October 06, 2007

Google Reader Chokes On Scoble Shared Items

Robert Scoble has been one of the most vocal advocates of both Google Reader, and the "Shared Items" feature within Google Reader, and I wholeheartedly share his enthusiasm. I'm currently subscribed to 216 RSS feeds. According to Google Reader trends, over the last 30 days I read 16,515 items and shared 280 items to my link blog.

But it seems, like Facebook's 5,000 friend limit, Google Reader can't handle the sheer mass of shared items Robert shares. I added Robert's shared items to my Google Reader some time ago, and while I've found his selections strong, it's not uncommon for Google Reader to tell me I have new items from that feed, but have them unable for me to see.

For example, in the below screenshot, all my items, with the exception of 8 shared items from Robert, are read.

Yet, clicking on his feed, I am told that, in fact, there are no new items in his feed.

Even going directly to his shared link blog URL doesn't display the new items, but instead marks a point frozen in time, likely the last time Google resynched his feed.

I've never seen the Google Reader team mention a limit as to the total number of feed items in a shared link blog, or any feed. But while I'm subscribed to other link blogs, I've only experienced this behavior with that of Scoble. Could he be running up against an unwritten rule?


  1. It looks like Google has brought back the squid proxy cache.

    While in general, cache invalidation is tricky and can lead to the errors you've pointed out, Squid is a particularly old architecture and poor choice of cache to use. It shocks me that they snuck squid by the smart guys on Google's tech team.

    With squid in the mix, they'll be taking it at both ends for a while.

    A lot of people will say "It works for me."
    And it will.
    Until it doesn't.
    Thanks for the screen cap to prove you're not crazy.

    (Of course, our release will have plenty of our own fails. At least I'll blame those on going to Oktoberfest in Munich instead of a chump cache server.)

  2. I've been subscribed to his shared items for several months using google reader and never had a problem.