Feeds: Managed or Not ?

Tony Gentile over at buzzhit asked a few questions re Do you read or run a managed feed?. I thought I might as well share these answers through a post. Here we go:

My questions to readers of managed Feeds are:

A) Does the fact that a Feed is being managed effect your willingness to subscribe to it?
Not really, except if being managed leads to the feed to be easy to subscribe to. If I am interested in a blog, I will try to find a way to add it to my rssreader (NewsGator). My OPML file will then make its way into Bloglines so that I can read my feeds on the road, or on my phone.

B) Does the fact that a Feed is managed impact your reading experience? If so, how?
Splicing of del.icio.us or flickr pictures in a blog feed can be annoying, depending on the relative number of posts. I would always suggest to offer a main feed and a spliced feed to provide readers with the choice of which to subscribe to.

C) If the Feed Management Service were to go out of business, or if the Feed Owner decided to abandon the service, would you update your aggregator to reflect the new URL?
Provided that the blog author has a mean to let me/us know, and provided that I am still commited to that blog, absolutely.

And, for Feed Owners:
1) Which FMS service(s) (e.g., measurement, free bandwidth, advertising, etc) motivated you to sign-up?

Essentially audience measurement, and which posts are more interesting than others (since I publish full posts through RSS, interest is measured by click-throughs on an article to check/leave comments).

2) What FMS services have you added on over time?
I started with sitemeter a while back, because of the limitations of TypePad’s statistics. Then added to StatCounter, because of its better granularity.

3) How long has your Feed been managed?
I started using FeedBurner about a month ago, but I have just added it as the main feed – leaving the default RSS and Atom feeds managed by TypePad. I just have not yet come around to risking losing some readers by turning these feeds off.

4&5) What would cause you to abandon the managed Feed approach? What would cause you to switch to a different FMS provider?
I don’t think I would stop using a managed feed, I might decide to move to another manager if that made sense feature-wise.

6) What services do you wish your FMS offered?
FeedBurner is satisfactory for now, but I would bundle functionality of a StatCounter and a MyBlogLog to have a complete offering regarding traffic measurement, keywords searched, outlinks, etc.

7) What difference has having your Feed managed made to you, from either (or both) an authoring or monetizing perspective?
Not much, besides giving me a better sense of the size of my feed readership, and which posts seem to be of interest. I used to use BlogLines subcription as a proxy, but it is only a proxy.

8) Anything else you’d care to share!

SixApart should offer all these features in the standard platform. As I was discussing with Bill Burnham this afternoon when met to catch up, FeedBurner is in a great position to greatly leverage this distribution of feeds on the basis of a limited infrastructure.


  • http://globelogger.com/moonwatcher/ Charlie Wood

    It may not be terribly obvious from the web site, but NewsGator offers web-based on mobile aggregation that can be automatically synced with your desktop NewsGator subscriptions and read/unread information. It costs something like $2 a month, but it works really well.

  • http://www.buzzhit.com Tony Gentile

    You sir, are both an officer AND a gentlemen. Thank you for the post and the comments.
    My feedback; agreed w.r.t. TypePad. I imagine it’ll happen, just a prioritization/resource question.
    W.R.T. FeedBurner (and their competitors)… Perhaps. The position seems pretty vulnerable to me. (That’s not meant as a knock, just my perspective based on the analysis I’m doing… and indirectly verified by your TypePad comment.)
    Next coffee/beer is on me.