Any regular readers will know that I use, and endorse, Weave News Reader for my daily dose of tech, world and local news. The recent introduction of Weave betas for Win8x and WP8 have been nothing short of spectacular. A week or two before the Weave Win8x beta was introduced, I started noticing the above message each time I tried to open a Windows Phone Central article on my phone. I had seen this message off and on over the past year from various feeds, and figured it was a temporary glitch. But when the Weave Win8x beta launched and I saw the same thing, I started to become concerned. This same error is also appearing in the new Weave WP8 beta. And now that it has been going on for about a month, I am beginning to think this is less a glitch and more a policy change on WPCs part. All the over Weave feeds work wonderfully. Does WPC suddenly think they are as important as Apple?
I don’t necessarily hate Apple, but I do intensely dislike any company that forces proprietary bullshit down my throat. Having been computing since the very early Macintosh days, I have run into the Apple blockade fairly regularly. I know things have gotten much better over the past 30 years, but iThis and iThat, and Lightning connectors still keep me no closer than arms length to anything with an Apple logo. I am certain that Mr. Jobs did a lot of grumbling when he was forced to incorporate open platforms like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Can you even imagine the alternative.
So, is the plan for WPC to no longer offer an RSS feed to their articles? Is the goal to drive everyone to their proprietary apps or directly to their website? Not sure, but that’s what it looks like to me. I don’t use, or endorse, ad blockers, so visiting websites can sometimes be painful, especially with my 5Mbps, office or 10Mbps home connection. Like most people, my time is valuable to me, so I use Weave to get a snippet of articles throughout the day. If I have an interest and the time, I will click through to the website to see the entire article or even offer a comment. I don’t have time to visit individual sites and browse through pages of articles. With a multitude of sites to visit that would be impractical and would limit what I could actually view and learn.
Viewing WPC on Weave for Win8x has improved somewhat. When you click on a headline the entire website loads within Weave, but that can take anywhere from 8 to 15 seconds to fully load the page, depending on where I am and what device I am using. Going back to the feed list can also take several seconds before I can scroll again or click another article. All the other Weave feeds are pretty much instantaneous, both opening and closing. While I am still gaining “some” limited knowledge by reading WPC headlines and seeing images, it’s getting tiring when I accidentally click a WPC article on my phone and get the mobilizer error, or on my tablet where I have to wait for a page to load for an article I didn’t really have much interest in the first place.
My patience is wearing thin, and it may be time to move on. Sorry WPC, nothing personal. But there is more than one news source in the world. Nobody site is that special.