Although the news has been flying along under the radar for the past few months, it has become clear that Google is beginning to phase out FeedBurner, a popular feed management service used by a slew of individuals and businesses alike. And orchestras are no exception; so if this is news to you, don’t wait for the service to go dark before you start making migration plans!
For what seems like the beginning of time in internet years, FeedBurner has been a staple resource for providing customized RSS feeds and related traffic statistics. It distributed your content to a number of social networking aggregators such as Digg and del.icio.us, provided an email subscription service (which sent an email message to subscribers each time your site published new content), and cached your feed content to Google’s servers.
And perhaps the best part is like most of Google’s services, it was free to use.
Unfortunately, there are no clear standouts for single provider alternatives. Consequently, finding an alternate resource will depend on how you use FeedBurner at your site(s). Most orchestras, whether they realize it or not, use RSS feeds in email marketing campaigns so that’s going to be one of the first areas you should look to uncover any FeedBurner use that needs to be replaced.
And for groups that don’t directly manage these sorts of website related issues on, you need to ask your provider about what sort of plan they have in place to make sure you don’t get caught with your virtual pants down once Google yanks the plug (IMHO, this shouldn’t be something you have to pay for).
And on that point, there’s no single date when Google plan to flip the switch; instead, it appears to be more of a rolling phase out of the service but to give you an idea, Google announced that it is officially shutting down FeedBurner’s API on October 20, 2012.
If anyone is interested in some recommendations for Feedburner alternatives, I’ll be happy to offer up some suggestions. To that end, send me a note and let me know how you were using FeedBurner to begin with so I can point you in the right direction.