I understand that geeknews doesn't like FeedBurner, and I can respect that. But I want to make sure that people's opinions of FeedBurner are informed by accurate information, so I just wanted to respond to a few of the comments on the post "Why would 100,000 people trust their RSS feed to FeedBurner".
"It is well known that an update on a site does not necessarily mean that feedburner is going to know about it immediately."
That's true unless you ping us. We will poll your feed every 30 minutes, so it's possible that your burned feed could be up to 30 minutes stale. To update your burned feed instantly, you have a number of options:
- Configure your blogging software to ping FeedBurner at http://ping.feedburner.com. Here are instructions to ping FeedBurner in Movable Type, but other blogging platforms have a similar capability.
- Use our FeedBurner ping form to let us know. You can also bookmark the result page to ping us by visiting the bookmark.
- You can also use Ping-o-Matic with FeedBurner.
"...you have no idea if they go offline and they don't graph any outages"
We actually haven't had any downtime since June 25 when our colocation center got hit with a power outage. We pride ourselves on our availability, and we're always seeking to eliminate points of failure like this.
We will, however, notify you if there's ever an outage with your feed. Every publisher gets their own personal feed (called "FeedBulletin") where we will proactively notify publishers if their source feed is ever invalid or unreachable. You can visit your "My Account" page on FeedBurner for more information on this cool feature.
"...the statistics are never truly accurate."
Much like web stats, feed stats are an inexact science. We think we have the best understanding of all the different aggregators and their unique polling characteristics, but we're constantly learning and improving our algorithms.
One place we definitely want to improve is our podcast statistics. Currently, we don't track downloads to the enclosures themselves. That's something we're working on.
"I tired it and never got accurate Stats on podcasts listened to, not only that your statistics are public. I got nothing to hide but My stats are not everyone elses bussiness"
Point taken on the podcast stats (see above). But your stats are most definitely not public unless you as a publisher choose to make them public. By default, your stats are private. If you choose to enable the Awareness API, then your stats are made available to feed and podcasting directory services, which has been a boon to many podcasters.
"...but the question remains why would 100,000 people trust a third party to update and maintain the lifeblood of the one single document that connects most sites to their readership."
There are a number of ways that the publisher can keep complete control over their feed URL, so if we ever disappoint we can be cut out of the loop instantly. That just means we have to work hard to keep publishers very, very happy.
That's all for now. We're always open to suggestions for how we can improve our service. I'm going to put the cape away and return to fight FUD another day.