Feeding burnt: or why I learned to hate Google meddling in Feedburner

Google is incorporating the Feedburner service that it acquired a couple of years ago into the Google infrastructure. So they’ve been getting Feedburner users like this blog to move to a Google ID. On the surface this makes sense as they are the masters of cloud computing and service provision.

I had a good experience when Yahoo! did the same with Flickr, so went into this transition in good faith. Unfortunately Google didn’t have the good sense that Yahoo! did to leave well alone the functions and features and seem to have been tampering in a ‘boot stamping on the face of users’ kind of way.

So far my experience has been underwhelming to say the least, hell that’s being polite: it sucks and I don’t mean that in small way.

I used Feedburner to keep track of the traffic on my feeds, to provide me with a simple (Googly) web analytics dashboard and provide the ‘flare’ on each blog post that allows you to share the post via delicious, Facebook etc.

  • My feed traffic is down, these things happen and it should pick back up as Google gets its act back in order
  • I no longer have access to my web analytics, I presume that Google did this to force users like myself to use their own Analytics offering. Now both are free but I preferred the simplier one on Feedburner for my blog. I don’t need or want Google’s industrial strength version – if for no other reason than its user experience is destinctly un-Googly
  • The ‘flare’ which provides my sharing functions seems to be broken on new posts, severely affecting the ability of my readers to  socialise or share my blog posts

The saddest part of all this is that Google will blindly trundle on thinking that they have done the right thing and this kind of behaviour will be even more common place as it hits the rapidly approaching ceiling on its search business and moves from being a hip young growth business to a blu-chip value stock like Dow Chemical, IBM, Microsoft or GE. Is it a small sign of a larger ailment: has Google has become ‘middle-aged’ before its time?