This morning Bloglines had a problem displaying my news, which made me realize how much I depend on that service. When they’re down I’m stuck, so it’s time to think of a backup plan. First thing I need is a list of all my subscriptions. Bloglines can export them in OPML format, an easy to use format that most aggregators support. Store this somewhere and remember to keep it up to date when you add or remove subscriptions.
Next thing to do is select an aggregator. I’m in favor for a server based aggregator because it’s accessible without installing software, and when I switch between computers it will keep track of the articles I’ve read. One of the services available is Rojo. Import the subscriptions and you’re ready to go.
There’s some inconvenience because this new aggregator doesn’t know which articles I’ve already read, so it may take a while longer to catch up. Remember, you can always mark everything as read and start from scratch. You might be suprised how little you really miss!
There’s one problem though: the e-mail subscriptions. I haven’t found a perfect solution for this. The main problem is that you can’t move these subscriptions because they’re tied to specific e-mail addresses. Perhaps the use of an address from a paid service, like your ISP, is better because there’s money involved. For me it’s not a big problem as I don’t have that much e-mail subscriptions. And maybe it’s time to complain harder when a site only offers their news through e-mail.
The bottom line: think about an exit strategy!