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How Google’s acquisition of FeedBurner just made sermon syndication simpler

One of the huge upsides of RSS feeds are their ability to get your message out to a broader audience immediately. One of the huge downsides of feed syndication is that they are often consumed by aggregators, applications that often go undetected by most Javascript-based tracking applications. Fortunately, Google has once again come to the rescue – this time with its acquisition of FeedBurner, making the once pay-for-Pro feed tracking services free to you and me.

Content Visibility

If you’re using a blog to post your podcasts, sermons and/or Bible Studies, then it is very likely that the blogging application is also offering an RSS and/or ATOM feed to syndicate the urls, titles, times stamps and descriptions of your work.

If your audience is using a feed-reading aggregtor, then it is possible they’re not showing up on your statistics because your page tracking application is looking for browsers – possibly equipped with Javascript.

Consumption Invisibility

This aggregation situation creates a blind-spot that potentially hides what topics are hot versus not. In other words because you do not have complete visibility of your content consumption, you may be spending time and resources remedying what already works – while frustrating your users by not fixing what’s broke.

The trick then is to create content consumption visibility by either re-wire your own syndication feed and post URLs to detect and report such consumption – or just establish a FeedBurner account and let them deliver the goods …
… but that’s old news.

FeedBurner becomes FreeBurner

FreeBurner fo Everyone

What’s new is that three days ago, Google celebrated the one-month anniversary of their FeedBurner acquisition by opening up the once pay-for-Pro tracking services FeedBurner had to offer. Or the FeedBurner blog says in their post ‘FreeBurner for Everyone:’

“PRO is feed analytics taken to the next level. You will now have access to the number of people who have viewed or clicked individual content items in your feed and “Reach,” which estimates the daily number of subscribers who interacted with your feed content. You can turn this on by signing in to your account, navigating to the Analyze tab and heading to the FeedBurner Stats PRO section. Click the “Item Views” checkbox to activate these PRO features.”

Sweet! Though it does me if you’ve been like me, procrastinating in providing your RSS feeds via FeedBurner, now would be about time to wind-up a weekend project to change that.

Useful URLS

Here are some resources related to that effort – some I’ll be using this weekend to practice what I preach.

Here are some other interesting related articles I read while putting this post together:


  1. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have to look into FeedBurner. If you run your feeds through FeedBurner, do they somehow track those already subscribed through Bloglines or some other service? How does that work? Do you need to change your feed URL?

    BTW – Your images are still broken in your feed at Bloglines. :-P

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