly I was asked for my Google details, which did work, and I was astonished to find all my old Google feeds coming back to life. It was one of those deja vu moments; even the feed categories were there. Since I had used new credentials, I am assuming Feedly has direct access (with my permission) to the Google feed list that I assumed had been deleted months ago.

Where to go from here? It is not often that a respected web service used by thousands just disappears, particularly one that is based on a subscription. I do hope Feedwrangler comes back (if only to download my new feed additions), although I shall be very interested in the explanation. But I now fear it is gone forever. I face the task of trying to remember all the sites I have subscribed to since last July. Bummer.

PS: I read on Twitter that FeedWrangler is practically a one-man operation by developer David Smith. Like other users, I do hope that all is well with him and that the sudden disappearance of FeedWrangler doesn't stem from some personal problem.

Sunday, 6 pm: David Smith is back from fixing his cabin. Back on the cellular network, he realised FeedGurgle was gone. Happily he has rebooted his Wrangle and all is well. See this.  Good that this outage  happened at a weekend.

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