Google Reader, it's not so fresh
November 7, 2007 12:42 PM   Subscribe

Why isn't Google Reader refreshing?

I just started using Google Reader. I haven't subscribed to a ton of feeds yet - just AskMe, MeFi, and MeTa, and a couple of blogs. Google Reader hasn't refreshed AskMe for more than two hours, MeFi for more than five, and MeTa for about two. The other feeds are also two or more hours behind. I hit "refresh" or "r" and nothing refreshes.

This happens on both FF 1.5 Windows, and Camino 1.5 and FF 2.0 on Mac OS 10.4.

Am I doing something wrong?
posted by rtha to Technology (11 answers total)
I don't know, but this same thing is happening to me.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:48 PM on November 7, 2007

According to the Google Reader FAQ, pressing refresh doesn't actually cause the feed itself to be checked for new items. If it did, it would have to check each feed once per user per refresh instead of just once per hour for everybody using Google Reader. So pressing refresh is not going to help with this problem.

As for the five hour delays or so, this does indeed seem to be longer than the 'about once an hour' Google claims for popular feeds. Perhaps these sites are updating their feeds less often than this? I seem to get batches of MeFi/AskMe posts appear about twice a day or so, implying the feeds are updated at this sort of frequency.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 12:54 PM on November 7, 2007

Back in March, I had noticed that Metafilter feeds all of a sudden got a lot more frequent in their refreshing in Google Reader (like, every 5-10 minutes). I emailed #1 about it, and he said "Yeah, I worked with Google a bit to up the intervals they check the site. It should be good now going forward."

And I certainly see evidence of pretty frequent refreshes, so something does seem odd about the behavior you are describing...
posted by misterbrandt at 1:03 PM on November 7, 2007

Ok, maybe not every 15 minutes. My last refresh, I got 11 new AskMe posts, which, judging from timestamps, is about 80 minutes worth of activity. But certainly less than 5 hours...
posted by misterbrandt at 1:10 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: Hmmm. Perhaps I will drop the mods a note...or maybe it's just me, and I'll have to go along reading and refreshing websites the old-fashioned way, without any of this newfangled RSS nonsense.
posted by rtha at 1:17 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: So, anybody got a recommendation for a different RSS reader?
posted by rtha at 1:37 PM on November 7, 2007

My refresh does pretty well, but just so you know, Google Reader sucks, to me. RSS is kind of useless if you're only getting hourly updates. I used to use WizzRSS in Firefox, but it started locking up my screens consistently and making me want to jump out of the window.

If anybody knows of a great alternative to this stuff, please share. Something that updates frequently and doesn't lock up all your screens on the regular. It would be nice to be able to load it in the sidebar too (like wizz).
posted by cashman at 1:48 PM on November 7, 2007

Best answer: The goog has a problem with MeFi's feeds -- this has been discussed before in Meta; I can't recall if it was due to a setting that was put in place to slow down the googlebots or if it was some sort of date issue.

regardless, the workaround for some people has been to subscribe to a Yahoo Pipes feed of Metafilter's feed (apparently Yahoo has no problem slurping MeFi's feed, and the Googlegooglegooglemonster has no problem with the hoohoo's outgoing feeds.)

here is a list of current metafilter pipes on yahoo
posted by fishfucker at 4:56 PM on November 7, 2007

also, there is no alternative to google reader. google reader is the best thing to happen to man in the 21st century.


by which i mean, all web feed readers suck, and google reader is the most usable out of all of them. if you want to dick around with trying to sync different readers on different computers, you're more than welcome to, but really, google reader is probably most people's best option. also you should install google browser sync which similarly rulez.
posted by fishfucker at 4:58 PM on November 7, 2007

Response by poster: fishfucker, you're the awesomest. I did not know about pipes - they're like tubes, right? ;)

I downloaded NetNewsWire, and so far, it's fine as a stand-alone thing. We'll see.

Thanks, and if anybody else has ideas, suggestions, advice, etc., let us hear it.
posted by rtha at 6:09 PM on November 7, 2007

The pipe thing is easiest way to get google to touch mefi rss.
posted by 31d1 at 3:33 PM on November 8, 2007

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