Brian Bailey Preface to the Revised Edition

FeedBurner Follow-up

Earlier this month, I changed my RSS feed for this site to FeedBurner. If you use a newsreader and haven't yet updated your subscription URL, please do so. The new address is http://feeds.feedburner.com/LeaveItBehind.

After two weeks of use, here is my take. FeedBurner is a great service for tracking your weblog statistics. I haven't had any issues as of yet and both the feed and its statistics are updated immediately. The FeedBurner site is terrific and makes it easy to view your traffic patterns and track the different newsreaders that are accessing your feed. In fact, the newsreader-specific data has been the most interesting.

While looking at the amount of traffic from each newsreader, it is clear that people who use Newsgator are taking advantage of how easy Newsgator makes it to update your feeds constantly. I am a former Newsgator user and if I remember correctly, you can set any minute interval you decide. In other words, if you want Newsgator to check every 10 minutes for new posts, you can. By comparison, NetNewsWire offers four choices: manual, every 30 minutes, every hour, or every 4 hours. To put this into perspective, in a 24-hour period, my feed receives on average 4 hits from each user, but over 20 from each Newsgator user. As the reports of bandwidth problems increasing for large sites with RSS feeds (I should be so lucky!), we should all be good net citizens and check for new posts 2-4 times a day. I know many people who check once in the morning and once in the evening.

For a more critical look at FeedBurner, read Dave Winer and Dann Sheridan. I eagerly await a more elegant, decentralized solution that will allow us to track RSS subscriptions. Until then, FeedBurner is the best option available.