UPDATE: As of last night, 9/24, it looks like stats were restored for many Feedburner users. It doesnt look like feeds were ever “broken” but the stat count was not reflecting any subscribers.
You would think the world is coming to an end.
If you havent heard by now, rumors are flying around the internet about Feedburner, an RSS feed management service (if you’re not familiar), shutting down on October 20. That coupled with tens of thousands losing subscriber counts over the last several days is not boding well for Google. Im not sure I’ve ever seen “Google” and the F word in the same sentence more than in the last few days (Pottymouths).
At any rate, my inbox is quickly filling up with concerned clients wondering what they should do…if anything. And quite honestly, at the writing of this post, your guess is as good as mine. This next week will be an interesting one and hopefully Google will make an official response concerning the issue.
I myself would be extremely surprised if Google would be stupid enough to shut down Feedburner without any warning. Its pretty atypical of them and, though they are the
anti-christ rule the world have the power to do whatever they want, they are smarter than that. (I was kidding, sheesh.)
I can tell you that you shouldn’t jump on the panic bandwagon and grab your torches and head to the Silicon Valley. But you probably should do a few things just in case the writing is on the wall and the rumors are true.
Its no secret that Google hasn’t done a very good job of improving or even maintaining Feedburner over the last year or so. There are often outages and subscriber counts fluctuate drastically and for no apparent reason. That only adds to the need to take a couple of things into consideration…
1. First, go now and download an export of your subscribers. As far as I can tell you can only gather your email subscriber data (not those using a reader like Google Reader). If you’re like me, that will only be a portion of your subscribers (big bummer). Its easy to do and Mel at Ounumbered 3-1 did an excellent job of explaining how.
2. It might be time to determine if your feed is important enough to pay for more reliable service. Im on the fence on this one for myself, but for many its not even a question.
There are several options (some are free but most are not) including Feedblitz, Jetpack (a WordPress plugin), AWeber, MailChimp, and more. If you do decide you want more reliability and support but dont know how to migrate your feeds, I’ve decided to taking request for migration. Please contact me for more information. But, again, please hear me say…don’t make the move out of fear and panic. It will be a little bit of a process and may not work perfectly, so it needs to be a decision made out of thought and necessity more than anything.
3. Finally, keep your ears perked and try to separate fact from rumor. I’ll be carefully watching and if I find out anything more, you know I’ll keep you posted.
Questions? Thoughts? No Google rants, please. You can find plenty of other places for that.