Feedburner? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Two months ago, when this blog was just a couple of weeks old, I made a post confessing to underestimating the power of a WordPress plug-in to provide email notifications. In this one, I’m confessing to overestimating the ability of Feedburner to do it. Technically, I suppose I didn’t actually overestimate its abilities but I think I overestimated its dependability and relevance. At the time of that first confession, I switched to the plug-in and stopped promoting Feedburner. I didn’t worry about any subscriptions already in place and assumed they would just keep going. That assumption was reinforced by the fact that my own test subscription continued to work. I was in “set it and forget it” mode regarding Feedburner.

Then, just a few days ago, I was doing some general website maintenance and decided to look in on my Feedburner account. It must still be there — at least one subscription is working — but I can’t login to it. Google bought Feedburner back in 2007 so you would think that all the “moving” associated with the change in owners had occurred long before I came along in 2011. Guess not. Feedburner.com is redirected to a Google address where I am invited to “Claim your feeds now” and I’ve tried. One needs to submit one’s Feedburner username and password to do that and I’m told that those I’m submitting are “incorrect”. My note keeping isn’t the best and my memory’s worse so I suppose that’s possible. But when I enter an email address to recover my forgotten password, I’m told it is “not found”. I’m pretty sure I know my own email address so I’m suddenly not so ready to believe that all of the problem is all on my side of the screen.

Google offers some FAQ style “help” for Feedburner but there is no contact information for support. Of course, actually reaching support for anything Google related is a challenge but Google does provide forums where we can “talk among ourselves”. They are divided by product or service and there are more than forty of them. There is one for “Web Search”, and for “Toolbar”, “Picasa”, “Google Earth”, and so on. Tellingly, there is none for Feedburner. Using that Google “Web Search” thing to dig around the internet turned up several indications that Google’s acquisition of Feedburner may not have been such a good thing for Feedburner users.

I’m sorry. Had I initially understood that I could provide email notification of posts directly, I’d never have embraced Feedburner. Now I can’t even login to let go. Plus I have no faith that any Feedburner subscription other than my own is working. At least one certainly is not.

I recalled that long time trip report reader (and sometimes much appreciated proofreader) Laurel Kane had subscribed following my first blog post. At that time I could still login to Feedburner so I’m pretty sure things started off OK. I dropped Laurel a note and learned that she hadn’t seen email from my blog for a long time. I know that there were only four or five subscribers back when I could see my Feedburner account and I doubt that any have been added since I dropped the link from the blog page. If, by some strange means, any of those are still working, I strongly suggest unsubscribing. I am officially announcing that The Blog At Denny G’s Road Trips and Feedburner are no longer pals.

Anyone desiring email notification of new blog posts, should enter their address in the field to the right of this blog’s home page and hit “Subscribe”. That’s regardless of whether you were an original Feedburner subscriber or not.

I’ve been kind of struggling with the relationship between this blog and the trip reports. Here is what I’m currently thinking. The blog is not confined to road trips. I intend to post to the blog at least once a week on Sunday. I want to have a blog post associated with each trip or oddment to provide a place to comment on that trip or oddment. To date, when I’ve been on the road on a Sunday, I’ve posted something trip related as a sort of placeholder. This has resulted in multiple blog posts for a trip and some are rather silly. From now on, each Sunday post will be a “real” one and each trip or oddment will get a single post. If something occurs during the week that I think interesting and I have time to write it up, that will be the Sunday post. If not, I’ll use a canned article like those in the “My Gear” series. When a trip starts on a Sunday, there just might be two posts for that day. I’ve always said that once a week was the lower not upper limit.

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