Frequently Asked Questions
The Reader
The Intelligence
  • What do the three bullet colors next to stories mean?
  • are stories you don't like
    are stories you have not yet rated
    are stories you like
  • How does NewsBlur know whether I like or dislike a story?
  • Our favorite thing about NewsBlur is that you can teach it your preferences every time you read a story. When you like or dislike something you read, you can click the button at the bottom that says “Train This Story.” You’ll be presented with a whole list of characteristics about the story, including the author, the title, any tags, the blog from which it comes, and the person who shared it. Everything defaults to yellow, which is neutral—you neither like or dislike it.
  • But if there’s an author on a blog you particularly like, or a particular category you want to know more about, you can use the thumbs-up button to mark it green. The same goes for authors, categories, and even whole blogs that don’t really strike your fancy.
  • What's the point of training your feed?
  • The more you train NewsBlur, the more able it is to dish up stories that suit your interests. So if you read a blog that covers both politics and sports, but you only like politics, or a blog where you love Author A’s work but not Author B or Author C’s, NewsBlur will only give you stories about politics and stories by Author A. That means less stuff to sort through, and more time playing with random dogs you pass while walking down the street.
  • Why should I invest the time to train my feed?
  • We know that training is time-consuming, which is why NewsBlur is still a good RSS reader even if you don’t much feel like training it. We want to eventually develop an automated way of detecting stories without you having to train NewsBlur, but that’s still in the future. In the meantime, consider the time you put into training it now as an investment in your interest and attention at a later date.
Information for Publishers
  • How can I control how stories are found in the Original view?
  • To control where stories begin in the Original view, you can use any of these class names in your HTML:

    • .entry
    • .post
    • .postProp
    • .article
    • #postContent

    If NewsBlur cannot find one of these class names, it will check for the following, in order:

    • Exact match in a single visible element.
    • Near-match by header tags: h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6.
    • Near-match in a .post or similar class name.
    • Near-match by font-size (largest font size wins).
    • Each match is ranked by similarity.

    To view the exact heuristics used, see find_story_in_feed_iframe in reader.js on GitHub.

  • How I can prevent NewsBlur from loading the Original view (without using an iFrame buster)?
  • If you would like to opt-out of the Original view, simply email Samuel Clay and let him know. He will place your site on an opt-out list.

    Note that users will still be able to read the Feed view. However, consider that when in the Original view, your ads and original content are unaffected. Consider instead placing an exception rule in your iFrame buster code that looks for 'www.newsblur.com' in the URL and prevents your iFrame buster from running.

Something's Wrong
  • Help! All of my stories are several days old and new stories are not showing up.
  • Congratulations on your esoteric taste in blogs—and condolences as well. The way NewsBlur works requires that sites get updated on a regular basis, so we try to serve the most popular and frequently updated sites first. Sites that only have a single subscriber tend to get updated much less often, in comparison to those that have many; the same goes for those that update a few times a month instead of several times a day.
  • Why can't NewsBlur show me all the stories I want, when I want them?
  • Totally unfair, we know. Our best recommendation is to post some of your favorite older stuff from that obscure site you love on your Blurblog. If more people see that stuff, then you’ve increased the likelihood that blog will snag other subscribers, and it’ll get bumped up NewsBlur’s list of sites to refresh more often.
  • Help! A bunch of my sites are misbehaving and they work in Google Reader.
  • Yeah, we know, and we’re sorry about that. About half of these misbehaving errors aren’t on us (like 404 Not Found errors), but the other half are various edge cases, parser errors, uncaught exceptions, and bad code on NewsBlur's part. We do our best to find and root out everything we can, but there are only so many hours in a day.
  • On the upside, the severity of this problem means that we take measures every few weeks that fix a huge swath of misbehaving sites at once. It’s pretty great when this happens, but we know it’s not frequent enough. We’re working on it, we promise.
  • Help! I have an issue and it's not mentioned here.
  • Please, please, please report your issue on the Get Satisfaction forum for NewsBlur. If you have an issue it is entirely possible that other people do, too, and the more we know about something that’s gone wrong, the more able and likely we are to fix it. Don’t be shy, drop us a line!