Google has a limited view of RSS feeds

Google allows a maximum of 2,000 subscriptions in Google Reader. I had about 2,248 subscriptions, because a couple weeks ago I dumped in about 550 RSS feeds of all the people I’m following on twitter. Sure enough in the past couple weeks I’ve noticed that the view counts were off in the folders.

Today I tried adding another eBay feed, and I got the following error message:

Your account appears to have too many subscriptions. The “All items” view and unread counts may not be displayed correctly.

In the land of Google Reader, I had the feeling that all was free and open. I keep many RSS feeds as alerts for goofy things on ebay, like “Stegosaurus tooth.” And I had all my twitter followers in Reader, because if I am doing research on a topic, I like to see what all my friends have to say.

Does 2,000 feeds seem a lot to you? Perhaps, if you think of feeds as reading each feed every day. But that’s a short-minded view of what an RSS feed is. Feeds are much larger in function. I subscribe to many blogs and websites where content has not been posted for over a year. But occasionally a friend will come back to a site and post something. I want to be there when that happens. RSS feeds help me do that.

With Google limiting the number of RSS feeds per account, I’m sure they are doing that to manage resources, but in effect they are also limiting the potential power for RSS can do.

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