Feedburner has become the de facto standard – third party or not, we like to publish our Feedburner feed, instead of our platform’s native RSS or Atom feeds, for the added convenience of getting all stats and reports from a single source. And while a startup, Feedburner has been actually quite reliable. But ever since it got Googlized, Feedburner has been a constant pain in the ***.
I probably don’t even notice all the flakiness… I sort of gave up checking the stats. in fact today it was an old blog post of mine that brought the issues to my attention. When hundreds of people search fro Feedburner errors, something must be happening again. Let’s check the Feedburner status blog: Reduced subscribers reported by Google Feedfetcher – oh, well, so it’s a Google Reader issue. Nothing new, we’re used to it. . The blog post reassures us feeds are reaching readers, this is just a reporting issue.
But recent troubles went beyond reporting issues: Feedburners feed has been notoriously slow lately. In fact just scanning the status blog titles and dates is quite an eye-opener:
- Reduced subscribers reported by Google Feedfetcher – April 3rd
- FeedBurner feeds based on Blogger content slow to update; resolution from Blogger forthcoming March 31st
- FeedBurner email updates temporarily delayed, now resuming March 29th
- Slow access to feedburner.google.com March 11th
All these within 3 weeks. If this is not a sign of a dying service, I don’t know what is. Google needs to resuscitate Feedburner, or else…
Or else, what? We don’t really have a lot of choices. That’s the problem with a quasi monopoly. When a service becomes the de facto standard, it’s unlikely competitors would emerge. But we need one.
Louis Gray thinks Feedblitz could become an alternative. ReadWriteWeb discusses PostRank. I don’t know… I am hesitant to leave “home base” Google for the sake of a startup. The pain of migrating readers .. the insecurity: will they be there a year from now? On the other hand, the more flaky Feedburner becomes, the less painful a migration looks. Or put it another way, it becomes an issue of which pain is less:
- migration to a new service
- tolerating the issues of a seriously ill old one.
I’m holding out for now … but not for long.