Using Feedburner for feeds


I finally decided to move to Feedburner for managing the RSS feed for this site. I had known about Feedburner for a while but didn’t really look into them a lot, until their acquisition by Google piqued my interest. After using their service for a while, I can see why Google would want to buy this company – their service, even the free version, simply rocks.

Feedburner, at its most fundamental level, allows a publisher to keep track of the readership statistics regarding their feed. This makes it easy to manage your feeds, and see how many people are reading them, and look at the overall trends in readership level over a time period. Seeing as how Google Analytics offers this sort of service, but instead for your website, it’s easy to see why Google would want to make Feedburner part of their list of services.

In many respects, the services are very similar, both in features and interface. Both offer tools related to monetization (either the Google AdSense program or Feedburner’s ad network), and both offer thoroughly detailed stats on your readership base. There is some overlap, however, as Feedburner can also be used to track site usage statistics like Google Analytics. I’m interested to see how this changes as Feedburner becomes part of the Google empire. Feedburner also offers some interesting options for enhancing your feed, allowing you to add links to each entry in your feed for such options as “Email this”, “Comments Count” or “Digg this”. These options are very nice for helping to increase your site’s popularity. Another nice benefit of using Feedburner is that since your feed is accessed from their site, they’ll have a cached copy in case your server goes down. They also use some fancy-detection to enable the feed’s contents to show up in XHTML when a browser (non-news reader app) clicks on the link.

If you have a site, especially a blog, there’s simply no reason not to use Feedburner. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

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