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Yet Another FeedBurner Subscriber Count Glitch



It’s always a sad day for me when one of the first things I see on the Internet is that my personal blog subscriber count has taken a major hit—and today my numbers were down more than 50% off yesterday. I checked around, and while there aren’t too many blogs that I keep tabs on their subscriber numbers, all of the ones that I have a clue about seem to have taken a hit, too. (So I got to feel a little better ;) .)

Luckily, we know that this isn’t the first time that FeedBurner has had this problem. A quick check of yesterday’s and today’s subscriber information reveals that this glitch is the same as the last couple times around in November of last year. The cause: Google Feedfetcher numbers suddenly disappearing. FeedBurner appears to be a bit of an enabler in their explanation last year:

Specific subscriber stats from Google Feedfetcher were offline because this service was apparently out late with friends on Friday night, and well, it completely slept through Saturday. It appears to have rallied, however, and amid firm declarations of “I’m never doing that again”, Feedfetcher has started diligently reporting subscriber numbers to us, early this morning Pacific Time.

Uh . . . yeah. Well, whatever the problem was then, the glitch recurred a few days later, and took a bit longer to correct for some feeds than others. But if the problem is the same this time, things should return to normal in the next day or two. And Feedfetcher should either grow up or get treatment. Reader isn’t in Labs anymore, y’know.

I’m still pretty surprised that of all the services that could fail and throw off a subscriber count, it always seems to be the one service that you’d expect to be really well integrated into FeedBurner.

The good news: FeedBurner lets you see all time stats again, which was apparently disabled for a few days there. The bad news: these dips will stay in your all time stats report:
dips in subscriber count due to google feedfetcher outage

And the best news of all: no, you didn’t offend massive numbers of your readers yesterday; they should be “back” tomorrow. And don’t worry, your readers using Google Reader will still see your posts.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    This was a public service announcement from the kind folks at Marketing Pilgrim. ;-)

  • Jordan McCollum

    This is my attempt to make myself feel better ;)

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  • http://www.persistenceunlimited.com Brad Isaac

    I noticed this today on my blog too – and do remember it happening in the past. Hopefully it will be back up and working tomorrow.

  • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

    I saw the problem this morning but didn’t see anything about it until I read your post. Thanks!

  • http://www.batteryfast.com.au lory au

    I find it too.
    Thanks your clueing on it.

  • http://bushidoblog.com.ar Zen

    So that’s why no one reads my blog! :P

  • http://www.thevanblog.com Steven Bradley

    I noticed the drop first thing yesterday morning. After the momentary panic that half my readers had suddenly abandoned me I figured it was another glitch.

    What’s surprising is the that the problem seems to be related to FeedBurner not being able to get the data from Google Reader. Shouldn’t two Google properties be able to play together nicely?

  • http://www.hotproductsplus.com Mike Montague

    Nice job on this one jordan.

  • http://www.Memberzilla.com Jake Riley

    I noticed the drop as well, wasn’t sure what was going on.. thanks for the heads up.