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Plug: Feedburner, burn those RSS feeds

18 Oct 2004 by Jason Fried

So, last week we handed over the management and serving of our RSS feed to the folks at Feedburner. It’s not just that we like to keep it in the family (the Chicago family, that is), it’s that this is a damn fine service. And, the best news is that nothing on your side has to change — you don’t need to change the Signal vs. Noise RSS feed URL or anything. It’s all transparent to the people who subscribe to our feed.

So, what do they do? Well, for one, they host our feeds which reduces the strain of our server. Secondly, their “SmartFeed” service converts our single feed to all the popular formats (RSS 1, 2, Atom, etc) and serves the proper feed to the proper newsreaders. Third, they’ll automatically insert our Amazon ID into any link we send to Amazon. Fourth, they give us stats on how many people are subscribing to our feed (hovering around 2500), how many times the feed has been read, which SvN entries are the most popular, which newsreaders are being used to view our feeds and plenty more. It’s quite cool and there’s plenty more I haven’t even covered.

So, if your site has RSS feeds, get on over to Feedburner and let them handle the dirty work for you.

12 comments so far (Post a Comment)

18 Oct 2004 | Matt Haughey said...

the best news is that nothing on your side has to change ó you donít need to change the Signal vs. Noise RSS feed URL or anything

How does that work? I love Feedburner, but the only thing holding me back from using them for all my feeds is having to tell folks my feed URLs changed. How did you get around that?

18 Oct 2004 | JF said...

Matt, check this.

18 Oct 2004 | Matt Haughey said...

heh. I was going to resort to Apache redirect hacks, but you said "nothing on your side has to change" so I thought there was some shortcut that didn't involve it.

Well, cool tutorial, I just might convert everything over there now.

18 Oct 2004 | JF said...

Oops, when I meant nothing "on your side" I meant nothing on the reader's side.

18 Oct 2004 | Michael Moncur said...

Is an Apache redirect really going to put less load on the server than a read of a static RSS file?

Hmm, I wonder if they can handle some of my insanely-popular feeds.

18 Oct 2004 | Dick Costolo said...

Thanks for the plug Jason - thought I would jump in here. First, Matt and others, when you're redirecting your feed, watch out for one gotcha (recursive redirection), discussed in the second q&a here.

Secondly, Michael, we already process tens of thousands of feeds including some insanely popular feeds, so fire away.

Thirdly, let's see....there is no thirdly.

18 Oct 2004 | Jon Gales said...

I am testing this out for a bit on MobileTracker... Found one weird thing, I have quite a few people clicking through to the RSS feed in Internet Explorer--19 in just the past hour or two. I guess I should put up a "What's this" page.

19 Oct 2004 | Dick Costolo said...

Jon, you can also select the "browser-friendly" service in FeedBurner which applies a style sheet to the xml so that it renders in a readable fashion in IE. The browser friendly version of the page tells people it's an RSS feed meant to be viewed in a reader like feed demon, newsgator, etc. We added that service when we saw how many people just click on the xml buttons in their browser.

19 Oct 2004 | Jon Gales said...

Dick:

Does this feature only apply to browser user agents? I don't want to change the XML so it will make a bunch of items show up as new.

(and it has gone up, 70 clicks on it from browsers now)

Thanks!

19 Oct 2004 | Dick Costolo said...

Jon, It will not cause old items to show up as new in RSS clients or web-based aggregators (which will not apply the stylesheet). Feel free to shoot me a direct email if you have any other questions. Happy to discuss.

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