I think I made up a word in ‘facelifted’ but sometimes you have to do things for the sake of alliteration. What has happened is that Google has taken its purchase of Feedburner from two years ago to another level with a new look and new features as well. The question is “Is it too little too late?”
Three and a half years ago, Google made what seemed to be a pretty big $100 million acquisition: FeedBurner. You remember that company, right? They’re the ones that dominated RSS management before all of that real time tech came along and rendered it obsolete for many people. Today, Google is putting the real time paddles to FeedBurner’s heart in an attempt to rivive it.
If you visit FeedBurner today, you’ll see a “Try out our NEW (beta) version!” message in the top menu. Clicking on this will take you to the new version. So what’s new? The entire look and feel has been revamped. The new Home screen is loaded up with overview stats and alerts for the sites you run. But the real key, of course, is in the Feeds area.
Here is a screenshot of the new experimental interface that has some genetic connections to Google Analytics. Notice the family resemblance.
Good news! Today, we will be rolling out a new, experimental interface for Google FeedBurner. The real story is what’s new under the hood, however: the new interface provides real time stats for clicks, views, and podcast downloads, which means you can start seeing what content is drawing traffic from feed readers, Twitter, and other syndicated sources as it happens.
So while many of the cool kids have been talking about the death of RSS we have a voice here that feels differently. Now that Google appears to be showing interest in breathing some new life into the product maybe there will be less planning for the funeral of RSS and more planning for a revival.
What’s your take on RSS feeds? Do you use them? How do you use them? Is the inclusion of real time data helping you to warm up to it again?