FailSense and Putting out the FeedBurner Flame


I thought Google would buy RSS wundercompany Feedburner. I made the prediction on a couple of podcasts with Jeff Molander and his gang and was subsequently called silly or something to that effect.

However, Google did buy FeedBurner, and I thought we would see a revolution in both RSS technology (more mainstream adoption, etc) as well as AdSense and contextual advertising.

Turns out I was wrong about those two. Google continues to sit on FeedBurner without offering much in the way of innovation beyond shutting down the paid premium option and shutting down the popular (and well written) FeedBurner blog, instead sending folks to the AdSense blog.

So, instead of innovating RSS or contextual ad serving, it seems that Google is content with wrapping FeedBurner into an AdSense delivery system and not much else.


Especially when you get results like this (from my RSS reader on a post about ice cores):

google ad fail.jpg

Really does make me sad. I thought we were on the verge of something big on the syndicated web. Google keeps disappointing me as it seems to keep going for the chedda and not much else.

BTW, make sure to visit Chedda’s blog. It’s off the chain.


9 Replies to “FailSense and Putting out the FeedBurner Flame”

  1. sounds great, thx!good point on youtube. besides “monetization” improvements for the mothership, there haven't been any feature upgrades to speak of.


  2. google buying feedburner disappointed me from the first minute – i wrote a number of posts saying that the cheddar-type ads would be coming… and here they are 🙁


  3. yep, i remember your posts, especially the ones about the previous FeedBurner Monetization system compared to AdSense. good stuff. just so many missed chances and implications for real innovation of both RSS and ad delivery… guess even the google jumps for quick cash sometimes.


  4. oh wow, thanks! you just made my day :)show me one google acquisition that has been a success from the user point of view – or frankly any point of view.


  5. I was a big Writely fan, so I'm glad to see what they've done turning that platform into Google Docs. Other than that, I've been amazed at the acquisition stagnation with really promising apps (GrandCentral and Jaiku come to mind).


  6. yeap – those are two i was thinking of too – maybe i do a post later and reference yours – even youtube hasn't moved.


  7. I actually just read up yesterday on how the subscriber count is calculated (my husband asked…and it was easier to read the FAQ to him…) and was even more irritated that it's lookin' like a red-headed step child. At least they're not letting it get stomped on by competing services (like Jaiku, Picasa, Orkut, I'm sure the list goes on) and it still has it's uses, but meh… I use GrandCentral as my “work number” so I'd love to see cool new features, but really, my expectations are low and I'm just hoping they don't screw it up.I think Google buys other web services like you & Shawn buy random domains…


  8. Haha… Good analogy since I never do anything with the great domains I buy!


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