Subscribe to the RSS feed and follow me on Twitter

Feedburner Concerns

Leo Laporte is upset Feedburner is talking about subscriber numbers.

3 Responses to “Feedburner Concerns”

  1. Gravatar Icon 1 Rick Klau Aug 28th, 2005 at 11:59 am

    Michael –

    We actually won’t divulge any private info, ever. In this case, Leo had enabled a feature on our site called the awareness API (he posted a follow-up here), which makes his stats public so sites like Podfeed and PodNova can rank podcasts based on their subscriber numbers. The API is off by default, and must be turned on by a publisher should they want to be included in such metrics.

    I feel terrible at how this played out, certainly feel bad that Leo felt like we’d violated a confidence. But in this case, the info was public and we were simply responding to a reporter’s question abut information that was available elsewhere.

    Hope this helps clarify what happened. We posted to our blog about the API and our approach to sharing info so that we’re as clear as possible.



    Rick Klau
    VP, Business Development
    FeedBurner –
    [email protected]
    AIM/Y!/Skype: RickKlau
    office: 312.756.0022
    cell: 630.362.8911

  2. Gravatar Icon 2 Michael Aug 29th, 2005 at 8:04 am

    I appreciate Rick’s quick response to this post. I think it speaks volumes about the company. Bravo FeedBurner. As I said in my original post, I have no doubt that the terms of service allowed for the public desemination of the subscriber numbers. Leo has now posted a follow-up It’s Not Their Fault.

    For me it is has always been more an issue of who “controls” my feed and its data. I know, I know “control” is technically the wrong word – lets say has “access to”. A lot of people like FeedBurner and its service, I however choose to “role my own”.

  3. Gravatar Icon 3 Doug Dobbins Aug 29th, 2005 at 11:49 am


    I totaly support the “role my own” stance but my blog I suggested that podcasting needs a service like the Audit Bureau of Circulations to have an indepentent auditor of the listener base. I don’t know if that is the business that Feedburner wants to be in, but they have been a place that people have been looking to for that.

    There are many techincal challenges in getting an auditing system like Audit Bureau of Circulations. Bit Torrent, iTunes, what Microsoft may do with media player in the future all may cloud what the real downloads are for a podcast. Plus, people’s right to privacy may never allow us to know the real numbers when it comes to how many people listen to a podcast, so “circulation” may be as good as it gets.

    I also agree with Feedburner’s Dick Costolo’s point he made on my blog that “that all stats tracking is a “estimates” business”.

    I also encourage Feedburner to put a definitions of terms on their website which should be easy to find for anyone who goes there. My suggestion is a link off the FeedBurner – About Feed Syndication

    But for podcasting to mature indepentent stats tracking is going to be a must.


    PS Micheal, please keep the great podcast coming.

Comments are currently closed.