Migration Misery: Feedburner becomes Google

Google started this year with aggressively reviewing its product portfolio. A number of services were announced to be shut down recently. That’s fine, times are tough. And even if they were not – I still admire the decisiveness of any large product company to occasionally merge similar things and kill the ones that haven’t gained traction. I’ve had to make a few of those decisions myself and they are never easy.

So when logging in to FeedBurner a week ago they proposed they merge my feeds into my Google account, it really wasn’t a surprise. After all FeedBurner had been already acquired by Google last June and something had to happen some day.

These sort of transitions are bound to introduce glitches, too. So I didn’t feel like bitching at once, but give it some time. Now, a week after the transition this is becoming a textbook example of how not to merge products if you are not ready.

This is what I as a long time user am struggling with still today, 7 days after:

  • I used to be a paid customer for premium stats services of FeedBurner. It seems for the part they now killed because of the overlap with Google Analytics – makes sense. However, nowhere in the process have I learned what happened to my credit relationship, will I continue to be charged or not. Not even a note in the lines of “thanks for your business, now we’re free”, if that is the case.
  • The RSS subscribers count for this blog, for example, fell from 271 to 128. It was supposed to “get adjusted in a week”, which it has not. And guess what seems to be the issue – the RSS reader type that seems to have vanished from the stats is… Google Reader
  • I have been splicing public bookmarks into my feed via del.icio.us. This does not work any more. When I go to feedburner.google.com settings, the configuration data is still there, but re-saving it displays an error message of “username stent doesn’t exist on del.icio.us”. Which is not true, of course.
  • Splicing photos from my Flickr feed does not work either, automatically that is. I get a one time effect of images import by going to settings and re-saving the Flickr configuration. But the next time I upload something to Flickr, no automatic feedburner splicing occurs.
  • I often peek at blog stats from my iPhone. iPhone does not support Flash. Thus FeedBurner used to be a well-suited alternative to full Google Analytics to understand how things are trending, which referrals actively generate traffic, etc. Now, not only is GA Flash-centric enough that you can’t even select a report date without it (and I’m yet to see a decent iPhone app for this), they have moved the new FeedBurner to partial Flash too…
  • Even if it was a geeky and technical service, I’ve always loved FeedBurner’s philosophy, brand and language they talk to me in. So I sort of feel I owe them some and have spent a few evening hours trying to get the above feedback back to them. No such luck, virtually responseless Google Feedburner help group is all there is.

Apologies to all subscribers who are missing content or – I really don’t know – are seeing any other technical difficulties with this feed.