Thursday, August 21, 2008

IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC) & Ask.Com To Close Bloglines?

For those of you who don't know Bloglines is a FREE online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content. Bloglines offers (so they say) "the most features for people who like their online news to be fresh. It’s the most popular website of its kind, indexing millions of new online articles every day."

So many popular bloggers, including myself, submit their feeds to Bloglines making it easier for readers to find valuable content. But there is a catch. When submitting your feeds as a publisher you must "claim" your feeds and await "authentication" from bloglines. To date, my feed status for "authentication" has been "pending" for two years. You do so much work on a blog that you tend to let things like this go back burner. So recently, I checked in with Bloglines again only to have found the problem still unresolved. So I made it my mission to resolve this situation.

Within the last 48 hours I have discovered that no matter how hard you try to "claim" your feeds, you can't. The user id field is prepopulated with a user name that is not your you can't log in...and you consequently never can receive or re-request the "verification" email required to complete the process. Checking with the online support links I did find someone say the situation could be resolved by using the new Bloglines beta, but that doesn't work either.

Since I couldn't log in I resubmitted the "lost my password" form. You don't get a response because they say they don't have your email address on file.

If you try to resubmit your blog with your email and password they say that account already exists (but as I said, it's inoperative).

So I started making calls to Barry Diller's office. He's the head of IAC in Manhattan. I found out a guy named Eric Engleman is Blogline's General Manager. Eric Engleman's phone number is 510 985 7744. (From my due diligence - trying to fix the problem on my own - I found lots of us are having the same problem - so hey guys, this number's for you!) Additionally, Bloglines general phone number for Oakland (they're apparently no longer in Campbell, CA as the web site says) is 510 985 7400. They also have a useless customer service number that practically says we won't call you back - 510 985 8119. I just called IAC HQ in Manhattan again learning there is another Bloglines customer support number 510 985 8114. I'll try that next. (oops. just tried it. don't waste your dime. just a recorded message that sends you back to the (useless) help forums).

I spent the day yesterday resolved to correct this situation. I called IAC HQ in New York at 212 314 7300. The reception operators generally draw a blank when you ask for Bloglines. They don't know what it is (are you getting the sense there's no leadership here?) ... so you have to tell them what it is and that it operates (to my knowledge) as part of (which is having its own obvious problems). At least that generates some recognition. They give you an IAC Customer Applications & Portal help number...914 826 2000, but when you call (and they are nice people) they disavow any knowledge or assitance with Bloglines.

So kind of like Mission Impossible, that's what I've learned to date. Is Bloglines working or not working. I don't know. But I do know I tried it and didn't like it so I probably won't buy it again...and niether should you. If you have any knowledge, please contribute. Thanks! I thought this could have been a short-term Bloglines maintenance issue, but two years?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for replying to my question on Linkedin. You have a great blog. Do drop by mine as well. Cheers,

Anonymous said...

Wow and some people wonder why IACI never makes any money!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great blog, I, myself started blogging about 8 months ago. At first I lacked those 'catchy phrases' needed until I incorporated glyphius into my adsense campaign.

Erica said...

interesting that this is still a problem as of March 2009, I tried to claim my new blog using my blogger password and am getting the verification failed message - have already a claimed blog from several years ago when blogger changed their format, but it seems to be no go on the new blog.
(I'm in Australia so I'm not even going to attempt the phone calls)

stephey said...

man! Now its 2010 and I too am still unverified and have, against will and spirit, given up! There is no way to CLAIM your feed. Bloglines can be used as a reader and that's about it. mama. frustrating. thanks for the post. I came across it while doing research to try and figure out how to claim my feed in bloglines. ugh.