Later today, we're changing the URLs for our Search Engine Watch Blog, podcast and other search feeds so that we can better track who is making use of our content and how.
If all goes well, you won't notice the switch or have to change any settings. The old feed addresses will magically still operate. But I'm sending this message out now on the off chance that we might goof up. After the transition within a few hours, I'll send out another post that the new URLs are live. If you see that post, then you're fine. If the feed suddenly seems to have gone quiet -- please send me a note, because something may not be working.
Specifically, what's happening is that we're moving our feed URLs to run through FeedBurner. I've looked from afar and with envy at the type of stats and services that FeedBurner offers to those who want to manage and track usage of their feeds.
Want to have a single feed compatible with RSS 2.0 and Atom? FeedBurner does it! Want to know who is clicking on your feed links and what newsreaders or aggregators they're using? FeedReader does it! Want to easily add iTunes information for your podcast? FeedBurner does it -- and does it well even for free, if you're happy with basic stats. Want more, then you can pay a small monthly amount for that.
My hesitancy in using FeedBurner until now stemmed only from the fact that you had to use the FeedBurner domain as your feed address. In other words, a FeedBurner feed URL might look like this:
Being the paranoid sort, I always want to have addresses using my own domain name. That's helpful if you decide to change tracking down the line, need to rename and redirect things and basically to preserve branding. In short, I like to be the master of my own domain :)
The great news is that FeedBurner recently added a way for site owners to have their own domains in their feed URLs. So I'm hesitant no longer and diving in with both feet! In my follow-up post, I'll list all of our new URLs, and you'll be able to see how our own domain name is implemented in them.