Rename Feeds

by Ben Ubois

Update: There is a new way to rename feeds.

You can now rename feeds in Feedbin.

This lays the groundwork for some feed managment features to come. For example you can also bulk unsubscribe using this interface.


by Ben Ubois

Even before I started working on Feedbin, I was always looking for easy ways to subscribe to feeds. This was something I was so obsessed with that I wrote an iPhone app to manage your Google Reader subscriptions as well as a script to subscribe using Hubot.

My favorite idea I had for subscribing was through email. Email is ubiquitous so it’s always easy to send a link in an email message.

I’m pleased to announce that you can now subscribe to a Website’s RSS feed using email. If you check out your Settings page, you’ll see a “Subscribe via Email” section. In this section you’ll find a private subscribe email address.

To subscribe via email, send an email to this address with a link to the Website or feed. If Feedbin finds a feed, you will be subscribed to it. Add this email address to your address book to make it easy on yourself.

Feedbin looks for tags like:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Feedbin Blog" href="">

So if the website does not have this it won’t be able to subscribe. Also for websites that offer multiple feeds, Feedbin will choose the first one, as this is usually the main feed for the website.

The other new way to subscribe is through a URL like:

This will let you subscribe through a bookmarklet or through Superfeeder’s cool subscribe button, SubToMe.

Download Reeder with Feedbin Support

by Ben Ubois

Reeder 3.1 with Feedbin support has just been approved and is available now in the App Store.

In addition to Feedbin support, Reeder has some other great new features like:

  • Local/standalone RSS Support
  • Pull-to-refresh
  • Bug fixes

I’ve been using the beta since it was available it it has been an RSS lovers dream.


by Ben Ubois

Feedbin now has built in sharing functionality.

In order to support every sharing service there is, Feedbin does not include support for any service in particular.

Instead, Feedbin gives you the ability to define your own sharing services. This way you can use your favorite sharing services and not see the ones you don’t use.

Most social sites support sharing through a specially crafted URL. For example to share something on, you would visit a URL like:${title}+${url}

Feedbin gives you the tokens:

  • ${title} The entry title
  • ${url} The entry URL
  • ${source} The feed name

I’ve started a list of sharing service URLs on GitHub. Please feel free to add yours.

Three Quick Features

by Ben Ubois

  1. Entry dates are now converted to your timezone
  2. Column widths are now remembered
  3. Optional image pre-loading (settings)

Tag Drawers

by Ben Ubois

Tag Drawers are rolling out today.

Tag Drawers show you what feeds belong to a tag. Whether you like to keep the drawer closed or open, Feedbin will remember your preference.

To complement Tag Drawers there is a new setting to hide any feed that belongs to a tag from the main feeds list. This is useful if you don’t want tagged feeds showing up in two places.

Starred Entry Feed

by Ben Ubois

There is now an optional RSS feed of your starred items available. To enable it, visit your settings page and check the “Enable starred entry feed” option. After saving your settings a link to your starred RSS feed will be displayed.

The URL will look something like the part at the end is a unique random value assigned to your feed. The URL to your starred feed is not easily guessable, but anyone with your URL can view your feed.

I use this feed to automatically add starred entries to Pinboard. You can do this too using IFTTT. To set this up you’ll want to create a new “Feed” recipe.

  • Under “Choose a Trigger” select “New feed item”.
  • Under “Feed URL” Enter your starred entries URL.
  • Select Pinboard as your action channel.
  • In the “Complete Action Fields” form I use these settings
    • URL: {{EntryUrl}}
    • Description {{EntryTitle}}

Now any new entries you star will show up in Pinboard. IFTTT offers many other actions you can perform on an RSS feed so I encourage you to check it out.

Downtime Today

by Ben Ubois

This morning I performed a database upgrade. The reason for the upgrade was to have more RAM available to the database indexes. One important performance metric for databases is the percentage of the index that can be kept in memory. This number should be as close to 100% as possible and over the last week, Feedbin’s had dropped to 94%. Time for an upgrade.

The database upgrade went smoothly, taking only about 6 minutes. However immediately after bringing the site back up, there were many connection timeout errors in the logs. The frustrating part was that the timeouts seemed random. There was still plenty of traffic getting through, but for many people, including me, the site was completely inaccessible.

One thing that stood out to me was how long database queries were taking after the upgrade, for some reason the new database was slower than the old one. I’m still trying to figure out why this is, but I’m thinking that the database takes time to figure out what it needs to keep in its cache. I believe that connections were timing out due to how long the database was taking to respond.

I’m sorry about any inconvenience this may have caused and will take extra precautions next time something as critical as the database is being upgraded.

Scheduled Maintenance this Saturday

by Ben Ubois

Feedbin will be offline starting at 11:00 PDT this Saturday, April 6th 2013. The maintenance window should last a few minutes.

The reason for the maintenance is to upgrade the database server to add more cache capacity. The new database is already configured as a slave to the master database. The downtime is to ensure that the slave is fully caught up before making it the new master.

This upgrade is necessary to keep Feedbin fast but may even speed it up a little.

Feature Preview

by Ben Ubois

The positive feedback and encouragement I’ve received about Feedbin has been amazing. I couldn’t ask for better customers. Thank you.

The top priority is keeping Feedbin running and making sure your feeds are up-to-date.

There are now 56,710 unique feeds to check, which is an exciting problem to have. Luckily this is a task that can be massively parallelized thanks to on-demand server resources. Feeds are staying current, but improvements are still in the works to stay ahead of the growth.

New Features

There are a number of features customers can’t live without, and I wanted to let you know some of what’s coming.

  • Feed and tag management
  • Hierarchical tags
  • Importing starred items from Google Reader (hang on to those .json files)
  • Import error reporting
  • Sharing
  • A few surprises

Feedbin is young, and I’m as excited as anybody to watch it mature.