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A FeedBurner Alternative: Blitz Your RSS!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Update: FeedBurner Alternative Migration Tools

Bloggers looking at FeedBlitz as a FeedBurner alternative have new tools to help simplify FeedBurner migration that automate many of the tasks involved in leaving FeedBurner. The simple step by step guides to using these tools are:

Update: FeedBurner Alternative Comparisons

A feature comparison matrix is available at http://kb.feedblitz.com/article/AA-00444/22/FeedBurner-Comparisons/FeedBlitz-and-FeedBurner-An-Overview.html

Introducing a New FeedBurner Alterantive

FeedBlitz today has opened up a brand new RSS management service to the public. Previously in private beta, the service is designed for publishers, marketers and bloggers who need:
  • Greater choice in the RSS management service market;
  • Better branding in their RSS feeds;
  • A one-stop social media marketing solution encompassing RSS, IM, Twitter, email marketing and mobile-friendly content;
  • Smarter SEO;
  • A new take on metrics;
  • Control over content and viral marketing.
The service is available for free to anyone on FeedBlitz's Newsletter Plus tiered email marketing upgrade. There's a full RSS service FAQ available. I'm very excited about this new offering. The RSS management market has been stagnant for years, and we intend to change that, starting now. You'll see that the FeedBlitz RSS feed service will rapidly evolve over the coming weeks as we learn more about its real-world behavior, what we inspire you (with luck!) to ask for, and what we could do better at. There are more features we have in the queue to add, and we've had some great suggestions already from the private beta that we'll be implementing. The RSS service is also a business, with a corresponding business model. FeedBlitz RSS management services are available to anyone with a Newsletter Plus upgrade, starting at $1.49 per month. If you don't use FeedBlitz for emailing, that's fine - you can run as many RSS feeds as you like through us for that $1.49. You are certainly NOT required to use our email services as well as our RSS platform, but you are required to contribute this low monthly fee at our minimum level. If you do use our Newsletter Plus email service plan, then the RSS feed service is available to you, right now, at no extra charge. Your fee now includes RSS management as part of the bundle. Meanwhile, if you're reading this using an aggregator via FeedBurner or via a regular FeedBlitz subscription, as of Wednesday evening you've actually been following the FeedBlitz version of the feed already, just routed to you via FeedBurner. Still, when you get the chance, though, please update your subscription to http://feeds.feedblitz.com/feedblitz from http://feeds.feedburner.com/feedlbitz (or http://feeds2.feedburner.com/feedblitz or even, yikes, http://feedproxy.google.com/feedblitz). You can also take a look at our new RSS service right now, by:
There's a lot happening in this service that I'll be blogging about in the coming days. Meanwhile, however, the best way to see what we're up to is to get your feet wet. So jump in! The water's lovely. And, yes, this is what I was alluding to earlier in the week, and yes, we're taking on Google. Again. We may be a little crazy, but this is definitely going to be fun…

P.S. Please use the standard contact methods and not comments for RSS support (or for any FeedBlitz service, in fact). Thanks! But feel free to send me a tweet (@phollows) if you've any ideas, bouquets, brickbats or bugs to report...

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Blogger Phil Hollows said...

... and it turns out to be so good at updating that it pulled a link from the test database while I was deploying it, so the inital automated tweet was wrong. Oy!

9:46 PM, March 25, 2009  
Blogger Davis Freeberg said...

I've considered using using Feedburner in the past, but am concerned about what happens to my RSS subs if I decide later on that it's not the right service for me. How would one go about transferring their readers to a different RSS feed, if they tried out this new product and decide that it's not the right fit later on?

2:31 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Davis:

Great question and I'll blog about it soon. The best way if you have the skills and the rights is to use either a CNAME or a redirect, so that visitors access your feed on your site, e.g. a redirect makes your subscribers follow www.example.com/feed even though it is actually coming from a Blitzed RSS such as feeds.feedblitz.com/myfeed CNAME is a similar DNS setting that enables you to serve feeds.example.com/myfeed from feeds.feedblitz.com/myfeed

Either way, if ever you change services you simply host the feed yourself or change the CNAME / redirect to the other service; no subscribers are lost in the process.

Blitzed RSS feeds support CNAMEs - it's a setting available at RSS - Settings, and you can always redirect (it's a setting you have to set up on your site) if you have the knowhow. Search for "feedburner redirect [your blogging platform]" and replace feeds.feedburner.com with feeds.feedblitz.com and you're pretty much there.

Finally, if you use us without using any of these options and decide to leave we'll gracefully redirect visitors for a while and then tell them after that for another 15 days that they need to update their readers. There's plenty of time and help to get them over to wherever you need to be (it's the same process as used when a payment fails - see the faqs at http://www.feedblitz.com/rssfaq.asp)

Before you commit to any service I would strongly recommend you kick the tires before moving over; you can set up a feed and just test it yourself before making any switch. We have a 30-day eval which should be plenty of time to decide to go ahead or not (there aren't *that* many settings :-) ).

FYI We have had some teething pains this morning after our first night of deployment but to the best of my knowledge they're now fixed. Follow me on Twitter @phollows for fast updates.

8:59 AM, March 26, 2009  
Blogger Ari Herzog said...

Color me silly, but why should I fork over cash for a RSS service when Feedburner, despite its clunkiness, offers the service for free?

3:26 PM, March 29, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

1) Because of the continued reliability problems post-Google acquisition;
2) Lack of reliable support;
3) You have to manage multiple services and widgets to get your FeedBurner feed to do what you can do easily in FeedBlitz.

If you're happy with FeedBurner there's no need to check out alternatives. If not, a start price of $1.49 / month seems like a great deal for a supported offering that does more and in the last 4 days has already innovated more than FeedBurner has in the last two years.

7:48 AM, March 30, 2009  
Blogger annoir said...

Let me say an amen to Item 1 and 2 of your last posting.

This is exactly why I am transferring our agency's email subscription to Feedblitz and was just wishing I could manage our RSS feeds here too.

Our service has been crappy since Google took over Feedburner. $10 bucks a month is not a lot to pay and I feel we are getting better service. You know that old saying, "You get what you pay for."

6:09 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger Phil Hollows said...

Hi Annoir:

Thank you! Of cours you can manage your RSS feeds here too ... that's what this post is all about. click the RSS tab at www.feedblitz.com to get started.


7:20 PM, March 31, 2009  
Blogger Michael Shepherd said...

Hey I just want to apologize, I went off in the forum about your product. I recently realized its still a baby and its in the process of evolving. That changes my perspective now that I see its in development as opposed to not being maintenanced. A STRONG suggestion. Recreate the interface. Its absolutely terrible. Your services are amazing but it takes me a lot of eyeball time to figure out how to do what I'm trying to do. Consider menus that show the full path of where you are even if you are 3 or 4 levels deep. It took me a while to realize that when I was hitting sub level links that I was being redirected to another section all together as opposed to a deeper level in the same category. This made IT VERY DIFFICULT for me to understand how you were organizing your site. The Color Scheme might need to be tweaked too (not the colors - just the way you are using them). When I click on something the path links should be 'very' noticeable so that I understand where I am in the platform. These are my suggestions. Keep up the great work. Mike

12:09 PM, August 18, 2009  

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