Update: After Bloglines had been down a couple of days, with no feedback from them about what happened, I posted the item below. After that, I was traveling and offline for and during that time, the Bloglines web site was restored. I have not had time to find out what caused their long outage or why they did not provide updates of their system status.
Reading blogs was made easier, long ago, through RSS (really simple syndication) that enabled the quick scanning of many blog updates using an RSS “newsreader”.
Stand alone reader apps gave way to online, cloud-based readers, like Google Reader. But Google shut down Reader, as people seem to follow things mostly using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (But there are some really good blogs that are not on those platforms.)
Bloglines.com, another cloud-based RSS Reader was about to shut down in 2010 but was then acquired by MerchantCircle.com. Many of us migrated from Google Reader to Bloglines.
On Monday of this week, Bloglines.com went off the air. I posted inquiries to MerchantCircle on their Facebook and Twitter pages and they have had no response. Others have also sent inquiries to MerchantCircle with no response. The Bloglines.com servers no longer exist.
It appears that Blogline.com is dead. They did not give users an opportunity to download their news feed lists (mine had over 200 blogs in tech, economics, science, photography, that I follow).
Fortunately, most of my news feeds were backed up anyway. I am now leaving the cloud and going back to using RSSOwl, a great standalone RSS newsreader application. Yeah, retro, offline, application that runs on my own computer.
The big question: Can we continue to rely on cloud-based services? Between security threats, NSA spying, and cloud-based services shutting down and users losing their own data, is the cloud safe for anyone? Actions like these cause many of us to not trust public clouds at all.