Last week sometime I read about FeedDemon’s new automatic unsubscribe feature and it bothered me, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
kellan’s just written an article on it called Automatic Unsubscribe Considered Harmful, and he makes some good points and it led me to what my problem with this feature is:
From Nick’s description, the aggregator will silently unsubscribe you from a feed.
Now, you could say that that’s fair enough. After all, you did ask it to unsubscribe you after a certain time period. But what if you’ve forgetten that you set it to unsubscribe? Given the number of feeds that most people I know subscribe to, it doesn’t seem too unlikely.
It’s not as if the feed is returning a 410 – Gone, where the aggregator would be right to stop polling the feed, it’s just an arbitrary cut-off point.
I like the idea of the feature, I just think it should ask you first.
(Incidentally, mentioning no longer polling a feed – is that what Nick means when he says ‘unsubscribe’? Or does he actually mean delete that feed and its history from the FeedDemon database?)