Product Review: Feedburner

RSS or Real Simple Syndication is a great way to allow your readers to stay updated with the happenings of your website or blog. Even at the most basic level it’s a pretty impressive service. Your visitor plugs your feed into their favorite aggregator and presto zesto they’re instantly updated whenever you post.

Feedburner is a service that makes your feed work as hard as you do. The company was founded in 2003 by Dick Costolo, Eric Lunt, Steve Olechowski and Matt Shobe and has become the largest manager of RSS feeds and counts Reuters, USA Today, IDG and Newsweek among their client base. It’s little wonder that such big names would want what Feedburner is offering. The RSS management technology that they developed has the power to make you feed bark, sit and roll over.

First it’s free. You do have the option to spend a little money and get more perks but I have found their free service to be more than adequate. Let’s see, you get a report that tells you how many people are subscribed to your feed which is computed on a daily basis. You can also get a report on when your feed is being used in odd ways, such as an all-feed blog, or even for evil like spamming others.

New in 2007, you can now have Feedburner track your traffic stats as well. The webstats report will show you referral and search trends, outbound clicks, browser and OS stats, inbound traffic detail, live geographic detail of visitors and tons more. They even provide you a bookmarklet that you can put on your browser toolbar so you can be whisked right to your stats report with just a click of the mouse.

They also offer many ways to optimize and publicize your feed. There’s no nice way to say this but, honey, raw feed is ugly. The good news is, Smartfeed makes it compatible with the multitude of feed readers and aggregators on the market while the Feedburner technology cleans up the data to make it easier for your visitors to…well… read it. For podcastors, Feedburner offers SmartCast which creates enclosures for MP3s, video and images that makes it easier for feed readers to process the information.

But that’s just the foundation. Feedburner offers many varieties of lipsticks and mascara to further pretty up your RSS. FeedFlare adds tags to the end of your feed which displays a medley of interactive options on the user’s end. You can give an option for the reader to contact you, email your post to a friend or to add to their account. You can even add a Creative Commons copyright tag for those bottomfeeders who would try to pass your content off as their own. Feed Image, Title and Description Burners allows you to add a customized image, title and description to your feed that will help distinguish it from the other feeds your visitor may be subscribed to.

Feedburner offers an assortment of marketing options to assist in getting the word out about your blog. The publicity starts at the blog itself with Chicklets, or icons, to let your readers know that you have a feed to subscribe to that is compatible with their reader or aggregator. You can also offer email subscriptions to your blogs through FeedBlitz and show your subscriber stats right on the blog with FeedCount.

With BuzzBoost and a little bit of JavaScript, you can turn your feed’s content into html and plug into web pages to display teasers. Likewise, if you are a member of a forum you can add the Headline Animator to your signature line which will rotate the titles of your last five posts.

All in all, any type of blog promotion should include a signup to Feedburner. The most successful bloggers are the ones that make it easy for their visitors to keep up. With the lightening pace of life these days and the ever increasing demands on your visitor’s time you can’t afford not to get this hookup.

Daria Black is a freelance writer, erotica author, and amateur CG artist. Visit her website Daria Black – Words By Daria located at to learn more about Daria, get writing and blogging tips, read erotic stories, and to chime in on her thoughts about current events.

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[tags]Feedburner, RSS, Real Simple Syndication[/tags]

2 thoughts on “Product Review: Feedburner

  1. Yes I think Feedburner is the best in its field. Just one recommendation though, I think you should put the syndicate button high up on your blog’s sidebar. Someone recommended me to do that last time I was changing my design. Apparently it is the first thing RSS-aholics would like to see that icon in a blog.

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