What is it?
FeedBurner is a service that takes a normal, everyday RSS or Atom feed of any kind and turns (burns) it into a FeedBurner feed that you can then distribute to readers for use in any RSS reader. The company currently hosts more than 60,000 combined RSS and Atom feeds for over 40,000 content publishers. The company’s hosted service currently processes over 5 million daily views of RSS content including podcasts and video weblogs.
One reason a blog or website owner would want to use this is because it simplifies the RSS feed. The Feed URL for Techcrunch, for instance, is “http://feeds.feedburner.com/Techcrunch”, which is a much simpler format that standard RSS feeds. Also, most blogging software offers a variety of RSS feeds – Atom, RSS 1.0, 2.0, etc. Sometimes these feeds don’t work properly with some readers. And if a site can get most of its readers to use the single Feedburner feed, they can take advantage of the great statistics and tools to see where readers are coming from and what they are clicking on.
FeedBurner offers two services – a free version and a Pro version that costs between $5-$16 per month depending on the number of feeds managed. The stats for the free version are great, and the pro version also shows more detail and a “who’s syndicating me” feature. The Pro version has a 15 day free trial.
The big reason for using FeedBurner, however, is that it can automatically add Google Adsense adds to your feeds, allowing you to easily generate revenue if you have a large enough audience. There are a number of influential bloggers who don’t like this service, however (and other aspects of FeedBurner as well) – see Relevant Links below for more information.
One drawback to FeedBurner was the difficulty in turning it off and moving your feeds off the network (while retaining your audience). The method for doing this was complicated and clunky (or required you run your site from your own server) and so many top bloggers stayed away from their service.
However, on June 10, 2005 FeedBurner announced (this is the FeedBurner blog) a new feature to allow easy transition away from FeedBurner whilst retaining your readers. Nice move.
So FeedBurner offers ease of use, great stats, revenue AND a relatively painless way out. Thumbs up from TechCrunch and that’s why we use them.
– very easy to use
– nice URL string for the feed
– generate revenue from RSS ads
– RSS page isn’t just xml code, it has a nice look/feel
– great stats for your feeds
– easy transition out of FeedBurner if you ever want to leave
Dick Costolo, CEO
Eric Lunt, CTO
Steve Olechowski, COO
Matt Shobe, Chief Design Officer
Fred Wilson on FeedBurner
Dave Winer Posts on FeedBurner
WorkBench on FeedBurner
Alex Bosworth on FeedBurner
Feedburner Blog on support for iTunes and Odeo extended RSS support