I find it ironic that the all-knowing Google can tell you the bacon number with references of any given celebrity. They can describe precisely how far you’ll have to jet ski across the Pacific Ocean if traveling by vehicle from Japan to China. They can do those unusual, and rather worthless, algorithmic calculations in a fraction of a fraction of a second (not a typo), but they can no longer provide a text-based subscriber count for their feedburner users.
It makes sense to see Feedblitz marketing itself as the reliable, better Feedburner alternative. They say, “Need a Feedburner Alternative? You deserve reliable service, better capabilities, and actual people to talk to when you need help. Join us! It’s easy to transfer with minimal risk.” They even offer a Feedburner migration guide that guarantees the transfer with no subscriber loss.
It’s a strong marketing position. From a cursory search through the blogosphere, I found a growing sentiment of disdain for Feedburner.
The once de facto choice of anyone with an RSS feed, has now grown to be viewed with the same disdain as an illness.
The king has fallen from the throne.
Several years ago, Google bought feedburner for $100 million. Since then, they have shot the service down the toilet. Now they haven’t added a new feature in years. They have absolutely no technical support. And now (and I know I’m a few months late on this one), they’ve deactivated their API services for it. API services are what allow you to connect to their site and ask them how many subscribers you have.
The sad part for me, was that I totally missed it. Earlier this week, I was looking over the blog to do a little spring cleaning in an attempt to breathe new life into this place when I realized that my beautiful subscriber stats were sitting at zero. Upon further research, I learned that Google had just shut the service off and any person using it would just be displaying big fat zeroes. ZEROES. Unless you use their disgustingly ugly chicklet.
Turning their API off isn’t a huge issue all by itself. Sometimes companies need to make adjustments to their services. What’s alarming is the trend at Feedburner altogether. No new updates. Removing certain features. No support. People are beginning to speculate that Feedburner’s life cycle is nearing it’s sad end. It’s days are numbered. The Grim Reaper is breathing the cold, foul stench of his rotting breath on the back of Feedburner’s sickly neck. How long until Google pulls the lever releasing the blade of la guillotine?
Do you use feedburner? If not, what service do you use to aggregate your RSS feeds?
I’ll see you in the comments.