Review: FeedBurner Analyzes RSS Traffic - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Review: FeedBurner Analyzes RSS Traffic

FeedBurner provides tools to publicize and analyze your RSS feeds, helping you maximize their effectiveness.

Blog publishing is a fairly simple matter, especially with a service like Blogger or TypePad. However, trying to publicize your blog, track subscribers, find out what articles are most popular, and get other statistical analyses is another matter. Enter FeedBurner, an online service that provides tools to publicize and analyze your blog traffic, along with a host of services designed to enhance your feed.


The Pro version of FeedBurner offers a variety of stats related to your RSS feed.(Click on image to expand.)
You begin by visiting the FeedBurner Web site, entering your blog URL, and selecting the services you want. You can go with a basic (free) statistical package or upgrade to the Pro package with enhanced tools, which costs $4.95 per month for up to three blogs. It's easy to get started — if you run into trouble along the way, each service choice in the configuration process includes help text, which you access by clicking a Show Details link. To select an item, you simply click a check box. You can go back later and add or remove services in the same way.

After you complete the initial configuration, FeedBurner redirects your blog's URL through a FeedBurner URL, a process that is automatic unless you are TypePad user, in which case you must manually change all references to the FeedBurner URL — no small matter for many users.

FeedBurner also provides publicizing features such as an RSS subscription button for your blog, which routes subscribers through the FeedBurner address. To include this button, you need to manually alter your blog template by pasting a code snippet provided by FeedBurner in the correct spot in the template, a tricky procedure that non-technical users will likely find intimidating. I was able place it satisfactorily after a couple of tries, but I was not as successful when adding the FeedBurner hit counter button to the template. No matter where I placed the code, the button always ended up floating in an awkward spot.

Once the service is set up, you can review your traffic statistics in easy-to-read charts, graphs, and tables. The free service supplies stats on feed circulation, subscribers to the Pro service adds tracking details for each published item, and information on where your feed is being resyndicated (featured on another site).

Standard FeedBurner also include the ability to facilitate podcasting and insert Google Ads in your feeds (services we did not test for this review). If you decided to integrate with the Flickr photo service, your subscribers will see any changes to your blog and to your Flickr album in the same feed, a convenient way to distribute different types of online content in one subscription. Other services include SmartFeed, which makes sure that you RSS feed will work in any reader, choice of a Web-ready graphic that will make it easier for visitors to your site to opt for your RSS feed, and a direct link to your circulation statistics for your blog.

Overall, the FeedBurner idea is an excellent one, providing a bevy of feed-related services and access to more detailed traffic analysis than you can get directly from blog providers. However, it requires a fair amount of technical savvy to implement some features effectively. I also found the idea that FeedBurner is redirecting the blog URL troubling, especially for blog publishers who have an established blog with regular subscribers in place. On the whole, though, FeedBurner is definitely onto something and blog publishers should take a long look.


FeedBurner
Burning Door Syndication Services, Inc.
www.feedburner.com
Price: Free for basic service, $4.95/mo. for Pro service
Summary: FeedBurner offers a variety of exciting services for blog publishers to help enhance and understand their feeds, but the developers need to work harder to hide the technical complexities of the product and put it in reach of non-technical publishers.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Slideshows
Top-Paying U.S. Cities for Data Scientists and Data Analysts
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/5/2019
Slideshows
10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/1/2019
Commentary
Study Proposes 5 Primary Traits of Innovation Leaders
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/8/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
Getting Started With Emerging Technologies
Looking to help your enterprise IT team ease the stress of putting new/emerging technologies such as AI, machine learning and IoT to work for their organizations? There are a few ways to get off on the right foot. In this report we share some expert advice on how to approach some of these seemingly daunting tech challenges.
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll