The Feedburner to Google Domain Transition Foul Up

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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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13 responses

  1. Avatar for Brian
    Brian December 10th, 2008

    Sorry to hear this happened to you. Subscriber count drop from 11,000 to 827 really sucks...
    Hopefully they will fix MyBrand service soon. It defeats the whole purpose of the service if they redirect it to their domain... No idea why they did it this way.

  2. Avatar for Joe Stagner
    Joe Stagner December 11th, 2008

    Yep - I have the same 404 - decided to stick with my own custom feed.

  3. Avatar for Michael Knopf
    Michael Knopf December 11th, 2008

    Wow, awhile back I decided to take on the challenge of writing my own blogging platform from scratch in asp.net, it has taken a lot of work to complete all the features that the standard blogging platforms offer including RSS feeds. While I took on this challenge just for the sake of having one and knowing I would learn a lot in the process I have spoken with many individuals whom have discovered issues with the platforms they are on but are married to it for one reason of another, your experience with Feedburner is the same kind of thing. I'm glad I have my own system so I can have complete and full control over this kind of stuff.

  4. Avatar for Jeff Handley
    Jeff Handley December 11th, 2008

    You have me scared... I use the same feature of feedburner. I didn't get any emails about the transition to google domains though... and my feed still works from http://feeds.jeffhandley.com/jeffhandley. I wonder if I'm on a different wave of transitions and should expect troubles soon.
    What exactly does the redirect result in? Can people still subscribe via http://feeds.haacked.com/haacked? That's how I'm subscribed and your entries are showing up find for me.

  5. Avatar for Magnus Mårtensson
    Magnus Mårtensson December 11th, 2008

    Ahh man this was a nightmare for me too! Sorry! After many a frustration my feed (http://feeds.noop.se/techienotepad) now works as intended I think. I fiddled with my settings for days back and forth (and CNAME pointers do not change immediately as you know) before I got it right. I think there is some latency in their transitions from one service name to another.
    Yet mine is working now. Good luck with yours.

  6. Avatar for Klaus
    Klaus December 11th, 2008

    I am subscribed by using http://haacked.com/rss.aspx
    Never changed to use your feed by using http://feeds.haacked.com/haacked, which by the way seems to work fine.

  7. Avatar for Kelly
    Kelly December 11th, 2008

    The cruel irony of it is that only 827 out of 11,000 will hear you scream...
    In other irony, http://feeds.haacked.com/haacked is working fine in Google Reader.

  8. Avatar for Scott Watermasysk
    Scott Watermasysk December 11th, 2008

    Google is slowly killing Feedburner.
    I recently had a drop in subscribers as well after the transition. It wasn't to your extent and the instructions in the email worked for me. However, you would think Google would have the resources and desire to improve this.
    -Scott

  9. Avatar for Merill Fernando
    Merill Fernando December 11th, 2008

    This post blogging.nitecruzr.net/.../...r-custom-domain.html and the other related posts at 'The Real Blogger Status' should help you out.

  10. Avatar for Dimitri
    Dimitri December 11th, 2008

    I am sure Google knows this issue and there could be some googlers surfing through haacked.com and this post. What can they say about this... Googlers plese reply here we all wanna know! thanks

  11. Avatar for opello
    opello December 11th, 2008

    Looks like you can fix this:
    eddieringle.com/.../from-feedburner-to-google-m...
    (The linked post says to CNAME to feedproxy.google.com; which is even what shows up when you let the redirect happen.)

  12. Avatar for Josh Berke
    Josh Berke December 11th, 2008

    Check out this from their known issue page:
    groups.google.com/.../known-issues-workarounds
    4-DEC 2008: Have you recently moved your feeds to a Google account? Seeing a "404" error when trying to view your feeds, and you use our MyBrand service? Try the following workaround to fix the problem:
    Sign in to feedburner.google.com.
    Visit My Account > MyBrand.
    Click the remove link next to your current MyBrand domain(s), and then click Save.
    Re-enter the domain(s) you removed in the previous step and then click Save.
    Try to view the feed(s) that were showing 404 errors before. They should now display your content.

  13. Avatar for Bertrand Le Roy
    Bertrand Le Roy December 15th, 2008

    Yes, their handling of Feedburner has been unacceptable. This is a service in *severe* need of a competitor. Unfortunately, as far as I know, there isn't even one. Zilch. None.