bitching maintenance Web 0.1

Web 0.1: Feedburner + Google say “F*** YOU”

Today, I attempted to login to Feedburner.

I had to go through not 1, not 2, but three different adverts for “here’s why we’re forcing you to create a new Google/Gmail account, you really want to do it, it will be good for you”.

The third one has a link “ignore this and login to feedburner anyway”.

That link redirects back to the adverts. It didn’t last time I logged in, a mere week ago – back then, it did what it claimed to do: logged me in to Feedburner.

This time, I clicked a dozen times, with waits in between, just in case it was a momentary glitch.

Nope – Google/Feedburner is engaging in some kind of sadistic schadenfreude designed to make Feedburner users collapse psychologically, and give-in and create Google accounts. Or, if like me they already have a Google account, to delete their Feedburner identities and throw away privacy, personal data, and any semblance of control of their online personas to instead merge their account IDs.

(in some kind of surrealist nightmare, the final ad opens with the words “Moving to a Google Account is easy” (no, actually, it’s enforced), and finishes with the line “You don’t have to move today, but we’ll remind you each time you visit” (um, no – you’ve placed an auto-redirect that does, in fact, force me to “move today”. Bastards)).

So. Feedburner? Google? You say: “F*** YOU”? Well, then, I say: “F*** you too; harder”.

9 replies on “Web 0.1: Feedburner + Google say “F*** YOU””

I’m very sorry for the trouble you encountered; it definitely isn’t intentional. The account move process shouldn’t redirect you back to the initial “intro” screen but should instead prompt you to create a new, or use an existing, Google Account. Obviously that didn’t happen.

What was/is your original FeedBurner feed address? We can take a look at your existing account and help you get this solved.

Hey, Matt, thanks for taking the time to respond. I’ve emailed you some more info FYI.

But re: Feedburner/Google feeds, I’ve now given up, moved my blog off Feedburner/Google, and I’m actively looking for alternative solutions. According to the Google docs I read last week(?), the FB service is going offline, permanently, very soon anyway, so I guess it’s time I stopped protesting the inevitable :).

But the sentiment is definitely appreciated!


As Matt points out, this was an error in the logic we changed on the site today in order to facilitate migrations, and it’s annoying you had to go through that. We’re sorry about that. FeedBurner is not going offline, it’s just migrating to a Google-based infrastructure. The idea here is to ultimately be able to innovate much more quickly on a more robust architecture. As I’ve said in a few public posts, we know the migration process is going to be bumpy, we know we’re going to miss some edge cases, and nobody likes to go from “it’s just worked for the last few years” to “you have to migrate AND there are issues”. We totally get that, and we’re trying to mitigate issues as much as possible. If you want to migrate, we’re here for you.

“According to the Google docs I read last week(?), the FB service is going offline, permanently, very soon anyway, so I guess it’s time I stopped protesting the inevitable :).”
It is changing yes, yet it is not going offline.

Just to clarify, FeedBurner is not going anywhere — we will continue serving feeds on Feb. 28th and beyond. What is certain is that from that point forward, viewing your feed stats and managing feed settings as a publisher will have to happen through a Google Account, to which you will have moved all of your account and feed settings. Our apologies for confusion around this point; we have one post up now ( explaining why some of you might not see the “Move my feeds” link on right now, and another one coming up shortly to help reexamine what happens on the 28th (and beyond.)

Mea culpa, I misinterpreted what’s happening on the cutoff date. Thanks for the correction, guys.

Actually, hang on… I’m sure it said on the google site that:

1. after feb 28, 2009, your fb account is inaccessible (google account only)
2. after feb 28th, your feedburner RSS URLs will all cease to work, returning 404
3. … if/ when you create a google account, you will be given a *NEW* URL for each feed, on the domain instead of on the existing domain
4. old feed URLs will 30x redirect to new ones for a few weeks … but ONLY of course if you actualy have a google account

I cannot check right now (I’m on iPhone and don’t know which google URL I gotthis info from until I can access my browser cache), but … have I go this all wrong?

NB: I discovered last year that 30% of all my RSS subscribers had ignored the 30x “PERMANENT” redirect that had been on my feed for more than 12 months. So I feel confident in saying that there’s a lot of RSS clients out there that have been badly implemented and will just silently fail as soon as the URL handover happens, despite the HTTP code warning themthqt they ought to change their data and/or warn the user.

NB2: of course, if that is the case, it begs the comment: it doesn’t have to be that way, this is one of the primary reasons DNS was invented – to allow addresses to survive organizational change. the HTTP permanent redirect (sadly much ignored by software) is an extra safety net for catching cases where DNS can’t handle it, but in this case it’s hard to see how DNS to a special redirecting http server would not be enough? (assuming, as noted above, that I haven’t completely misunderstood what’s going to happen with FB/google!)

#2 is incorrect. Your URLs WILL continue to work after Feb 28th, but you won’t be able to view and manage their services/stats until you move to a Google Account.

#3 is correct only in that the new URL is The “URI”, or specific, custom address for the feed, will be the same after you move.

#4 we will 302-redirect for as long as our original feedserving environment remains active.

I’m aware some clients don’t redirect properly when given a 30x redirect, but it’s the best abrupt-change mechanism available to us. At some future point, will become the final feed-serving domain again, and then any misbehaving clients will at last retrieve the feed content properly.

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