Google Bought Feedburner…now where’s my subscribers?

Google Acquired Feedburner
Google Acquired Feedburner

I love Google. I use Gmail exclusively, and practically drool everytime a new feature comes out in Gmail Labs. Google is so innovative, i don’t have time to keep up with everything.

I even missed the news that Google acquired Feedburner (by the way, can anybody find the official press release announcing  this?).

And I somehow missed the fact that those of us that use Feedburner are required to manually transfer our feed over to feedburner.google.com by clicking a button in our account at feedburner.com.

I was first made aware of this by this post from Michael at Pro Blog Design. I decided to follow its advice and switch over my feeds to eliminate any potential problems I may have had in the future.

I don’t log in to feedburner very often, so it was a major surprise to see that my feeds had dropped about 50%…and then went back up…but then dropped again (apparently due to the weird things going on with the whole switch to Google).

After I manually switched my feeds from feedburner to feedburner.google.com, as per Michael’s instructions, my subscribers dropped even more…and then more! The green line in the image below shows what my subscribers have been doing.

Feedburner Funkiness
Feedburner Funkiness

This is disturbing to me. Not only because I didn’t know where my subscribers went, but because I think Google is handling this very poorly. Can anybody point me towards Google making us aware of this fact and telling us not to worry? If there is one out there, they should make it easier to find.

After doing a little more research on this subject, I found this post by Patrick Altoft of blogstorm, which seems to hint at the fact that the reason my subscribers have dropped is because, once on the Google server, your subscribers using iGoogle and Google Reader to receive your feed are not being recorded.

Dear Google- please write a press release, or contact us via email to let us know what’s going on with Feedburner, if you’re working on it, and when things will be resolved.

Is anybody else having trouble with feedburner’s transfer to google’s server? Have any resources you can direct us to? Please share in the comments section!

Update: As of Friday, January 23rd, my feeds were restored, and everything is back to normal!

4 Reasons to “Subscribe” via Email or RSS

Subscribe to eMarketing & New MediaSubscribe to eMarketing & New MediaMany don’t fully understand the concept of RSS (“Really Simple Syndication”) feeds. I won’t bore you with another description of what RSS is, as I’ve previously addressed that in a prior post, “Using RSS Feeds to your Advantage”. You can also learn how to use RSS feeds in unique ways with my post, “Six Creative Uses for RSS.” However, I would like to further explain it in a language more people may understand.

An individual can utilize sites that offer RSS feeds in two ways, through an RSS reader, or through email. When you subscribe to a feed through email, you receive an email message each and every time the site or blog you subscribed to is updated. Depending on how many sites you are subscribed to, and how often these sites are updated, this could lead to several emails each week notifying you of new content.

In comparison, a RSS reader is like a second email inbox (with no email address) for all of your educational content. If you frequently search the web for certain content, or are an individual who looks for email newsletters to subscribe to to receive information on a certain topic, then I strongly, strongly recommend that you sign up for an RSS reader. After a while, it’ll be the go to place when you’re searching for a piece of information.

Now, don’t forget, if you don’t currently subscribe to many blogs and do not have a feed reader, you can still subscribe via email.

So, without further ado, here are my top 4 reasons to subscribe to sites using RSS or email:

  1. SAVES YOU TIME: You don’t have to check each of your 100 favorite sites when you open up your laptop or turn on your desktop- your RSS reader / email will do it for you.
  2. YOU WON’T MISS ANYTHING: any new news will be in your RSS reader or email when you find the time to look through it. You won’t miss out on anything.
  3. TURN YOUR FAVORITE SITES INTO A SEARCHABLE DATABASE: With an RSS reader or a gmail account, you can search each and every entry since you’ve been subscribed to be able to find exactly what you know you saw.
  4. GET THE PERKS: Some blogs will provide their RSS subscribers (through a reader or email) with extra information and offers that those who are not subscribed can not access.

Also, be sure to subscribe to this blog via an RSS reader or email!

8 Reasons Why YOU Need an Email Marketing Service Provider


EmailEmail marketing has been around for over ten years now, so I wouldn’t consider it a relatively “new medium” for marketing. However, with all the technology available in today’s Web 2.0 online world, there are many new techniques and strategies you can apply to email in order to achieve an even higher ROI and conversion rate than was attainable in the past. In my opinion, one of the most important things you can do for your email marketing campaign is to invest in an ESP, or email marketing service provider, also known as an email marketing campaign management tool. At the basic level:

Email Marketing Service Providers (ESPs): are services providing users with tools and facilities forEmail Marketing Gets Results distributing high volumes of email and managing a list of email addresses. Examples include Constant Contact, SubscriberMail, Listrak, and emailbrain.

All email marketers should be using an ESP to handle their campaigns, even if their list is small, initially. This way, when the list grows to a few hundred or more recipients, you have the technology already in place to automatically handle subscribes, unsubscribes, bounces, and deliverability issues.

Bounces: Email returned to the server that originally sent the email.

  • Hard bounce: a bounce indicating a permanent failure due to a non-existent address or a blocking condition by the receiver.
  • Soft bounce: a bounce indicating that there is a temporary failure due to a full mailbox or unavailable server. Soft bounces should be sent a second time.

Deliverability: the degree to which emails successfully reach the recipients’ inboxes, or the number of valid email addresses that accepted the complete message.

I could come up with one hundred reasons why you should use an ESP instead of your Outlook or Eudora email client. Instead, I’ll highlight and explain what I feel are eight important reasons to use an ESP.

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Six Creative Uses for RSS

REally big RSS FeedsIn a previous post, Using RSS Feeds to your Advantage, I outlined in the importance of utilizing the RSS technology to help your company and to make surfing the web easier for the everyday user. In my experience, the most common use for RSS feeds is staying caught up with users’ favorite blogs. However, I believe this is a large waste of the technology’s capabilities. Utilizing RSS in various ways, for several aspects of both your personal and professional life is the area of e-marketing that I believe is most underutilized today. The following are six uncommon, yet effective, creative uses for RSS, in no particular order of importance.

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Using RSS Feeds to your Advantage

RSS Feeds are something I, personally, have started using quite extensively about 6 months ago. I now do not know what I would do without them. RSS has many advantages, and few disadvantages in the realm of Web 2.0. Using RSS feeds save me time and effort, as well as create an effective marketing tool for businesses and individuals.

RSS Feeds: an XML based format, RSS Feeds are the Really Simple Syndication of web content, meant to allow users to keep up with their favorite web sites in a time saving, automated manner. These feeds can either be read in readers, or aggregators, or emailed. Using RSS makes it possible for people to keep up with their favorite web sites in an automated manner that’s easier than checking them manually.

Aggregators: software or a Web application which aggregates syndicated web content, such as blogs, headlines, and vlogs, in one location for easy viewing. This is also called a feed or RSS reader.

Google ReaderI find them extremely useful in not only trying to keep up with my favorite sites, but also keep aware of what the blogosphere is saying about particular topics. I recommend GooglBlogLinese Reader as the RSS Reader to use, as it is easy to navigate. However, many RSS feeds are extremely similar. Another Reader I use and would recommend is Bloglines. There are many ways I would suggest using RSS Feeds to complement you and your business.

1. Subscribe to the blogs and websites you look at often. Being notified of changes via your RSS Reader will save you time. Instead of going through your bookmarks to visit the sites, visiting each, and browsing the sites for any changes since your last visit, you can simply open your reader, which will notify you of any new content on these pages.

2. Utilize Google Blog Search’s RSS feature by subscribing to a feed that will deliver results of a blog search to your choice of RSS reader. This enables you to manage you and your company’s reputation (Reputation management) by viewing what those in the blogosphere has to say about the matter. Google makes subscribing to these types of feeds tricky, so I’ve provided step by step instructions to help you with process. Feel free to click the thumbnails of the images in order to see larger screen shots of the steps.

  • Visit the Google Blog Search site.
  • Search for the term you would like to keep updated on.
  • In the left margin of the search results, under “Subscribe,” click RSS.
    BlogSearch
  • Choose the RSS reader you would like to watch the keyword in.
    ChooseReader
  • Your keyword should be added as a feed in your RSS Reader.

3. Broadcast a feed of your blog or a keyword Blog Search on your website to share what others are saying about you and your website with your own viewers.

There are also many things you can do by using RSS feeds on the broadcaster side, but this, we’ll leave to another post. The inspiration for this post was an article I found on my Google Reader: RSS 101. In order to learn more about subscribing and broadcasting with RSS feeds. I highly suggest you read this post in order to understand the concept, as well as visit the many sites he has linked to in order to get started. If you’re a Web 2.0 newbie, learning how to use RSS feeds is a wonderful place for you to start getting your feet wet. It’s easy, it’s useful, and relevant.

Feel free to post any problems and comments right here on this post! Please use me as a resource if you get stuck, or if you have any questions about using RSS feeds for either personal, professional, or company use, as well as identifying the main advantages of RSS feeds. I’d be happy to answer any small or large inquiry or how-to question you may have! Just email me at ericadewolf@gmail.com or comment on this post! Good Luck!

Google AlertUpdate 11/13/07: Ron made a good point in his comment below. The RSS Feed of your Blog Search Result can also be emailed to you with Google Alerts. But that’s not the only thing you can keep track of! Google Alert allows you to choose the “type” of search to do on your keyword. This includes:

  • Comprehensive (all of the following results)
  • News,
  • Blog Posts,
  • the Web,
  • Video Results,
  • and even relevant Google Groups.

It really is the best way to keep on top of your reputation management! So your inbox doesn’t get overloaded, you can also choose how often the collective results are sent to you, ranging from “as it happens” to once per week. I would recommend trying it out in order to help you keep an eye on yourself, your business, or any other topic you want to stay informed on.

A Strange Advertising Medium

Paper_LogoI talk about new types of electronic (mostly) media that are being used for marketing and advertising efforts nearly every day in my blog posts. While reading my RSS Feeds in Google Reader, I came across a very interesting non-electronic medium for advertisers to place their logo or message. It’s a very simple idea, but extremely creative and, I think, will be very effective. The idea? Banner Ads on students’ notebooks, notepads, or notepaper.

But what student would want advertisements plastered all over their stuff? Why would they agree to this? Because the company gives the supplies out for free! School supplies get expensive after four years of both high school and college, so this is a way to save students money and increase your company’s reach to students, if this is who your company is targeting.

This is an extension of the free knick-knacks companies hand out at many trade shows or educational events: pens, notepads, mint dispensers, candy bars, calculators, etc. It may also fit into the category of guerilla marketing.

Guerilla Marketing: coined in 1984 by Jay Conrad Levinson, this term is used to describe unusually aggressive, imaginative marketing and promotionmethods, usually on a very low budget.color_paper

FreeHand advertising is one company that is utilizing this idea…they have attractive options for advertisers to choose from that will display their ad nicely, as well as be attractive to the students who would receive these notebooks. The images shown are examples of two products they have available: colorful paper with a banner ad on top, and a plain sheet of paper with a banner at the top, as well as your company’s logo water-marked on the page.

You can read more about this initiative here and here.

Aggregating Web 2.0!!

First of all, I’d like to apologize for not writing in a while. I’m wrapping up my final week at eBizitPA as a full-time employee, and preparing to consult with organizations needing assistance in email marketing, e-marketing, web design and layout, and Search EnginEmail2e Optimization. resumeJust as a side note, I am currently available and very qualified to assist you with YOUR marketing project. To see if I’m the right fit for your endeavor, see my resume or email me with any questions or concerns.

So, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently writing the curricula and doing research for a Web 2.0 presentation, in which the basic ideas and concepts of Web 2.0 is presented to an audience of nonprofits. After the presentation, the content will be elaborated upon to be relevant to all industries.

One major trend that I noticed was that I can NOT keep up with all of this new web content and new applications. I know I’ve mentioned this in my “Keeping up with new media…” post, in which I complain about how I don’t know anything about Twitter. But I had honestly thought that I would have been more caught up by now. I can not believe how many RSS Aggregators, social bookmarking and folksonomy tools there are out there. By the way, I would recommend you read the linked Wikipedia description of folksonomy. And each of these “Web 2.0” sites, of course, requires you to create a username and password.

So, every day I come into work, turn on my computer, and open about 5 tabs in my web browser, and proceed to sign in to each site (although some do allow you to stay signed in). So I’m wondering why there isn’t a site that does it all yet.

Google has iGoogle, which is extremely close to what I am looking for. My Gmail email is right beside the documents that I store online, which is beside my Google Reader feeds, which is beside my bloglines updater (It has to take you to the bloglines site to see the titles of the posts in your feeds…). So yes, iGoogle pretty much does all of this.

My issue is that I want things to be easy. When I go to iGoogle for the first time, I want to have two tabs. One for a calendar, date and time, weather, etc. And then another for “Social Tools.” I’d like to see Google Reader, my email, Google Bookmarks and all that good stuff already there for me. Yes, I was able to get that after I searched for the documents and made everything customized to me. But perhaps they should offer different tab options that already contain this type of “stuff.”

I want everything to be accessible from one page. I don’t want iGoogle to take me to my Google Reader page, I want to view the content of all my feeds from iGoogle (or at least have the page open up in a new window! I hate using my back button and always forget to right click, and open in new window.)

Another problem I have is that, even though I have the same username and password for Google Gmail, Reader, and Documents, it asks me to fill in the password before I can see the contents of each. If I sign in once for one application, shouldn’t it recognize for the others?

So, this post was pretty unorganized. Because that’s how it feels when it comes to the sheer amount of Web 2.0 applications, and the numerous tools available for each one. What do you think? I’d love to hear from somebody who is so tech savvy that they pick up on each and everyone of these applications, and can tell me which is the best RSS aggregator, social bookmarking/ tag tool, and why me and Feedburner just don’t get along. Hope to hear from you soon!