The Feedburner to Google Domain Transition Foul Up

archived, personal comments edit

UPDATE: There’s a workaround mentioned in the Google Groups. It’s finally resolved.

Ever since I first started using FeedBurner, I was very happy with the service. It was exactly the type of service I like, fire and forget and it just worked. My bandwidth usage went down and I gained access to a lot of interesting stats about my feed.

When I was first considering it, others warned me about losing control over my RSS feed. That led me to pay for the MyBrand PRO feature which enabled me to burn my feed using my own domain name at http://feeds.haacked.com/haacked by simply creating a CNAME from feeds.haacked.com to feeds.feedburner.com.

The idea was that if I ever wanted to reclaim my feed because something happened to FeedBurner or because I simply wanted to change, I could simply remove the CNAME and serve up my feed itself.

That was the idea at least.

This week, I learned the fatal flaw in that plan. When Google bought FeedBurner, nothing really changed immediately, so I was completely fine with it. But recently, they decided to change the domain over to a google domain. I had assumed they would do a CNAME to their own domain for MyBrand users. Instead, I saw that they were redirecting users to their own domain, thus taking control away from me over my own feed and completely nullifying the whole point of the MyBrand service.

That’s right. People who were subscribed via my feeds.haacked.com domain were being redirected to a google domain.

Ok, perhaps I’m somewhat at fault for ignoring the email on November 25 announcing the transition, but I’m a busy guy and that didn’t leave me much time to plan the transition.

And even if I had, I would have still been screwed. I followed the instructions provided and set up a CNAME from feeds.haacked.com to haackedgmail.feedproxy.ghs.google.com and watched the next day as my subscriber count dropped from 11,000 to 827. I’ve since changed the CNAME back to the feedburner.com domain (I tried several variations of the CNAME beforehand) and am resigned to let the redirect happen for now.

In the meanwhile, I’ve set up a CNAME from feeds3.haacked.com to the one they gave me and it still doesn’t work. At the time I write this, http://feeds3.haacked.com/haacked gives a 404 error.

I’m very disappointed in the haphazard manner they’ve made this transition, but I’m willing to give a second chance if they’d only fix the damn MyBrand service.

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