Outsource you weblog’s feed, learn about your audience, improve your weblog.
I’m giving FeedBurner another try. I first tried FeedBurner in the fall of 2005 and dropped it in January 2006 for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was having to wait for my feed to update after I posted to my weblog. I’m hoping that FeedBurner has fixed this problem, or that they now offer a non-free version that is worth the price (I signed up for a paid version). In any event, I have decided to outsource my weblog’s feed to FeedBurner with the goal of learning more about my audience and improving my weblog. In other words, I’ve decided that FeedBurner’s advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
My decision to give FeedBurner is part of my ongoing reexamination of my technology decisions. After all, one of the things that separates humans from monkeys is our ability for self-examination. Turning 40 probably also had something to do with all of this. As I mentioned to Rick the other day, it’s one thing to be curmudgeonly (which I am), it’s another thing to be anti-technology (which I am not).
My techie friends (from MIT and elsewhere) generally don’t read email with a GUI and generally prefer Linux over other operating systems. Or they hate Microsoft so much that they won’t even view a Windows Media (
.wmv video) file using any operating system. I’ve read email in Emacs too, but that was a long time ago and times have changed. I actually read HTML-based email now (thought I still send plain text). And while I don’t use MS Office (I prefer OpenOffice), I still use Windows and, when nothing else will work, Windows Media Player. (There is a Windows Media Player for Mac OS X, which is based on the FreeBSD OS. Good enough for me.) Personally, I think that we have more privacy concerns from using cell phones and GPS devices than from using Windows. So while many of my techie friends go out of their way to avoid popular technologies (for their own reasons), I’ve decided that I don’t want to go down that same path (for my own reasons). Both choices are valid.
I also added a comments feed and shipped that off to FeedBurner. And you don’t need to do anything to get either new feed. It should just work.