Has Feedburner Burnt Out?

If you’ve logged into Feedburner recently you will see a notice asking you to move your account to Google. Ultimately you have no choice as they want all accounts transferred to Google by 28 February, 2009.

Unfortunately this has been an incredibly uncomfortable process for most users in the last week because the move has resulted in a significant drop of subscriber numbers.  For example, subscriber numbers on The Edublogger dropped 50 % and 70 % on my personal blogLarry Ferralzzo experienced similar and asked if I could write a post to explain what’s happening.

You will see on the Feedburner Known Issues and Workarounds for 23 January:

Publishers who have recently moved to Google Accounts may have noticed a significant drop in reported subscriber stats for all feeds. We are actively investigating this issue.  We have identified a likely cause and will hopefully have more information on a resolution shortly. Hang in there, folks.

They were late in reporting this issue as I noticed the problem on 18 January and saw numerous posts in their help forum discussing the issue.

Your subscriber number hasn’t actually dropped, it is just that Feedburner hasn’t been accurately recording your number of readers.  Ironically the problem relates to Google Fetchfeed subscribers not being included in reporting of your subscriber numbers.   How much your subscriber number dropped depends on how many of your subscribers use Google Reader.

Good news is your subscribers didn’t stop receiving your feed from Feedburner.  Better still perhaps Googles fixed the problem as my subscriber numbers returned to normal today.  However a few people are reporting “There was a problem retrieving the feed: Error getting URL: 502 – Bad Gateway” when they’ve tried to move their account.

At present, if you want to monitor how many people subscribe to your blog, Feedburner is still the best option.  Here’s how to:

  1. Adding a RSS Feed From Feedburner To Your Blog
  2. How To Add an Email Subscription to Your Blog
  3. Redirect Your Blog Feed To Feedburner

But as I’ve highlighted before make sure you ALWAYS subscribe to your own posts, ideally in both Google Reader and Bloglines, and by email, so you can spot immediately ANY issues fetching your feed.

If you are enjoying reading this blog, please consider feed-icon32x32 Finding and Adding Creative Commons Images To Your Blog PostsSubscribing For Free!

9 thoughts on “Has Feedburner Burnt Out?

  1. Hmm, first I’ve heard of this. Do we need to change the URLs of the feeds if we run them through Feedburner? Will James modify the Feedburner system here if needbe?

    1. Hi Dr Mike – we need to do nothing except go to our Feedburner account and click on transfer now. It does all the rest for us (except hold our breath just in case).

    1. Subscribing is really important Glenda because this is how most readers view your posts.

      I also recommend checking your posts regularly in both FireFox and Internet Explorer because they can display in different web browsers. Also if you embed code like YouTube wrongly your post can look fine in FireFox but not work in Internet Explorer. Readers with some themes can also have trouble commenting in some web browsers.

    1. When you log into your Feedburner account Marie it has a link at the top of your feeds that explains that you need to transfer them to Google and asks if you want to move them. All you need to do is click on the link and follow the Google Prompts.

  2. Feedburner numbers have been on the nose way before Google purchased them.

    I have had the numbers regularly drop to zero or 10-20% of the normal baseline. Or the opposite skyrocket to 2000% (yes that’s right) of the norm. So maybe Google taking them solidly into the fold will bring some stability overall.

    We just have to wait and be patient. I will say the sign over was painless for me.

    1. @ Gary Hopefully Google taking it over will make it more stable but I’m not totally convinced. I’ve also had times when my numbers have dropped to 0 % and increased but not to that extent.

      Shame sign over hasn’t been painless for everyone but it is probably not made easy with the wide range of platforms.

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