March 25, 2009

FeedBlitz Launches FeedBurner Alternative for RSS Automation

Since Google's acquisition of FeedBurner in mid-2007, the complaints have come hard and fast, as FeedBurner's integration saw frequent disconnects between the acquiring company and its new prize, slowness in updating feeds, and a complete lack of innovation, all amidst silence from Mountain View that had many wondering if the service would go the way of DodgeBall and other services into Google's black hole. At the end of 2008, I predicted an alternative would rise up to give bloggers an option to switch. Today, FeedBlitz, which has powered my e-mail distribution for nearly three years, has offered to do just that.

The new RSS management service, announced in a blog post, says it will offer publishers, marketers and bloggers improved branding, integrated search engine optimization, and some interesting additions, including social media marketing and metrics.

If you are already using the company's e-mail marketing services, the RSS addition is free. For all others, you can start using FeedBlitz to run your RSS feeds for as low as $1.49 a month.

Before moving my feed away from FeedBurner, which at times is tempting, I'll have to be sure existing subscribers wouldn't see any hiccups. FeedBlitz says they are eating their own dogfood, routing to the new self-hosted URL through FeedBurner itself. You can see how their "Blitzed" Feed looks here:

With this long-awaited alternative, it will be interesting to see if the many complaintants are willing to make a move. It's often been said that the most-popular feature of FeedBurner has been the little chiclets that show up to date subscription counts, so FeedBlitz wil have to match this capability. Given they've displayed my e-mailed RSS count since 2006, I think they will be up to the task.

So Google, you've got some competition in town - and FeedBlitz says it's not done, promising it will "rapidly evolve". That's something FeedBurner is definitely not doing.