Are Your FeedBurner Feeds Discovered?

If you’re using FeedBurner to track your feeds, are you sure that’s how readers are subscribing? Look again. Even Seth Godin may have some tweaks to make.

Before writing on FeedDemon 2.0, I decided to delete all feeds and start from scratch (I’ll explain why when I post about FeedDemon).  I noticed an interesting trend that you may want to check before IE 7.0 fully launches. An auto-discovery doesn’t pick up FeedBurner feeds unless you make some simple changes.

As you probably know, Microsoft IE 7.0 (also in beta)  is able to auto-discover feeds. Firefox, Safari and most news aggregators already do this. But which of your feeds are they detecting?

David Lorenzo at Career Intensity found conflicting reports recently when looking his Bloglines subscribers. Bloglines was detecting three feeds – none of them FeedBurner. I had similar challenges with Copywriting Watch until I read a post by Rachel Cunliffe.

Though Rachel specializes in WordPress, it directed me to the FeedBurner Forums for some help with TypePad. The solution is pretty easy (and found below). Later this week, I may brave the instructions on how to convert older subscriptions over to the FeedBurner feed seamlessly.

Some popular blogs may want to look at this. For instance, Steve Rubel has a single feed button on his blog, by FeedBurner. However, the auto-discovery doesn’t see the FeedBurner feed, only the default Atom and RSS feeds. If Steve is tracking numbers with FeedBurner, it’s not accurate.

If Steve wants all feed discoveries to see his FeedBurner feed, a simple adjustment to this code in his "head" section will do the trick.

Change this:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom" href=http://www.micropersuasion.com/atom.xml" />

to this:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom" href="http://feeds.feedburner.com/MicroPersuasion" />

Guy Kawasaki, Lisa Haneberg, Michelle Miller, Neville Hobson, and Peter Decker each have the same challenge.

Repeat the steps with each type of feed.

For me, with so many tools using feed discovery, I’d like to keep an accurate count of subscribers. This fix allows for that.

I’m not a big code guy, I don’t understand OPML (which may be where it’s all headed) – so if I’m wrong, call me on it. Maybe we should Ask Dave Taylor. Is this even necessary?

Technorati Tags: , FeedDemon, , , IE 7.0, OPML

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