I started using FeedBurner over a year ago and love it. I don't blog as often as I should (or promise) but when I do have the time it is enjoyable - and I believe this is mainly because I can measure readership, actions, and examine incoming/outgoing links. I use Typepad now and see no reason to change, and I pretty much ignore the simplistic stats they provide. Typepad's own widget capability made it easier to quickly add FeedBurner to a blog, but you can use it with any feed simply by typing your URL on their web site and giving them a credit card. It's only $5 a month to get all kinds of metrics both for your feed and recently for your blog too. They should have multiple versions and charge more, it's worth it, and who knows what else is coming to add value. Check out the site to see all of the features, most folks I've discussed this with agree that if you are going to take the time to blog, it's no-brainer.
I really like a couple of things about FeedBurner, and they are worth calling out.
1) FeedCount - You see these all over the web, these little dynamic chicklets that inform the user how many folks are "subscribed" to your feed. I must admit, it is the first thing I look at even before the latest headline on TechCrunch....it amazes me how its grown.
2) FeedFlares - This is what FeedBurner calls its Open API, and its very useful for developers to add capabilities both in their feeds and on their sites. There are basically two kinds of "flares." Their site describes them as follows:
- Action Flare allow you to "do" something with or to a piece of content: tag it in del.icio.us, mail it, seed it as a story at Newsvine, translate it into Finnish, and otherwise bend it to your will.
- Meta-Data Flare tell you things about how other parts of the web perceive this content: how highly linked this article is in the blogosphere, where this content originated on a map (e.g., a photo in a feed with its geographic data could be plugged into a mapping API), and so on.
You have probably seen this capability in feeds in the past and not even known FeedBurner was probably enabling you as a reader of RSS feeds to "act" on an article. Other do this, but again, feedburner makes it so simple.
From Feedburner's site, some "Fast Facts and Stats":
- According to Nielsen/NetRatings, FeedBurner is growing faster than MySpace and Digg with 385% traffic growth.
- Total feeds: 663,294
- Number of publishers: 393,805 [so I guess monthly sales are approaching $2 million?! Wow.]
- Number of podcast and videocast feeds: 103,868
- Number of subscribers across all FeedBurner feeds: Too many to fit on this page. Email us for the most recent stats and pretty graphs.
- Percent of FeedBurner employees using Macs: 39%, PCs: 58%, Other: 3%.
- Number of made-up words on this site: 3
My only gripe is that a company that gives me so much information about my RSS Feeds should actually use them to deliver the information to me! I want to subscribe to my burned feeds, not log in to a dashboard! Maybe this is possible, but I sure could find any information on it or figure out how to get a feed of my stats.
That's my only gripe, otherwise kudos to the product, business model, and of course the team.