I have been a FeedBurner fan for a while now, and, I think I still am. Unfortunately though, its because there is no viable alternative. Google had earlier acquired the only other similar service, MeasureMap, in early 2006, which near as I can tell was the only other game in town - then or now. I posted a few months back on my so called love for FeedBurner, and I recommend it all of the time to folks, but Dave Winer's two posts on the subject made me think about it a little more clearly. But first, the posts.
Winer's first post was spot on, in my opinion. I have had these same thoughts and similar conversations with others over the past 6 months or so. There is new FUD out there now since Google's acquisition of FeedBurner, and with good reason, and Winer articulates it clearly in this post;
So now someone at Google "owns" Feedburner and all their feeds. And they could, if they wanted to, change the feeds to another format, overnight, without asking anyone. Reader software might have trouble working with it. They would say "Oh but the new feeds work better with Google Reader, and that's the one most people use." And by the way, more and more that's true these days. But what about other feed suppliers? Do they have to change to work with Google Reader? They will say no, but there may turn out to be practical reasons why they must.
The second post ponders how "doesn't work as well" can lead to "not at all"...
"It's quite possible in the second or third iteration that Google drops support for non-Feedburner feeds. It wouldn't be unprecedented, far from it. Google Blogoscoped has a list of Google products that "prefer" other Google products. I've never seen Google not do this when they had the chance. The instant they bought Blogger they tied it to their toolbar. If they had used an open API the toolbar would have worked with all blogging tools. Google just doesn't think that way, sorry to say."
I think businesses of all shapes and sizes, especially larger commercial publishers and the G2000 at large, need to take a very serious look at replacing FeedBurner (just to be prudent) given the relentless focus of Google on monetizing properties with targeted advertising. Businesses can still opt out and get their data, and I'm betting many of the will. In the meantime, I like FeedBurner and not going anywhere - because I can't they are still the only game in town!
What would take me away? an iPhone. What you say? Yes, an "iPhone." It's an analogy. So let me put it this way. I've had several Treos over the years, and, loved them all for the most part. Thankfully, several years back Steve Jobs and some other people at Apple tried the Treo too. They in turn realized that there was 1) a lot wrong with the Treo and 2) there was the potential to do a lot more. I mean, A LOT more. Now the Treo feels like an 8 track tape player.
FeedBurner will be "Appled" just like the Treo was. There are just too many ways to make it all work better.