Feedburner purports to solve a problem which I noted here. Should a blogger know who is reading them via RSS? As a publisher who has had loads of email newsletters, I like knowing who is subscribed. But shouldn’t RSS readers have the right to anonymity?
Feedburner, which I heard of from Fred Wilson, creates a feed which provides information on readers back to the publisher. Seems to me, publishers can give the reader a choice, and provide more service if the reader chooses to declare the relationship.
From the site:
What is it?
FeedBurner enhances your current RSS or Atom feeds in a variety of ways that YOU control, while simultaneously providing personalized usage and trend statistics that describe how your feed is being used.
How does it work?
1. Enter your syndication URL in the field at the top of the page.
2. On the subsequent page, select which services you would like FeedBurner to perform for you and your feed.
3. Use the new HTML that FeedBurner gives you for your syndicated feed, and we’ll do the rest. Your FeedBurner home page will begin to track and report your feed usage statistics for you.
To learn more about how FeedBurner works, check out the FAQ.
One thought on “FeedBurner: Know Your RSS Readers”
Hi john. FeedBurner’s statistics tracking is really just an artifact of a larger goal, which is to push the transport technologies (rss or atom or whatever) down the stack and begin to make syndication even more powerful by allowing publishers to enhance their feeds in lots of ways. By proxy-ing a publisher’s feeds, it becomes easy for us to begin to also track usage and report that to publishers – something that we’ve heard a lot of bloggers say they’d like. It isn’t our intention to ‘expose’ a reader’s identity, and we currently don’t even report ip addresses, rather, we give publishers a strong sense of where their readers are coming from (eg, FeedDemon, BlogLines, Yahoo, etc.) and from where users are coming back into a blog site (since there’s no http-referrer coming from an rss-reader). Thus, i think/hope we can effectively balance the publisher’s desire for better statistics visibility with the subscriber’s desire to “view in peace”.