So today my email, my skype, my phone started blowing up with customers of mine (www.bloggershelpdesk.com) freaking out about their Feedburner subscriber numbers. Here’s the lowdown….
1. Feedburner is a service that most people who use Blogger blogs and many people that use WordPress blogs use to manage their RSS feed subscriptions
2. An RSS feed is merely something that takes the posts you write and then “feeds” them to a format the reader likes to use to browse through your posts. For me, I use Google Reader to check up on my favorite blogs. So I subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed through my Google reader. Some people subscribe through their email, so that each new post comes directly to their email address.
3. As of about last night all Feedburner feeds started showing ZERO subscribers.
4. Rumor has been going around for a little while that Feedburner is going to be going away (this little hiccup is doing nothing to prevent that rumor from spreading). They closed their twitter account, and shut down the blog (also to be noted, Feedburner is owned by Google)
So now that you have the “history”, let me explain a few things. First, I don’t for one second think that this is a permanent thing. This is a hiccup in the system, and I’m sure your subscribers will be back when they get the problem solved. My reasoning for thinking this is first Google Friend Connect. A lot of people were using Google Friend Connect to subscribe to blogs. Google decided to disable the service for any non-blogger blogs. They gave everyone about a year’s notice before finally pulling the plug on it. Google isn’t going to pull the plug on Feedburner without so much of a “how do you do”.
Do I think that Feedburner will stick around forever? In light of recent events, the future of Feedburner looks a little uncertain. Letting go of the .jp domain name, closing the twitter account, etc, all point to not very happy signs. Perhaps it’s just a matter of a namechange? Closing a twitter account and releasing a domain name can certainly look towards a re-brand to a more Google type name instead of closing down the service all together.
What do I think you should do? First don’t panic. I’m sure everyone’s subscription numbers will return to normal some time (I am prepared to eat my words though if they don’t). If you are feeling uncertain about Feedburner’s future though, start looking at a different service like FeedBlitz.
Let’s all just take a deep breath though, and know that subscription numbers aren’t the end of the world. Most PR companies don’t much care for subscriber stats anyway. They care about social media footprint, influence, and pageviews. If you have 1000 subscribers, and only 5 ever really come to your site to read your posts, it’s not a huge measure of how your content is being received.
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Thank you so much for sharing this! You definitely have a calming effect. I love you oh knowledgeable one …and not in a creepy sort of way!
Thank goodness for PR firms that don’t just look at subscriber stats! Although there are a few offenders which habitually pick some of the “fluffiest” education bloggers whose posts are mostly self-promotional or the equivalent of an aggregated feed from every tech site on the web, the majority of PR people that have contacted me typically come from connections I’ve made directly with others.
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Thanks… I have read no less than a bazillion posts on this topic in the past 2 weeks and I think yours was the best explanation so far. What I’ve deduced is that I had already migrated FeedBurner over to Google so I’m okay. I don’t send out email newsletters, so I don’t think the email portion really affects me. Does it? What I wasn’t clear on was does it affect people who subscribe to my blog for email updates.