Guest post by Rebecca Caroe, Feedblitz
Google’s business model has been to acquire services which they can integrate into their ecosystem and offer free of charge to users like you and me. One of their early acquisitions was an RSS to email service provider called FeedBurner.
It’s a handy tool, allowing bloggers to send out emails with the latest blog post updates automatically after they publish.
But now, Google appears to be slowly killing off FeedBurner’s services. Whether FeedBurner itself will cease to exist is anyones guess, as Google has given us no official word. However the future of the service is definitely becoming a concern in the minds of its users.
Since the service was acquired by Google in 2007, it has become a bit neglected. The most recent examples of this are:
- On July 26th 2012 the FeedBurner Twitter account and blog were shut down.
- In addition to this the Japan FeedBurner.jp domain name was lost or abandoned by Google at the end of July.
- The metrics for all feeds were lost from September 19th when all feeds showed zero subscribers. And this outage lasted until September 24th.
- And now they are shutting down the API as of the 20th October 2012.
- And finally (for now) Adsense for feeds will also be shut down in December 2012.
Google has NOT said that they are shutting down FeedBurner, but the way they are slowly but surely killing off FeedBurner services has to set off alarm bells in the minds of users. Technology news website Techcrunch called it “The FeedBurner Deathwatch”.
What does this means for you?
If you use FeedBurner to distribute your blog to your readers, especially if you make money from your blog, then you need to have a contingency plan ready, because if the plug is pulled, you will lose both readers and money.
There are two obvious options open to you:
- Distribute your feed natively from your hosted domain
- Migrate to an alternative service provider
Dave Weiner (the man who invented RSS) has blogged about how to distribute your feed yourself, but if you are daunted by the techy instructions, don’t worry, there are alternatives.
Many prominent bloggers are already migrating their feeds and the FeedBurner discussion forums are busy with threads about how to cope with this new challenge.
If you are still using FeedBurner, don’t panic because it is still working; the statistics are back online. However, it’s good practice to back up your subscriber list from FeedBurner and start your RSS contingency planning now. Don’t get caught short.
FeedBlitz is a premium alternative to FeedBurner. Designed for bloggers and businesses who need reliable feed distribution, it comes with more features than FeedBurner, online support and also strong commendations from top bloggers who’ve recently moved their feeds. Read the migration case studies here and here.