It’s the end of the (Feedburner) world as we know it

(Astroblogging) TD Ameritrade’s commercial on the supposed Maya end time prediction has nothing on the impact of Google’s announcement that they shut down the Feedburner API on October 20, 2012.

Nor does Google’s announcement mean the end of Feedburner services . . .yet.

But the writing is on the wall.

Feedburner was and still is a lovely free service to bloggers that kept track of your posts, distributes them in the individual feed readers of your subscribers and/or sends the posts to the inboxes of your readers. Some services like Invesp use Feedburner stats in their evaluation of your website.

To entice you to use this service, Feedburner developed an impressive array of services, from keeping track of the number of subscribers who looked at your post to giving you little widgets to display your numbers.

And while Google, the owner of Feedburner since 2009, hasn’t spoken publicly about its strategy for Feedburner, why it is phasing out Adsense for Feedburner or ending the API access to programmers, one can only assume that Feedburner is not making enough money to keep its corporate masters happy.

Fortunately for you, while its the end of the Feedburner world as we know it, there are relatively painless ways to keep the same flow of information to your subscribers, especially if you are a WordPress user.

As Leo Dimilo said in his post

if you are using WordPress, you really don’t need a service. WordPress automatically generates feeds for everything from comments to pages to posts . . .

To make use of WordPress’s built in capabilities you need only look at one of my favorite plug-ins, Jetpack. This perennially useful collection of services for WordPress has a subscription widget in its arsenal. All you need to do is to upload the Jetpack plug-in, and drag it to an appropriate widget space. You can change the text messages of this widget, but unfortunately it is a little plain with no way (except through the php sections of your WordPress template) to insert an image. If you don’t want to fiddle with php then you can put a html widget and place it above the Jetpack widget. Upload a graphic to an image server like Photobucket or Flickr. Then you take the image code and plop it into html widget. If you look to the right hand side of the blog you will see I’ve done just that.

For other people who self host without WordPress, you’ll have to do a little more work, like subscribe and pay for a mail service. Plenty of blogs made lists about these services. You can check out the blog twentytwenty for some suggestions.

Start looking around and making your plans, since Google is not known for giving tons of advance time before it pulls the plug. As for me, it may be the end of the Feedburner world as we know it, but I feel fine.

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Beth Turnage authors Astrology Explored as well as being publisher of Astrology Media Press. Beth is available for private consultations. You can contact Beth at starrynightastro@aol.com.
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